For three decades the Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera was a
cultural gem in Chicago. After dinner at Frederick Chramer’s famous Scandinavian
restaurant, patrons adjourned across the lobby to the plush 210 seat opera
house to enjoy miniature but elaborate productions of such operas as La Bohème,
Aida, La Traviata, and Madama Butterfly.
In 1967, Gary Jones joined the exclusive group of puppeteers
who operated the unique rod puppets from beneath the slotted stage floor. He
was the first, and only black puppeteer at the Miniature Grand Opera but his
artistic talents were quickly recognized when he was invited to create the
scenery for the opera’s new productions.
Here is his account of his adventures, the performers who worked "understage", and the abrupt finale of the Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera in 1971.
"a brilliant revelation of what life is like as a working puppeteer."
John Bell, Puppetry International
Author: Gary Jones
Total Pages: 138