Music in the Hannibal Opera House

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Hannibal Opera House is a historic venue for music and the performing arts in Hannibal, Missouri.

The Hannibal Opera House

The Hannibal Opera House has been a part of the Hannibal community since 1858. It is the oldest continuously operating theatre in the United States. The Opera House has seen many changes over the years, but one thing has remained the same: the Hannibal Opera House is a special place where the community comes together to enjoy live entertainment.

The History of the Hannibal Opera House

The Hannibal Opera House was built in 1858 and is located in downtown Hannibal, Missouri. The opera house was the brainchild of Colonel Samuel Clemens, who donated the land for its construction. The three-story building contained a large auditorium on the first floor and a smaller theater on the second floor. In its heyday, the opera house hosted traveling theater companies, operas, ballets, and other performances.

The opera house fell into disrepair in the early 20th century and was closed in 1913. It remained vacant for nearly 50 years before being restored and reopened in 1962. Today, the Hannibal Opera House is home to the Hannibal Symphony Orchestra and hosts a variety of musical and theatrical events throughout the year.

The Architecture of the Hannibal Opera House

The Hannibal Opera House, located in downtown Hannibal, Missouri, was built in 1884 by John J. Bergen for $75,000. The Victorian-style building was designed by Architectural Firm Lampl and CLAuss and features red brick exterior with white stone trim. The interior of the building includes a grand staircase, balconies, crystal chandeliers, and a proscenium arch. The Hannibal Opera House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a contributing property to the Downtown Hannibal Historic District.

The Music of the Hannibal Opera House

The Hannibal Opera House has been a well-known theatre in the city of Hannibal for many years. The music that is played inside of the opera house is known to be some of the best in the city. People from all around come to hear the music of the Hannibal Opera House.

The Hannibal Opera House Orchestra

The Hannibal Opera House Orchestra, organized in 1885, was one of the first professional orchestras west of the Mississippi River. The orchestra’s first conductor was Julius Hegyi, a Hungarian-born musician who had also led the opera house orchestra in Cincinnati, Ohio. Under Hegyi’s leadership, the Hannibal Orchestra quickly gained a reputation for excellence, and he remained its conductor for more than two decades.

In its early years, the orchestra performed not only symphonic works but also operas and operettas. It gave the American premieres of works by Franz Lehár and Johann Strauss II, as well as the world premiere of an opera by Otto Nicolai. The Hannibal Orchestra was also one of the first orchestras in America to give regular concerts for children.

The orchestra continued to perform after Hegyi’s death in 1907, under a succession of conductors including Joseph Pasternack and Hugo Klaers. In 1925, however, financial difficulties forced the orchestra to disband. It was not until almost fifty years later that another professional orchestra was established in Hannibal.

The Hannibal Opera House Choir

The Hannibal Opera House Choir was organized in the fall of 1885 by W. A. Cramer. The first rehearsal was held on October 6, 1885 with forty-two members. Mrs. Cramer was elected the first president of the Choir. The officers were: president, Mrs. W. A. Cramer; vice-president, Etta Welch; secretary, Bessie Johnson; treasurer, Lizzie Bushnell.

On October 13, 1885, theChoirtook part in the opening ceremonies of the new Hannibal Opera Houseand sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Hail Columbia” under the leadership of Mr. Cramer. The Opera House was not completed and ready for use until December 1, 1885 when “East Lynne” was presented by a Stock Company from Keokuk, Iowa. In January 1886, Mr. Cramer resigned as leader of the choir and Miss Lizzie Woodruff was elected to take his place.

The following season a number of concerts were given under different leaders but it was not until December 11, 1886 that a permanent leader was again secured in the person of Mr Fayette Clapp who had just recently come to Hannibal from Chicago where he had been connected with musical affairs for some years previous He remained as leader of the choir during the remainder of his stay in Hannibal which closed with his death which occurred on April 2 1889

The Hannibal Opera House Band

The Hannibal Opera House Band was a band that was popular in the late 1800s. The band was made up of ten members, all of whom were from the Hannibal area. The band played a variety of music, including classical, pop, and jazz. The band was very popular and played at many different venues in the Hannibal area.

The Hannibal Opera House Today

The Hannibal Opera House is a historic music venue located in Hannibal, Missouri. The Opera House was originally built in 1858 and has been restored to its original glory. The Opera House is now a popular destination for music lovers from all over the world.

The Hannibal Opera House Today

The Hannibal Opera House is one of the many music venues in Hannibal, Missouri. It was built in 1869 and is currently home to the Hannibal Symphony Orchestra, the Hannibal Opera Company, and the Hannibal Chorale. The opera house has a long and rich history, and it continues to be an important part of the city’s cultural life.

The Hannibal Opera House Foundation

The Hannibal Opera House Foundation, a 501 (c) (3), was organized in 1997 for the purpose of saving and restoring the historic Hannibal Opera House. The first priority of the Foundation is to make the Opera House an acoustically excellent facility for live performances. The second priority is to make it an educational and cultural resource for both the citizens of Hannibal and northeast Missouri.

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