The Ballad of Baby Doe
Composer: Douglas Moore
Composer Bio: Douglas Moore is an acclaimed American composer, teacher, and author. Born in Cutchogue, NY he attended the Hotchkiss School before earning two degrees from Yale University where he studied with Horatio Parker. He served as a lieutenant in the Navy before moving to Paris to study composition under Nadia Boulanger, Vincent d’Indy, and Ernest Bloch.

His debut as a composer and conductor came in 1923 when he conducted his Four Museum Pieces with the Cleveland Orchestra. It won him a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship which he used to travel back to Europe to continue study with Boulanger. A few years later he began teaching music at Columbia University where he remained until his retirement in 1962. He was a popular teacher who often included studies of contemporary music. Outside the realm of classical music, Moore also wrote popular songs in collaboration with John Jacob Niles and childhood friend Archibald MacLeish. He wrote two books on music Listening to Music and From Madrigal to Modern Music.

Moore was revered in his Long Island hometown of Cutchogue. He died in the Eastern Long Island Hospital in the neighboring village of Greenport, Long Island in 1969.
Librettist: John Latouche
Librettist Bio: John Treville Latouche (La Touche) was a musician and writer. Known for his Rabelaisian humor he was often censored and protested against. Throughout his life he had many collaborations with esteemed musicians including Vernon Duke, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Leonard Bernstein and was friends with many prominent artists, architects, and writers during his time. Gregarious and lively, his daughter said that, “He would find the quietest person at a party and in no time that would be the liveliest part of the room.” Latouche died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 41 in his Vermont home.
Other Artistic Personnel: Emerson Buckley (Conductor)
Donald Oenslager (Production Designer)
Hanya Holm and Edward Levy (Stage Directors)
Original Cast: Walter Cassel (later Clifford Harvua) as Tabor
Martha Lipton (later Frances Bible) as Augusta
Dolores Wilson (later Lenya Gabriele) as Baby Doe
Beatrice Krebs as Mama McCourt
Lawrence Davidson (later Norman Treigle) as William Jennings Bryan
Premiere Date: July 07, 1956
Producing Company: Central City Opera
Description: In Leadville (Colorado), silver magnate and lieutenant governor Horace Tabor meets Baby Doe, a young woman who has left her husband in Central City and come to Leadville. Horace falls in love with her but his wife, Augusta, finds out about their affair. After warning Horace that he should stop speculating his fortune in silver mines, she determines to drive Baby out of town. Baby is about to leave because of the guilt she feels about loving Horace, but he convinces her to stay; Augusta learns that Horace is planning to divorce her and decides to cause a scandal. In Washington some months later, Horace, now a senator, marries Baby but Tabor's social standing is threatened by the scandal of Baby's divorce and his fortune is undermined by bimetallism. At a party, some years later, Augusta comes to warn Baby of the coming silver crash; she says that Tabor must sell the Matchless Mine, his most profitable mine, or he will be ruined. Baby, at first swayed by her argument, decides to trust Tabor and wait for silver to rise again. Tabor throws his lot in with William Jennings Bryan and is ruined in the elections of 1896. Baby's mother goes to Augusta to ask her to help the now-destitute Tabor, but she refuses. Tabor gets sick and delirious and, as he dies, Baby begins a long vigil for him at the Matchless Mine which ruined him.
Character List (Major): Horace Tabor (bar)
Augusta Tabor (mz)
Mrs. Elizabeth (Baby) Doe (s)
Mama McCourt, Baby Doe's mother (con)
William Jennings Bryan (bb)
Bit Parts: Chester A. Arthur (t)
Father Chapelle (t)
Old Silver Miner (t)
Clerk at the Clarendon Hotel (t)
Mayor of Leadville (t)
Stage Doorman at Tabor Grand (t)
Bouncer (bar)
Albert, a bellboy (bar)
A Footman (bar)
A Denver Politician (bar)
Sarah, Mary, Emily, Effie (2s, 2mz)
Sam, Bushy, Barney, Jacob (2t, 2bar)
Four Washington Dandies (2t, 2bar)
Kate, dance hall entertainer (s)
Elizabeth, age 12 (s)
Silver Dollar, age 7 (treble)
Meg, dance hall entertainer (mz)
Silver Dollar (grown up) (mz)
Samantha, a maid (mz)
Saloon Girls
Baby Doe's Family (Mr. McCourt, his son, daughter & spouses)
2 Newboys (t)
Length: 02:10
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: minimum 24 (includes bit parts)
Contact: Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.
Address: 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-688-2525
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, July 25, 2014 - Chautauqua Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, April 13, 2012 - Opera Idaho
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Thursday, May 15, 2008 - Chelsea Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Sunday, July 2, 2006 - Central City Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, June 24, 2006 - Central City Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, May 5, 2001 - Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Sunday, April 8, 2001 - New York City Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, November 17, 2000 - Indianapolis Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, September 23, 2000 - San Francisco Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Wednesday, November 17, 1999 - New Orleans Opera Association
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Wednesday, January 14, 1998 - Boston Lyric Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, November 1, 1997 - Lyric Opera of Kansas City
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, January 10, 1997 - Austin Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, September 21, 1996 - Amarillo Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, July 19, 1996 - Chautauqua Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, June 29, 1996 - Central City Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, April 19, 1996 - University of Wisconsin-Madison Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, June 24, 1995 - Des Moines Metro Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, May 20, 1994 - Chicago Opera Theater
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, April 15, 1994 - Indianapolis Opera
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Friday, April 3, 1992 - Opera Cleveland
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore)
Saturday, January 18, 1992 - Seattle Opera
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