Benjamin Carr


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(1768?–1836), composer. Coming to America in the 1790s from his native England, he was soon established in Philadelphia as a respected composer and music teacher. A good singer and adequate actor, he often performed in the plays for which he provided overtures, songs, and incidental music. Carr's most important contribution to the theatre was his score for one of the best early American operettas, The Archers (1796). Dunlap questioned the theatricality of his writing, noting that his “knowledge of music without the graces of action made him more acceptable to the scientific than to the vulgar auditor.” Carr must have come to a similar conclusion, for early on he abandoned the theatre to devote his time to teaching.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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