Mary Jacqueline Fabian brought opera to those who might not otherwise hear it, from directing an opera company in Birmingham, Alabama to running education and enrichment programs for a quarter of a million children in postwar Europe. Fabian debuted as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Century Theater in New York in 1923 and took on some of the opera world’s most demanding soprano roles, including Madame Butterfly, Marguerite, and Violetta. She toured the US and Europe and performed with the Chicago Civic Light Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others. Believing that opera wasn’t just for the elite, Fabian founded and directed opera companies in Miami, Birmingham, and Westchester, working with local schools to incorporate amateur and student dancers into professional performances. From 1942–1948 she served as a captain in the Women’s Army Corps, and after the war she relocated to Vienna to become youth director of a welfare and education program for children who had survived the war. In her later years, she helped found American Civic Opera Productions to create connections between opera and education.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Mary Jacqueline Fabian ." (Viewed on May 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/fabian-mary>.