Thursday, August 23, 2018

Colonel John A McCaull, Father of American Comic Opera 1845-1894

The Press (NY) 25 Nov 1894

NY Herald Tribune 15 Nov 1894

From The Press (NY) 15 Nov 1894:

Colonel McCaull's Remarkable Life.

The late John A McCaull was the father of comic opera
in this country. He made a large fortune in
certain of these productions, but lost it by the failure of others, and died in comparative poverty.
Throughout a period of many years he was the summer lessee of Palmer's, at which house we
became acquainted with "The Black Husser," "Clover" and other successful pieces.

During his prosperous management of the Casino he gave us "Falks," "The Merry War," "The Begger Student" and "Die Fledermaus." He was the author of much of the fame now possessed by DeWolf Hopper, Francis Wilson, Lily Post, Mme Cottrelly, William Carleton, Annie Meyers, Signor Perugini and Lillian Russell. He once thrashed Rudolph Aronson, and at another time had four comic opera companies on the road. He began life as a Scotchman, the a regiment in the war, studied for the priesthood, became a lawyer, was a member of the Virginia Legislature, and developed into a comic opera impresario. Under his excellent management light music became enormously popular, and if his health continued John A. McCaull would probably have died a millionaire. 

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