Here at Onstage we get to work with amazing artists and outstanding performance arts venues. Some of the venues we serve are historic treasures, others are modern masterpieces of architecture and design. Only a few are the stuff of fairy tales!
We believe Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is one of these. It may be the most enchanting venue we serve. Its story has everything a fairy tale should: a prince and princess fall in love at first sight, tragedy strikes, and their love lives on forever at the Caramoor estate.
It Begins With The Love Story of Walter & Lucie Rosen
Walter Rosen was a successful international banker, art collector, and musician. He met Lucie Bigelow Dodge in July 1914, at her parents’ summer home in Québec. Lucie was a talented musician hailing from a prominent New York family. It was love at first sight and they married six short weeks later!
Walter and Lucie shared the same interest in the performing arts and made a fairy tale life together. In 1915 their son was born, Walter; and two years later their daughter Anne.
The wealthy couple was popular in high society and they naturally began hosting musical social evenings for their friends. These events were legendary!
Many of their social contacts were involved in the arts: sculptors, painters, directors, actors, composers, musicians… They loved to entertain!
The Rosens decided in 1928 that time had come to purchase an estate where they could summer. The estate they chose, Caramoor, was over 100 acres and provided the Rosen family a place to play tennis, ride horses, create music and art, and entertain friends.
As with any fairy tale, tragedy struck the Rosen family in 1944. Per the Caramoor website their son “Young Walter” had graduated from Harvard, and then Yale. Shortly after graduating, Germany was at war and Young Walter felt he needed to participate. “He volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force, before the US involvement, and was stationed in England. On August 16, 1944, returning to England from a successful mission over Germany, his plane crashed and Walter died two days later of his wounds.”
The Estate Thus Bequeathed
It was after this tragedy that Walter and Lucie chose to bequeath the estate as a center for music and performing arts, in loving memory of Young Walter.
- In 1946 the first public concert was held in Young Walter’s memory in The Music Room.
- In 1958 the Venetian Theater was inaugurated with a performance by the contralto Marian Anderson.
Several Venues in One Sprawling Location
Every visit to the Caramoor will feel like a new experience to the audience, in part due to the variety of indoor and outdoor performance areas. Caramoor is home to:
- The Venetian Theater
- The Spanish Courtyard
- The Music Room
- The Sunken Garden
- Friends Field
The Rosen Legacy Continues
The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is the legacy of Walter and Lucie Rosen; it is an undying representation of their love for each other and their children. It is more than just a theater, a garden and a museum of their life experiences, though all of these things are a part of it. It is a physical legacy that can be enjoyed by generations, who get a chance to appreciate music and art in a completely unique setting.
Walter Rosen realized his dream of creating a place to entertain people from all around the world. The Rosen family’s legendary love of family, and of music and art became this immortal venue and is celebrated today at the Summer Music Festival, now held yearly at Caramoor.
Tangible Love the Audience Can Feel
Caramoor’s history is steeped in romance, and audience members can feel that loving vibe everywhere they go on these extensive grounds. We adore this venue because that romantic feeling is truly carried over to the audience experience, making every performance so much more unique and memorable.