The Ballad of Baby Doe

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American Opera – The Ballad of Baby Doe

THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE is one of the most treasured American operas. Its plot is based on the lives of actual historical figures from Colorado, Horace Tabor and his wife, Elizabeth (“Baby”) Doe Tabor. Memorable arias include the title heroine’s arias, Willow Song and Letter Aria, as well as Horace Tabor’s Warm as the Autumn Light.

 Photos courtesy of Opera Fort Collins

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  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Music by Douglas Moore
    Libretto by John Latouche

  • Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I (min. 2 stands)
    1 Violin II (min. 1 stand)
    1 Viola (min. 1 stand)
    1 Cello (min. 1 stand)
    1 Bass

    2 Flute I & II (Flute II doubles Piccolo)
    1 Oboe
    2 Clarinet I & II
    1 Bassoon

    2 Horn I & II
    2 Trumpet I & II
    2 Trombone I & II
    1 Tuba

    2 Percussion:

    Timpani (2 pedal drums)
    Bells (Glockenspiel)
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Triangle
    Wood Blocks
    Sandpaper
    Tambourine
    Ratchet
    Tam-tam
    Suspended Cymbal
    Piatti

    1 Harp
    1 Piano

    1 Full Score (Partitur) in 5 volumes.

    NOTE: String parts are supplied in the standard, minimum-requirement count. Please contact Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc., for your specific string section needs.

  • 1       Vocal Score
    20     Vocal Scores for Principal Characters
    25     Vocal Scores for Chorus

  • Horace Tabor — Mayor of Leadville
    Augusta — wife of Horace Tabor
    Mrs. Elizabeth (Baby) Doe — a miner’s wife
    Mama McCourt — Baby Doe’s mother
    William Jennings Bryan — candidate for President

    *Chester A. Arthur — President of the United States
    Father Chapelle — priest at the wedding
    An old silver miner
    A clerk at the Clarendon Hotel
    Mayor of Leadville
    Stage doorman of the Tabor Grand

    **Bouncer
    Albert — a bellboy
    A footman
    A Denver politician

    Sarah, Mary, Emily, Effie — old friends of Augusta

    Sam, Bushy, Barney, Jacob — cronies and associates of Tabor

    Four Washington dandies

    Kate — dance hall entertainer

    Elizabeth, age 12 — daughter of Horace and Baby Doe Tabor
    Silver Dollar, age 7 — daughter of Horace and Baby Doe Tabor

    **Meg — dance hall entertainer
    Silver Dollar (grown up)
    Samantha — a maid

    Dance hall girls, Baby Doe’s family, and foreign diplomats at the wedding, miners and their wives

    *These parts may be covered with two singers.
    **These parts may be covered with one singer.

  • The opera THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE had its premiere at the Central City Opera in Colorado in 1956 with Dolores Wilson in the title role. The opera’s New York premiere, directed by Vladimir Rosing, was presented at the New York City Opera in 1958 starring Beverly Sills as Baby Doe Tabor.

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