Encyclopedia ofChicago
Historical Source
Historical Source
C
Chicago Miniature Opera Theater, Rigoletto

 

 

 

Chicago Miniature Opera Theater, Rigoletto

Ernest Wolff brought his love of opera to friends, the nation, and to several generations of Chicagoans through his Chicago Miniature Opera Theater. It opened in November of 1936 with a staging of Aida. In 1938, Wolff and his puppets were recruited by the Gas Industries of America to perform at the 1939 New York World's Fair, where his theater performed Rigoletto, pictured here. After a hiatus for World War II, the Miniature Opera Theater found a home at Frederic Chramer's Kungsholm Restaurant in the former McCormick Mansion on Ontario at Rush. Both the restaurant and the theater closed in 1971. Some of the theater's puppets and sets are on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.