Grace Isabella Golden
(1867-1903), soprano of both grand and light opera,
left the Mr. Bluebeard company in May, 1903
to wed a Chicago jeweler, George B. Moore, but died
of tuberculosis three months later.
Grace was a Hoosier girl from a theatrical Irish
family who settled in New Harmony, IN. She performed
at the Metropolitan Opera when sixteen years old, in
the 1880s appeared with headliners in light opera at
New York City’s Casino and in the late 1890s joined
the Castle Square Opera Company. With Castle a few
of her roles were Santuzza, Yum-Yum, Mignon, Leonore
and Esmeralda (giving the first performance in
America of this operatic role).
News stories of health
related performance cancellations in 1899 were
harbingers of the future. In 1901 she performed a
variety of grand opera roles with the traveling
Metropolitan English Grand Opera Company, a group
that included a chorus of over one hundred, a
fifty-piece orchestra and thirty dancers. By mid
season, poor health forced her to retire from the
company to her family’s home in Indiana. The story
of her involvement with the Mr. Bluebeard
production is a puzzle because, according to a
family biography, her voice by that time was
impaired by her illness.
I was unable to learn if Grace’s marriage to George
Moore took place, or the identity of her first
husband, Mr. Evans.
Indiana University’s online archives include an
extraordinary collection of information about
Grace and the Golden family.