Kate Condon

Kate Condon Biography

Kate Condon (February 4, 1877 " May 27, 1941) was an American contralto who sang in light and grand operas over the early decades of the twentieth century.

Early life

Kate Condon was born in 1877 in Bloomington, Illinois, the second youngest of six children raised by William and Bridget Condon. Some records give her birth date as February 4, 1880; unlikely since her brother Thomas was born in October, 1879. Condon's parents both came to America from Ireland in the years leading up to the American Civil War and married in 1859, settling in Bloomington, where in 1860 their first child was born. William Condon went on to be a well known Illinois merchant.


Kate Condon first appearance in a major production on the New York stage came in November, 1900 playing Siebel in the English Grand Opera Company's production of Gounod's Faust at the Metropolitan Opera House. She had previously been a member of the Castle Square Company in Boston. and would go on to perform on Broadway and elsewhere with such stars as Jefferson De Angelis, De Wolf Hopper, Fritzi Scheff and Tyrone Power, Sr. Her first role on Broadway was Molly O'Grady in The Emerald Isle in 1902. Among other Broadway appearances, in 1913 she appeared in revivals of two Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Condon crossed the Atlantic during the First World War to entertain troops serving with the American Expeditionary Force in France. In 1917"18, near the end of her career, she was in the Broadway cast of the musical Chu Chin Chow.


On May 16, 1903 Condon married Edward Burke Scott at New Haven, Connecticut. E. Burke Scott was a theatrical advance man and treasurer for the Frank Daniel's Opera Company, then under the management of Charles Dillingham. He was born in Paris, Kentucky, the son of Marie (née Victor) Prescott, a noted Shakespearean actress and Edward Burke, a well known Kentucky lawyer. In November, just six months after they wed, Scott disappeared while Condon was touring the Midwest and was never seen again. Eventually foul play was dismissed as it was learned several thousand dollars had vanished from the firm's accounts.

Five years later Condon traveled to Rome to ask for a Papal dispensation releasing her from her marriage to Scott so she could wed comedian Peter F. Dailey. She cabled Bailey on May 23, 1908 to inform him that the Pope had granted their request; unaware that the forty-year-old comedian had fallen ill and would not live to see her message delivered.

In September, 1926, William B. Victor, a partner in a successful New Orleans real estate firm, committed suicide. Sometime later Kate Condon was contacted by a relative of her husband's and told that Victor and Scott might be one in the same. This was confirmed when she traveled to New Orleans in February, 1927 and identified her husband's remains.


Kate Condon died in 1941, aged 64, at her Chicago residence after struggling with a lingering illness. She was survived by two brothers and a sister.


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