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A scene from <i>American Tragedy</i> (Source: Metropolitan Opera)
A scene from American Tragedy (Source: Metropolitan Opera)

An Adirondack Murder on Stage at the Met

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On December 2nd 2005, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled a new work based on Theodore Dreiser's classic novel American Tragedy. Dreiser's novel was inspired by a true Adirondack story. In the summer of 1906, a young man named Chester Gillette took his pregnant girlfriend boating on Big Moose Lake, near Old Forge. The next day, Grace Brown's body was found floating in a secluded cove in South Bay. Chester Gillette tried to flee, but was captured in Inlet and tried for murder. The case sparked a media frenzy and made headlines around the world. As Brian Mann reports, over the last century it has become a part of American mythology.

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