San Carlo Opera Company

The San Carlo Opera Company. Touring organization founded in New York in 1913 by the Italian-American impresario Fortune Gallo (1878-1970).

San Carlo Opera Company

The San Carlo Opera Company. Touring organization founded in New York in 1913 by the Italian-American impresario Fortune Gallo (1878-1970). Until its disbandment in the early 1950s, the company - 100 strong, including 30 instrumentalists - toured annually in the USA and Canada, visiting cities and towns poorly served by other companies. For some years it was the only professional opera heard in many Canadian cities. San Carlo was the most frequent of the touring opera companies to come to Toronto in the early part of the twentieth century, making its first appearance at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1914. and returning frequently thereafter. San Carlo visited Vancouver annually after 1919, and appeared also in Montreal, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ont, and elsewhere. A typical bill for a week at Montreal's St-Denis Theatre (23-8 Oct 1922) offered Lohengrin, Faust, Tosca, Aida, and Madama Butterfly. Among the Canadian artists who appeared with the company - some over extended periods of time, some for one or two guest performances - were Elizabeth Campbell (under the pseudonym Maddalena Carreno), Pauline Donalda, Margaret George, Mary Henderson, Raoul Jobin, Jeanne Pengelly, Simone Quesnel, Joseph Royer (sometimes under the pseudonym Giuseppe Battistini), and Kenneth Sakos. Another Gallo venture, the Fortune Gallo English Opera Co, established to perform light opera in English - mainly Gilbert & Sullivan - lasted only three seasons, 1919-22, but finished one tour which included performances in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg.


Further Reading

  • Gallo, Fortune T. Lucky Rooster (New York 1967)

    'Opera in Montreal and Toronto'

    Look at the Record