Madame Rose Palmi

Born: Mobile, AL

Opera Vocals Founded Mobile Opera

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame



Mobile Opera is an opera company located in Mobile, Alabama and is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in the United States, as well as the oldest in Mobile itself, having been founded as the "Mobile Opera Guild" in 1945. Under its founder, Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser, a European concert artist from Czechoslovakia, two performances were presented in April 1946. As its General Director, Mrs. Tenser continued to lead the company until 1971.

The Mobile Opera Guild Auxiliary (the eighth in the nation to be affiliated with the Metropolitan Opera Guild) was established to recruit volunteer support.

In July 2002, Mobile Opera relocated its offices to the Josephine Larkins Music Center, a newly renovated rehearsal and administrative facility located in the designated downtown arts district, which the company shares with the Mobile Symphony. This collaboration between the city's performing arts organizations has been instrumental in the revitalization of the downtown area. With a 2,400-square-foot (220 m2) rehearsal hall, seven private music studios, conference room, catering kitchen, patron ticketing services, landscaped courtyard and administrative offices, the Larkins Music Center is a significant cultural and community asset. In Spring 2008, an Education Director was hired in order to enhance current programs as well as creating new educational opportunites. In June 2008, Andy Anderson took over as Artistic Director.

Growth under Katherine Willson and others since 1971

After 1971, Willson became the company's Production Coordinator and General Manager. During the company's 1995/1996 season, she became the first female President of the Board, celebrating Mobile Opera's 50th Anniversary Season and her own thirty-five year involvement with the company. Under Pelham "Pat" Pearce, Mobile Opera maintained its productions' quality and its innovative programs dedicated to education and community outreach.


The company continues to encourage young American operatic talent. Artists such as Christine Weidinger, Michael Devlin, Susan Quittmeyer, Anthony Laciura, Barry McCauley, Stella Zambalis, Linda Zoghby, Amy Johnson, Philip Webb, Hal France and Sylvia McNair have made appearances with major opera companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera and opera houses and festivals of Europe.

Under Executive Director Earl Jackson, Mobile Opera continued its commitment to education and community outreach with programs such as "Artists in Residence", "Teen Night At The Opera", "Opera-UpClose", "Music A La Carte", "Afternoon of Stars", and discount tickets.


In addition to mainstage productions, programs of opera excerpts were presented throughout a five-state area, establishing the company's long-standing commitment to arts education in the schools and communities of Alabama and the Gulf Coast. in After 1971, Mobile Opera continued the operatic traditions developed by "Madame Rose", ennobling her efforts through the establishment of the vocal scholarship competition which bears her name and awards over $5,000 annually.


1^ Recognized by OPERA America as the 15th opera company established in the United States (source:



Source: Mobile Opera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mobile Opera Official Website: Mobile Opera :: Home Page


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