May Peterson Thompson

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May Peterson circa 1913

May Esther Peterson Thompson (October 7, 1880 – October 8, 1952) was an opera singer for the Metropolitan Opera Company.[1]

Biography[edit]

She was born on October 7, 1880 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin as May Esther Peterson. She was one of nine children of a Methodist minister. She began singing in 1884 at church meetings and later joined with her sister, Clara Peterson, an organist, to give recitals and concerts.[2] She studied at The Music Conservatory of Chicago College of Performing Arts and in 1917 joined the Metropolitan Opera Company.[1][2] She debuted as Michaela in Carmen on November 29, 1917.[3] She toured Europe with Frederick Delzell (piano) and sang with Opéra-Comique in Paris.[4]

She married Ernest Othmer Thompson on June 9, 1924, in Bronxville, New York. Afterward they traveled to Amarillo, Texas to a reception held in the ballroom of the Amarillo Hotel, which Thompson owned and had built. She retired from the Metropolitan Opera Company after her marriage, but she continued doing concert tours. In 1932, after her husband was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas, they moved to Austin, Texas. On October 1, 1952 she had a cerebral hemorrhage at their summer house in Estes Park, Colorado, and she was in a coma. She was flown back to Austin, where she died at the Seton Infirmary on October 8, 1952 never regaining consciousness.[1] She was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Miss May Peterson, Ex. Soprano at 'Met'". New York Times. October 9, 1952. Retrieved 2010-06-15. "Mrs. Ernest O. Thompson, who as May Peterson was a soprano with the Metropolitan Opera Company from 1917 until her marriage in 1925, died here early ..." 
  2. ^ a b c "May Thompson". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  3. ^ Henry Charles Lahee (2005). Annals of Music in America: A Chronological Record of Significant Musical Events. Kessinger Publishing. p. 172. ISBN 1-4179-6349-2. 
  4. ^ Texas, A Guide to the Lone Star State. Federal Writers' Project. 1943. p. 160. ISBN 1-60354-042-3. 

See also[edit]