Maurice Grau


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(1849–1907), manager. Although best known for his successful tenure as head of the Metropolitan Opera, he was also important in the growth of popular musical theatre in America. Born in Brünn, Austria, and brought to this country at the age of five, Grau studied at Columbia and embarked on a law career. But he abandoned his legal position to help his uncle, Jacob Grau, then manager of the French Theatre in New York. His first solo venture was to bring to America the great French star of opéra bouffe, Marie Aimée. The success of her performances helped consolidate the vogue for opéra bouffe in particular and musical theatre in general. Grau later persuaded Jacques Offenbach to make an American tour and sponsored the great Italian actor Salvini. At various times he was occupied with the management of several New York legitimate theatres.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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