- During the heyday of touring companies, most opera houses maintained their own orchestras to perform incidental music during the action of the play as well as two or three set pieces during an interval. According to a November 1908 playbill, for example, when Alla Nazimova played Nora in A Doll's House at the Willis Wood Theatre in Kansas City, the musical programme was "Overture: Des Marionettes" by C. Gurlitt, "Norwegian Dances Nos. 1 and 2" by Edvard Grieg, and "Poeme Erotik" by Edvard Grieg. Thus the musical selections echoed the play in spirit, even to equating the doll and the marionette. In a city with several opera houses, the orchestra would be a factor in a given theatre's local following. Often, the conductor emerged as a local personality.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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