Baby Doe
Historic Sites
Articles, Speeches & Interviews


November 1, 2006

Happy Halloween!


The DoeHEAD website has seen

more than 11,000 home page visits

since our Doenotes, Vol. 3

    in February of this year.

Thanks again.  


2006 was a busy and fun DOEHEAD year. Here are some highlights.



The following photos are from the most recent Doe-EVENT on the afternoon of October 22nd; the thrilling presentation of the "Wedding Scene" from The Ballad of Baby Doe in the sumptuous Crystal Room at the Willard Hotel, in Washington, D.C. This was the very spot on which the famous Tabor wedding was held in 1883 (not 1882 as an editor's error has it in the Washington Post review of the affair).


The lively sold-out performance, done by the National Opera's apprentice artists was captured on video, a portion of which can be seen on the Washington National Opera website at http://www.dc-opera.org/ Click on the link that reads as follows: “Video: Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists perform scenes from The Ballad of Baby Doe at the Willard Hotel."

In Other News

A rare screening of the Omnibus Baby Doe was held at the Museum of TV and Radio in New York on Saturday, September 16th. For only the second time since the video was restored with DoeHEAD financial help in 2002, the Museum presented the 1957 performed-live-for-television version of The Ballad of Baby Doe that was specially arranged by the composer and originally broadcast as a segment of the ABC expermintal series Omnibus, hosted by Alistair Cooke (who is seen on the video introducing this opera).

The video was thought lost until rediscovered in a private home in Los Angeles early in this decade. The Museum's screening was doubly noteworthy, not only because of the chance to see the amazing video once again, but also because in attendance that day were both Virginia Copeland, who sang Baby Doe in the broadcast (along with William Johnson as Horace and Martha Lipton as Augusta), and Leyna Gabriele, who sang Baby Doe in the 1956 Central City premiere production. Both were graciously acknowledged from the stage prior to the showing, and were subsequently able to visit together and with friends in the Museum's comfortable William S. Paley office.

The 27th Annual tribute to Cutchogue, Long Island's favorite son enlivened the village's historic green on the evening of Saturday, August 12th. Dorothy Savitch once again conducted The Long Island Sound Symphony Orchestra in works by Dr. Moore, Arthur Sullivan and Sousa, along with other popular favorites. Superb summer weather graced the outdoor picnic-style concert, which, this year, attracted listeners from as far away as Alberta. Cutchogue is on the North Fork of Long Island, which, with its wineries, truck farms and easy-going friendliness is worlds away from the toney pretention of the Island's South Fork.

Be sure to check out the pictures on our anniversary page and an audio interview with Leyna Gabriele and Mimi Shaw (available to stream at the bottom of page 3 of the picture pages) from the July 30th 50th Anniversary festivities in Central City. The event included a performance, a reunion luncheon, dinner and panel discussion, and bus trip to the Leadville Baby Doe sites. It also prompted the first international newspaper mention of the DoeHEADS, in The Toronto Star. Click here to read the article.

And we shouldn't forget the opening act of 2006--the wonderfully energetic performance of The Ballad of Baby Doe done by the students of the Governor's School of the Arts in Norfolk in April, under the sensitive direction of Vocal Music Department Chair Alan Fischer, who also directed the school's beautiful and energetic production of the work in the spring of 2001. This year the students presented three performances of the work in the historic and recently-restored Crispus Attucks Theatre, the beautiful building that served as the center of African-American theater activity in southeast Virginia since its opening in 1919.

After such a year, it's hard to imagine what's next. There are rumors of an overseas production. And a new historical novel about Tabor's life. As of this writing, though, we're unaware of any DOEperformances on the horizon. Certainly, if you get wind of any, please let us know so we can spread the word.

Otherwise, hope your holidays are happy.

Dave Kanzeg

January 2004: 15,000
September 2004: 20,000
February 2006: 35,000
October 2006: 46,000

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3