The Ballad of Baby Doe

Spring Opera Production

Spring Opera

Sunday, April 27, 2:30 pm

Tuesday, April 29, 7:30 pm

North Park University, Lecture Hall Auditorium
Campus Map

The School of Music at North Park University presents The Ballad of Baby Doe, composer Douglas Moore's quintessentially American opera set in nineteenth century Leadville, Colo.

A rich North Park tradition, the School of Music’s biennial opera production features students in the master of music in vocal performance program in addition to members of the University’s various performance ensembles. The production is under the creative direction of Nyela Basney and directed by Elizabeth Margolius. Tom Zelle will conduct the University orchestra during both performances.

Ticket Information:
All tickets are for general admission seating and can be purchased online or at the door.

  • General Admission: $15
  • Seniors (62 and over): $10
  • Faculty and Staff: $10*
  • Students (with valid ID): Free


*Special Faculty/Staff Offer: Buy one ticket, get one free; please contact Karen Dickelman via email to redeem offer.

Due to the popularity of this production, we encourage you to purchase your tickets by Monday, April 21.

The Ballad of Baby Doe Synopsis

Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe chronicles the demise of historical figure Horace Tabor, a prominent silver magnate and politician from Leadville, Colo. The narrative opens as Horace meets and is enamored by visiting opera singer Elizabeth “Baby” Doe, with whom he will eventually enter into an affair. Their illicit relationship triggers a love triangle as Tabor’s wife, Augusta, attempts to run off the younger, effervescent Baby Doe. Once realizing Horace’s love cannot be rekindled, Augusta seeks vengeance by exposing her husband’s scandal. Horace nevertheless marries Baby Doe—his reputation held in check by the public support of President Chester A. Arthur—and continues his ascent to political power.

Years later, the estranged Augusta returns to warn Baby Doe of shifting political and economic realities and Horace’s fleeting financial security, imploring her to encourage the sale of Horace’s most profitable asset, the Matchless Mine. Baby Doe does not heed Augusta’s advice, and Horace soon loses his wealth as the silver standard gives way to bimetallism. Horace, devastated by his loss, deteriorates in health and eventually dies in Baby Doe’s arms, prompting his widow to keep vigil at the entry to the Matchless Mine for the next 36 years.

Next Steps

For more information, please contact Karen Dickelman, director of music events and communications, via email or by
calling (773) 244-5625.

Learn more about the School of Music at North Park University.