1-12 of 12 results  for:

  • Media and performing arts x
  • opera singer x
Clear all

Article

Barnabee, Henry Clay (14 November 1833–16 December 1917), singer and actor, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Willis Barnabee and Mary (maiden name unknown). His father was a stagecoach driver who became an innkeeper. Willis Barnabee’s wife was cook, and his adolescent son Henry was odd-jobs man and at times bartender....

Article

De Angelis, Thomas Jefferson (30 November 1859–20 March 1933), actor and musical performer, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of John “Johnny” De Angelis and Susan Loudenschlager, stage performers. He was thus born to a theatrical heritage. His uncle, Thomas Rosa, taught him dancing and gymnastics, and his father gave him voice lessons. De Angelis also attended a few classes in public schools in both Philadelphia and New York, but his formal schooling was sparse....

Article

Eddy, Nelson (29 June 1901–06 March 1967), film actor and concert baritone, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of William Darius Eddy, an electrical engineer and inventor, and Isabel Kendrick. Eddy was from a musical family: both of his parents were noted local singers; his grandmother, Caroline Ackerman Kendrick, had been a famous oratorio singer; and his grandfather, Isaac N. Eddy, had been the bass drummer with Reeves’s American Band. In 1915 his parents separated, and his mother moved to Philadelphia. Nelson left school to take a job with her brother at the Mott Iron Works there, and he never returned to finish his formal education. His father stayed in Providence and later remarried. Virginia, a half-sister, was born in 1925. Later, her two sons became favorites of Eddy’s, who had no children of his own....

Article

Fox, Della May (13 October 1870–15 June 1913), comic opera star, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Andrew J. Fox, a leading St. Louis photographer, and Harriett Swett. Della made her first appearance on stage as the Midshipmite in a St. Louis production of ...

Image

De Wolf Hopper Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90305).

Article

Hopper, DeWolf (30 March 1858–23 September 1935), actor and singer, was born William D’Wolf Hopper in New York City, the son of John Hopper, a lawyer, and Rosalie D’Wolf. The family lived on East Third Street right off the Bowery and later moved to West Forty-third Street. His paternal grandfather, John Tatum Hopper, was a Quaker and a conductor of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was disciplined by the Quaker Meeting for his participation in the Civil War. Hopper was six when his father died, leaving him and his mother comfortably well off. He studied at J. H. Morse’s School. Early on he showed a propensity for the theatrical. As a school boy he mastered the “Senator Dilworthy” monologue, and when he was fifteen he played in a Sunday school production of ...

Article

Lanza, Mario (31 January 1921–07 October 1959), operatic tenor and film star, was born Alfredo Arnold Cocozza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Antonio Cocozza, a decorated U.S. Army veteran disabled in World War I, and Maria Lanza, a seamstress. An only child of Italian immigrants, Lanza was raised in a working-class South Philadelphia neighborhood and educated in the Philadelphia public schools, from which he was expelled shortly before graduation, allegedly for assaulting a teacher who insulted his ethnicity....

Article

MacDonald, Jeanette (18 June 1903–14 January 1965), movie actress and lyric soprano, was born Jeannette Anna McDonald in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Daniel McDonald, a salesman for a woodworking factory, and Anna May Wright. (The revised spelling of MacDonald’s name for professional purposes occurred as early as 1909 but did not hold until the mid–1920s.) The youngest and most driven of three talented daughters, MacDonald’s earliest musical training came from her sisters, Elsie and Blossom. By age four she was being hired to sing at neighborhood church and lodge functions and was locally dubbed “Baby Jenny Lind.” Her earliest documented performance was in a children’s opera, ...

Article

Moore, Grace (05 December 1898–26 January 1947), opera singer and motion-picture personality, was born Mary Willie Grace Moore in Slabtown (now Nough), Tennessee, the daughter of Richard L. Moore, a retail merchant, and Tessie Jane Stokley. Educated in the elementary schools of Jellico, Tennessee, where her family resided, Moore later enrolled in the Ward-Belmont School in Nashville, but her penchant for defying curfews and other school rules soon ended her association with the academy....

Article

Walker, Edyth (27 March 1867–19 February 1950), opera singer and teacher, was born in Hopewell (Ontario County), New York, the daughter of Marquis de Lafayette Walker, a carpenter and landscape gardener, and Mary Purdy. Christened Minnie Edith, she changed her name to Mary Edyth and eventually dropped the Mary. When Edyth was an infant, the family moved to Geneva, New York. When she was about twelve, they relocated to Rome, New York, where she attended school and was graduated from the Rome Free Academy in 1884. Her natural talent enabled her to perform as a contralto soloist in nearby churches, without formal vocal training, from the age of fourteen....

Article

Ward, Geneviève (27 March 1838–18 August 1922), singer and actress, was born Lucy Geneviève Teresa Ward in New York City, the daughter of Samuel Ward, a planter, businessman, and sometime diplomat, and Lucy Lee (or Leigh). Taken abroad for her education, Ward traveled extensively throughout Europe as a young girl. When Ward was between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, composer Gioacchino Rossini heard her sing and sent her to study with the director of the opera in Florence, Italy....

Article

Whiffen, Blanche Galton (12 March 1844–25 November 1936), actress and singer, was born in London, England, the daughter of Joseph West Galton, a secretary of the London General Post Office, and Mary Ann Pyne, an opera singer. After the death of her father in 1851, Whiffen and her sister attended a boarding school in Gravesend, Kent, until 1857. They later studied at Mrs. Chapman’s School in London and spent eighteen months at a school in St. Omer, France. Whiffen made her stage debut in November 1865 at London’s Royalty Theater as Rosatinta the Fairy in the light opera ...