The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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New Haven


Grand Opera House

Wednesday, February 1, 1882

The English Renaissance


Newspaper report

The New York Times, Feb 2, 1882

Oscar Wilde in New Haven, The New York Times, Feb 2, 1882. Oscar Wilde


As to the size of the audience

In this article the Modernism Lab at Yale University sought to correct the audience size given in the NYT article (above) asserting that the audience size was probably closer to 1,000. They based this on the maximum seating capacity of the 'New Haven Opera House', their source being: Yale and "The city of elms," by William Emery Decrow, 1885, p. 114). 

However, the New Haven Opera House was a different venue that Decrow describes as "a very cosey little theatre". Wilde lectured at (Peck's) Grand Opera House where the seating capacity was 1,600 so the NYT is likely correct as to the size of the audience.

Grand Opera House * Crown Street, nr. Church Street, New Haven, CT. New Haven Theatre. Oscar Wilde
Grand Music Hall (1860) Crown Street, nr. Church Street, New Haven, CT
New Haven Theatre Burns Report

New York Times, April 26, 1915


Grand Opera House *

Crown Street, nr. Church Street, New Haven, CT

Built: 1860 (as Music Hall)

Seating: originally 1600.

Additional use: c. 1885 as Bunnell’s (New England) Museum

Destroyed (fire): April 25, 1915

* AKA Peck's Opera House, as noted in previous itineraries, to which it was sometimes referred as it was once owned and managed by Clark Peck. Later G.B. Bunnell’s New Haven Theatre.


No record has been found of an overnight stay by Wilde in New Haven. He probably took a late train the short distance to Hartford, where he lectured the following evening.  

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024