The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Composer: Lukas Foss
Composer Bio: Lukas Foss is a German-born American composer, conductor, pianist, and professor. The son of scholar Martin Fuchs, his family changed their name to Foss when they moved to Paris and then the United States after the rise of Nazism in Germany. While in Paris young Lukas studied piano, composition, orchestration, and flute with a cast of influential figures such as Lazare Levy and Felix Wolfes. After moving to the US in 1937 he studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Berkshire Music Center (now known as the Tanglewood Music Center), and as a special student of composition with Paul Hindemith at Yale.

Foss pushed for exposure of new music and was a beloved teacher. After replacing Arnold Schoenberg as professor of music at UCLA in 1953 he founded the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble. He founded the Center for Creative and Performing Arts while at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991 be was appointed Professor of Music, Theory, and Composition at Boston University. He died of a heart attack in his home in Manhattan at the age of 86.
Librettist: Jean Karsavina
Other Artistic Personnel: Ernst Hoffman, Music Director; Walter S. Russell, Technical Director/Set Designer; Hans Busch, Stage Director
Original Cast: Alton E. Wilder as Smiley, Lou Herber as Lulu, Carmon Caplinger as Uncle Henry/Bartender, John Borneman as First Crap Shooter, James McGhee as Second Crap Shooter, Howard Kahl as Guitar Player, Charles Campbell as Stranger
Premiere Date: May 18, 1950
Producing Company: Indiana University School of Music
Description: The frog, Dan’l Webster, is defeated in a jumping contest because the gambling Stranger has filled the amphibian with buckshot. When the deceit is discovered, the Stranger is cast out, and the town again hails Dan’l’s prowess.courtesy of Carl Fischer, Inc.
Character List (Major): Smiley (t)
Stranger (b)
Lulu (mz)
Uncle Harry (bar)
Character List (Minor): 1st Crapshooter (t)
2nd Crapshooter (b)
Guitar Player (bar)
Reviews: Boston Globe, Michael Manning, 12-6-94; The Washington Post, Marion Jacobson, 12-11-90; Boston Globe, Richard Dyer, 3-30-90; Musical America, K. Bezner, 8-84
Length: 00:45
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: SATBB (optional)
Orchestration: 1/1/2/1 ; 1/2/1/1 ; perc., pno.; str.
Musical Style: Traditional classic-romantic style with American influences; ensemble pieces throughout; dialogue
Contact: Carl Fischer, Inc.
Address: 65 Bleecker Street, 8th Floor New York, NY 10012
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-777-0900
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (Foss)
Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (Foss)
Monday, August 30, 2004 - Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (Foss)
Thursday, October 29, 1998 - Amarillo Opera
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