Marian Wright Powers
Opera Singer —
MARIAN WRIGHT POWERS WAS BORN in Connersville, Ind., in 1880. Just a few years later, her family moved to Carthage to pursue the riches of the area’s mineral and stone industrial boom. Powers graduated from the Carthage Collegiate Institute in 1900, where she studied music. She performed solo concerts in the area, and performed in local musical theater productions until her marriage in 1903.
After the birth of her daughter, Powers re-entered the music profession. She became a popular local and regional performer as she continued her studies in New York City and Paris. She was a well-known performer who performed with traveling symphonies from St. Louis, Kansas City and St. Paul when they toured the central states and Texas. Powers once remarked that she had ”married and buried half of Jasper County [Missouri]“by singing at hundreds of weddings and funerals.
A coloratura soprano, ”Mame,“ as she was known to her family, had a varied repertoire including classical, opera, folk and popular songs, and performed special programs on seasonal or special subject themes. Her favorite recital program was a series of Civil War-era songs her mother had taught her. She performed them in a re-created Civil War ball gown, with period accessories handed down through her family.