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Frederick Shepherd Converse

Boston romantic

Born January 5, 1871, Newton, Massachusetts
Died June 8, 1940, Westwood, New Jersey
About Frederick Shepherd Converse

A student of George Chadwick and John Knowles Paine, Converse is best known for his orchestral works, including the groundbreaking Flivver Ten Million. Converse also had the distinction of being the first American composer to have one of his works played at the Metropolitan Opera: The Pipe of Desire, which played for three performances in 1910. He was one of the founders of the short-lived Boston Opera Company and an influential member of Boston musical society.

  • The Pipe of Desire, grand romantic opera in one act
    Libretto by George Edward Barton.
    January 31, 1906, Jordan Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
  • The Sacrifice, opera in three acts
    Libretto by the composer and John Albert Macy after Los Gringos, or an Interior View of Mexico and California, with Wanderings in Peru, Chile, and Polynesia by Lietenant Henry Augustus Wise, writing as "Harry Gringo".
    March 3, 1911, Boston, Massachusetts
    (opus 27)
  • Beauty and the Beast, or Sinbad the Sailor, His Adventures with Beauty and the Peacock Lady in the Castle of the Forty Thieves
    Libretto by Percy MacKaye.
    composed 1913
  • The Immigrants
    Libretto by Percy MacKaye.
    composed 1914
    (Prepared for cancelled Boston Opera Company 1914-15 season)

Download music

The Pipe of Desire (1906)

Piano-vocal score

A new edition of the piano-vocal score, prepared by usopera.com

Part 1. Overture and opening chorus: Finale | PDF


The complete libretto, in a new edition by usopera.com

Text | HTML

Discography Search for recordings of the music of Frederick Shepherd Converse at Amazon.com

Chonita's Prayer from The Sacrifice


Souvenirs from American Opera

CD / IRCC 818 (1998)

Bibliography Search for books by and about Frederick Shepherd Converse at Amazon.com

Robert J. Garofalo

Frederick Shepherd Converse (1871-1940): his life and music (Composers of North America, No. 14)

Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J. 1994

Last update: January 1, 2009