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
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
Music by Douglas Moore
Libretto by John Latouche
2 Violin I (min. 2 stands)
1 Violin II (min. 1 stand)
1 Viola (min. 1 stand)
1 Cello (min. 1 stand)
2 Flute I & II (Flute II doubles Piccolo)
2 Clarinet I & II
2 Horn I & II
2 Trumpet I & II
2 Trombone I & II
Timpani (2 pedal drums)
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
Albert — a bellboy
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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Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance