Boston Ideal Opera Company
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Boston Ideal Opera Company
1899 poster for The Bostonians

The Boston Ideal Opera Company, later The Bostonians, was a comic opera acting company based in Boston from 1879 through 1905.[1]


Effie Hinckley Ober (1843-1927) started the group in 1879 to perform an "ideal" production of H.M.S. Pinafore in Boston. It was a great success, and the company continued, and toured widely.

When the top actors later took over the group around 1887, it became "The Bostonians."

Actors in the group included Henry Clay Barnabee,[2][3]Jessie Bartlett Davis, Mena Cleary, W. H. MacDonald, Eugene Cowles, Tom Karl, Marie Stone-MacDonald[4]Geraldine Ulmar and Alice Nielsen. Other actors in the group for spells included Camille D'Arville, Bertha Waltzinger, and Myron W. Whitney.[1][5] Other involved with the group included Kirke La Shelle.

Selected productions


  1. ^ a b Bordman, Gerald & Thomas S. Hischak. The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, p. 87 (3d ed 2004)
  2. ^ (17 December 1917). Henry Clay Barnabee Dies in his 85th Year, The New York Times
  3. ^ Reminiscences of Henry Clay Barnabee, The Scrap Book (1907)
  4. ^ A Hundred Years of Music in America, p. 234 (1889, 1900)
  5. ^ (29 August 1903). A Quarter Century of Existence, Town Talk

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