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Construction of St. Augustine.
Genovar Opera House
St. Augustine, Florida
Bartola Genovar's first opera house was built on Charlotte Street near the corner of Cuna. It was a two story wood
building The first floor he used as a store. Upstairs in the building was a good hall where entertainments were given and
dances held. It was an opera house in the language of the times. The building burned.

The second Opera House or Theatre was on St. George north of Treasury Street. The theatre was designed to handle
traveling companies. It had full stage equipment and the audience was provided with regular folding theatre seats.

This building was also destroyed in the fire of April 2, 1914.

Tyrone Power Sr.
Tyrone Power Sr. had his acting debut here at the Genovar in November 1886. Frederick Tyrone Edmond Power (May
2, 1869 – December 23, 1931) was an English-born American stage and screen actor, who acted under the name
Tyrone Power. He debuted as Gibson in Charles Hawtrey's
The Private Secretary on November 29, 1886 aged 17.
Power became a highly respected Shakespearean actor. He made his first Broadway appearance in 1899 in Becky
Sharp at a theater known as Fifth Avenue Theatre (demolished in 1939). Throughout his long career, Tyrone Power, Sr.
appeared in twenty-five Broadway productions, with his most famous role as Marcus Brutus in Julius Cesar. His last
Broadway role was in The Merchant of Venice, at the Royale Theater, shortly before his death in 1931. He also had a
successful career in silent films. His first silent film was in 1914,
Aristocracy.  Power appeared in forty films, only one of
The Big Trail, was a sound film. The Big Trail starred John Wayne. In December 1931, Tyrone Power suffered a
fatal heart attack while in Hollywood to film
The Miracle Man .

Frederick Douglass
Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, a slave, in Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Maryland. In September
1838 he borrows papers from a free black sailor, he escapes from slavery to New York and changes his last
name to Johnson. He marries Anna Murray. The ceremony is performed by minister James W. C. Pennington,
who is also an escaped Maryland slave. He becomes a licensed preacher for the African Methodist Episcopal
Zion Church. 1845 he publishes
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In it, he reveals details that could
lead to his arrest as a fugitive slave.  From 1865-95 Douglass lectures on Reconstruction and women's rights.
In 1882 Anna Murray Douglass dies. On January 24, 1884 Douglass marries Helen Pitts, a white woman who
had been his secretary when he was recorder of deeds. The interracial marriage causes controversy.  In 1886-
87 he toured Europe and Africa with new wife. In 1889 after his southern tour he was appointed U.S. Minister
resident and consul general, Republic of Haiti, and chargé d'affaires, Santo Domingo. He arrived in Haiti in

In 1889 Mr. Douglass had just given a speech in Jacksonville when he was talked into coming to St.
Augustine. His reception and speech were held in Genovar's Opera house with 700 people in attendance.
Mayor Dewhurst introduced Douglass. James Weldon Johnson describes Douglass' visit to Jacksonville. "No
one could ever forget a first sight of Frederick Douglass. A tall, straight, magnificent man with a lion-like head
covered with a glistening white mane, who instantly called forth in one form or another Napoleon's exclamation
when he first saw Goethe, 'Behold a man!' As I watched and listened to him, agitator, editor, organizer,
counselor, eloquent advocate, co-worker with the great abolitionists, friend and adviser of Lincoln, for a half
century the unafraid champion of freedom and equality for his race. I was filled with a feeling of worshipful awe.
Douglass spoke, and moved a large audience of white and colored people by his supreme eloquence.....
Douglass was speaking in the far South, but he spoke without fear or reservation."

There is a marker on St. George Street to commemorate this speech.

Emma Abbott
One of the first actresses was Emma Abbott. Emma Abbott (December 9, 1850 – January 5, 1891) was an American
operatic soprano and impresario known for her pure, clear voice of great flexibility and volume. She was born on Kinzie
Street in Chicago.  Emma Abbott was the  daughter of an itinerant Chicago musician who moved to Peoria, Ill. and
began teaching music. Her father taught her to play the guitar and to  sing. She began singing professionally when her
family lost its money. At age thirteen Abbott started teaching the guitar and traveling on the road. In 1867 Clara Kellogg
took her to New York and  got her a job as the leading soprano in Dr. Chapin's church on Forty-fifth Street and Fifth
Avenue. The church raised $10,000 to send her to Europe to continue her education. She made her operatic debut at
Convent Garden in 1876 as Marie in "La Fille du Regiment." Abbott made her U.S. debut in 1877 at New York's
Academy of Music. She studied vocal music under Marchesi and acting under Charles Fechter.

In Europe she refused to play the role of Violetta in "La Traviata."  She felt that the opera was immoral. She was the
people's Prima Donna. On her return from Europe she formed a company with C. D. Hess that was known as Emma
Abbott and C. D. Hell Opera Company. Hess furnished everything and gave her a certain percentage of the receipts.
Her individual manager was James W. Morrissey. Her operatic debut was made at Col. W. E. Sinn's Brooklyn Park
Theatre as Marguerite in "Faust."  She also sang in "Mignon,", "The Bohemian Girl," "Martha," Chimes of Normandy,"
and "Rigoletto." Her first season in New York was at the Grand Opera House.  She started there in "Paul and Virginia."  
After her success she and her husband organized an opera company known by her name (the Abbott English Opera
Company), which toured extensively throughout the United States. C. H. Pratt became her manager. Her husband ran
the business end of the company and she managed the artistic side.

She would die of pneumonia in Salt Lake City two years after her husband died of the same disease in Denver, Col.

The Abbott Concert Company (Times Union, January, 1891)
The associate artists who composed the leading members of the famous company so ably managed by the lamented
Emma Abbot have been induced by the largest railway and steamship systems to make a special Florida tour and will
appear next Monday night at Genovar's opera house in an operatic concert giving a fine repertoire, in which is included
Gounod's "Faust" - the third act (garden scene) in full costume and stage settings: with Abbott's first musical director
Charles E. Pratt, who filled a similar position with Niellson and Kellopgg; and Mr. Fernando Michelena, tenor, Sr. William
Broderick, basso, Miss Eva Cummings, prima donna, Armandale, (Miss Broderick) contralto, and Herminie Palado,

Singers at St. Augustine (Times Union, February 2, 1891)
St. Augustine, Fla. February 2
The Emma Abbott Opera company gave to the music loving people of St. Augustine a most enjoyable treat at Genovar's
this evening. Michelena and Broderick's "Marta," tenor and baritone; Mrs. Brodericks (Annandale) "Hearte, Whence This
Joy," and Eva Cummings' "Una Voce Poca Fo" were encored: for the encore Miss Cummings sang "Within a Mile of
Edinboro," In "Attilla," trio- Broderick, Michelena and Mrs. Broderick (Charles E. Pratt, accompanist) were superb. The
third act of "Faust" by the same singers, was delightful in acting and in music. The artists are in excellent voice. There
was a good audience. By request the company will remain here and will give a fine selection, also the entire fourth act of
Mr. Seavey having consented to the use of the Casino, the opera will be rendered there tomorrow evening.

Alicia Hospital Association (Times Union February 10, 1891)
A grand concert to consist of solos, concerted music and choral singing will be given by the Alica Hospital association on
Tuesday evening, February 10, at Genovar's opera-house. The talent of the city will give its services.

Joseph Jefferson
Joseph Jefferson played his trademark Rip Van Winkle. Joseph Jefferson, commonly known as Joe Jefferson (February
20, 1829 – April 23, 1905), was an American actor. He was the third actor of this name in a family of actors and
managers, and one of the most famous of all American comedians.

Joseph Jefferson, commonly known as Joe Jefferson (February 20, 1829 – April 23, 1905), was an American actor. He
was the third actor of this name in a family of actors and managers, and one of the most famous of all late 18th century
American comedians. Besides Rip Van Winkle he played in the following:
The Heir-at-Law in which he played Dr.
The Cricket on the Hearth (Caleb Plummer) and The Rivals (Bob Acres). He also played in early silent films.
He was a friend of President Grover Cleveland and Henry Flagler. He died in Palm Beach.
Henry Flagler is said to have
cried when he heard the news. The
Jefferson Theatre in St. Augustine would be named after him.

Al G. Fields Minstrels
Al G. Field (1850-1921), one of the last of the great cork artists and managers. His real name was Alfred Griffith Hatfield,
and he began as a ballad singer at the age of fifteen with Sharpley, Sheridan, Mack & Days Minstrels. In 1886 he
formed his own minstrel troupe, which he operated successfully until his death in 1921 - during which time, so he
claimed, he never had a losing season - and became a wealthy man, known as the "Millionaire Minstrel", from his
successful managerial activities in that line of business. He was considered a good minstrel performer, remembered for
his monologues. His training in management came from working with the Sells Bros. Circus and with Duprez & Benedicts
Minstrels, both outfits being noted for their advertising practices.

It is said that Field was the first minstrel manager to carry entire stage settings and scenery and the first to use a special
train of cars for transporting his troupe. He was a devoted family man and fond of dogs and horses. Indeed, he carried a
fine pair of horses with the show to drive about in the cities he visited. His permanent residence was in Columbus, OH,  
He was the author of the book
Watch Yourself Go By.

Jim Corbett
James John "Gentleman Jim" Corbett (September 1, 1866 – February 18, 1933) was an American professional boxer
and a former World Heavyweight Champion, best known as the man who defeated the great John L. Sullivan. Jim
Corbett the ring champion in "After Dark". Following his retirement from boxing, Corbett returned to acting, appearing in
low-budget films and in minstrel shows, wearing blackface in skits and giving talks about pugilism. He authored his
autobiography under the title "
The Roar of the Crowd"; the story was serialized by The Saturday Evening Post in six
weekly installments during October/November 1894.

John Templeton's troupe played here in light opera. Templeton had two wives among the performers. His first wife was
Palatka. They were divorced and he married again. But the Palatka wife was very talented and Templeton hired her
for the company where his second wife worked.

Opera House Thursday Feb 10, 1898
D W Truss & Co
Announce a special tour under the direction of S Ean and Roy of Wang
Superior in its Spectacular Splendor

Hear these Songs
The Man with an Elephant o His Hands
A Pretty Girl
A Summer Night
Every Rose Must Have Its Thorn
You Must ask of the Man in the Moon

Wang's Wonderful Elephant
The Betwiching Charms of Little Children,
Presented upon a more sumptuous Scenic Scale than ever before,
A Famous Company of 50 and a Special Orchestra
Dan Packard as Wang

The Jucklins (Feb 22, 1898)
St Augustine’s theatre-going contingent rarely have the opportunity of enjoying so excellent and meritorious a
performance as that presented by Stuart Robson and his company last night in 'The Jucklins" at Genovar's opera
house. Mr. Robson has lost none of his old time charm and has perhaps never appeared in a character to which he is
more adapted than that of 'Lem Jucklins,' the eccentric, but lovable old farmer with a mania for fighting chickens. Mr.
Robson's support is of the best and the stage setting of the piece all that could be desired.

Coontown Minstrels at Genovar Theatre (St. Augustine Evening Record, June 26, 1908)
Isabella Quartet

To Be Heard for the First Time at the Coontown Minstrels Monday Evening.
The great and only Isabella Quartet. The greatest aggregation of concert soloists ever appearing together under one
management. Composed of the following stars:

Mrs. Stella Capo-Welch, soprano, "The Florida Nightingale", needs no introduction to the public.

Mrs. Helen Cummings-Meade, contralto, whose magnificent voice has captivated audiences wherever she has appeared.

Mrs. Clara Lopez-Mier, mezzo-soprano, whose delightfully sweet voice has always been a joy to the listener.

Mrs. Anita Capo-Pomar, alto, one of the sweets of the Ancient City's songsters.

Miss Evelyn Marie Pomar, soprano, will make her debut after an extensive course of study at the Washington
Conservatory of Music.
Joseph Jefferson
Frederick Douglass
Emma Abbott
Jim Corbett
Tyrone Power, Sr.
Opera House
Material Information
Title:  St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida, 1888
Series Title:  Insurance maps of St. Augustine, Florida
Physical Description:  Map
Creator:  Sanborn Map Company
Stuart Robson
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Ad St. Augustine Evening Record, June 17, 1907