As It Was: Professional Musicians Arrive Unannounced in Medford
One afternoon in 1905, renowned opera singer Ed Andrews, musical director Charles Hazelrigg and members of his Andrews Opera troupe arrived without fanfare at the Medford, Ore., train station.
Having traveled by train through the Rogue Valley frequently, they had decided to close their opera company and move to Medford.
They stopped for information at Ivan Humason’s drugstore, but he was due at a rehearsal for a community production of the “Mikado” and asked the strangers to come back the next day when he could show them the town. He had no idea they were opera singers who had sung the Mikado.
When Andrews hinted they’d like to see the rehearsal, Humason took them along.
At the theater, the pianist was missing, so music director Hazelrigg offered to fill in and began playing the accompaniment perfectly from memory. One of the actors jumbled his lines, so Andrews offered to help him and sang the role perfectly.
About then they told the astounded druggist and ensemble who they were.
The opera troupe did move to Medford and became regular performers in community productions.
Sources: "When Farmers Sang Opera." idmind.net, edited by Tina Truwe, Medford Mail Tribune, 12 Jan. 1923, id.mind.net/~truwe/tina/andrews.html. Accessed 13 Mar. 2017; "The Stage." http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu, Sunday Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)1881-current , 23 Sept. 1906, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83045782/1906-09-23/ed-1/seq-34. Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.