The 1800s

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Modern Theatre in Context: A Critical Timeline

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The Montreal Academy of Music

The 2,000-seat Academy of Music opens in Montreal with a production of Lester Wallack's Rosedale and is the city's most prestigious auditorium until 1893, presenting the great stars of the American and European stage, as well as opera. The proscenium stage is 36 feet high, 36 feet wide and 40 feet deep. In 1896 the theatre begins presenting vaudeville, melodrama and burlesque and becomes a French theatre in 1909-1910 before closing.

The 1,000-seat Grand Opera House opens in Ottawa at a cost of $40,000 with the Toronto Holman Opera Company's production of Michael Balfe's The Bohemian Girl that is attended by the Governor General and Lady Dufferin. The second night's production is Bellini's La Sonnambula. The proscenium stage is 30 feet wide, 30 feet high and 28 feet deep. The theatre brings some of the finest actors and companies of the English, American, French, and Canadian stages to Ottawa until 1897 when the programming becomes melodrama, vaudeville, burlesque and other popular entertainments. The Grand Opera House is destroyed by fire on July 5, 1913.

Frederick Augustus Dixon's comic operetta The Maire of St. Brieux is published and performed in Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General in Ottawa, and is remounted at the Grand Opera House the following year.