‘He was a true Peterborough treasure’

In December 1991, we announced the concept for America’s first opera company to be performed entirely by marionettes, The New England Marionette Opera. The following morning, the first person through our door was Bob McQuillen. He was so excited about what we were going to attempt to do, and particularly about how we were going to marry two art styles, marionettes and opera, into something new and exciting — “and you’re doing it right here, in Peterborough!” he emphasized.

That visit from Bob made such an impression. For the next eight years, until the theater was destroyed by fire, I gave Bob periodic personal updates on the status of the theater. Our favorite meeting place was usually on the front steps of the Peterborough post office.

When we announced that we were going to perform in Bermuda at the International Festival of the Arts, Bob said, “You’ve made it Ted, you’ve made it.” It was that kind of continuing support and encouragement that I will always remember and cherish. Bob got it. And to have him believing in our venture was so appreciated. I’m so thankful that I had an opportunity last year to convey that feeling to Mr. Mac. He was a true Peterborough treasure.

Ted Leach lives in Hancock.

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