Holman, George 1820-1888 England, ? - Canada Ontario, London
tenor singer and actor, alumnus of the popular 'stage and the minstrel shows' in New York City, aug.1847 he sang at the Eagle Ice Cream Saloon in Pittsburgh as member of the Nelson Kneass minstrel harmonists company (free concerts, ice cream tickets 12 cents each were the only charge), he subsequently toured with the 'Original Kneass Opera Troupe' in Cincinnatti, Louisville and 19, 20, 21 August 1847 in Pittsburgh and 6 September 1847 at a Trial Concert in Pittsburgh, 11.dec.1850 he sang as oratorio singer at a concert of the New York Harmonic Society conducted by George Loder, September and October 1851 he and his wife were in the supporting cast of the famous english/french soprano Anna Thillon, 1857 as vocalist residing at 806 Bowery Street New York City, 6.sep.1858 the 'old-timers' Mr. and Mrs. Holman were engaged by the new Henry C Cooper opera company opening at Wallack's Theatre, 1860-1866 founder/director of the Holman Opera Troupe in New York City, 14.aug.1860-26.apr.1876 the troupe gave 25 performances at Rochester NY, 7.jul/6.sep.1862 the troupe performed a summer season of light operas at Barnum's Museum in New York, 12.jan.1863 presented La Sonnambula at the Academy of Music in Cleveland with daughter Sallie as the biggest sensation, 1864 at the Royal Lyceum in Toronto Canada, 4.apr.1865 presented the Child of the Regiment at Ely Hall, 29.aug.1865 La Sonnambula at Grover's Theatre Washington DC, 22.nov.1865 Il Trovatore in Utica, 11.aug.1865 performed at Pike's Opera House Cincinnati, 1867 the family moved to Toronto Canada and by 1880 had settled in London Ontario where he was theatre manager and member of the Church of England and his wife conductor and member of the Jewish Synagogue, 3.oct.1882 the Holman English Opera Company performed 'Olivette' at the Grand Opera in Syracuse ; he married Harriet Phillips (England 1822-21.may.1897 Ontario, London) who was a wellknown singer and actress known as Mrs. George Holman 'the mother of opera' ; son singer Alfred D Holman (USA 1846-), daughter soprano Sallie Holman (Massachusetts, Lynn 1850-7.jun.1888 Ontario, London), daughter soprano Julia Holman (1853-)

[Clifford Ford 1982 gives erroneously born 1814 New York City]

Title Parts

Wake up Jake, or the Old Iron City. 1847
words and music George Holman
winning song performed by the composer at the Trial Concert in Pittsburgh 6sep1847
"A magnificent Silver Cup was awarded to the Author of this song by A. Andrews, Esqr., of the Eagle Saloon, Pittsburgh, Pa."
Morrison Foster who submitted Stephen Collins Foster's song "Away down south" to the the Trial Concert, afterwards commented "at the trial concert, the audience gave the applause and the approval to Stephen's song, but the prize, as usual, went to one of the troupe, for a vulgar plagiarism without any music or poetry in it" (Stephen himself was indifferent about it)
recording: John Aler t, Clifford Jackson bt, Peter Basquin piano/harmonium, Harmoneion Singers / John Miner. CD "Life in 19th century Cincinnati". New World Records 80251

2002-10-09 21:11:58