Grace DiBatista (Hepburn)

Grace (back row) at a rehearsal. Also in this picture are Allan Foster and Drew Mills.

Grace with Ed Lewin in the 1981 production of The King and I.

Gracie was an example of the bridge between Operetta and Musical Theatre. Her musical/vocal training was extensive and as a composite performer she shined. Gracie was an opinionated, outspoken person who showed a great deal of courage in facing her illness. I remember visiting Gracie at Sunnyview Hospital when she first suffered her stroke. She was the same old Gracie, confident, upbeat, and not afraid to voice her opinion. The last time I spoke to Gracie was at the wake for her husband, Charlie. What strength she displayed. Now, Charlie and Gracie are together once more. The love and commitment they had for one another is rare. They were not just husband and life. They were soul mates.

Gracie was a student at the Brooklyn Academy of Music where she had the leadin many of their Youth Concerts. She then went on to graduate from the Eastman School of Music, having receiving a George Eastman Scholarship.

Gracie was a member of the Goldovsky Institute, and her professional career included appearances with the Goldovsky Opera Theatre Company, operatic roles/soloist at the Metropolitan Museum with the Goldovsky Lectures. Gracie was also a guest soloist with the Mendelssohn Club of Albany, the Schenectady and Rochester Symphonies, the Capitol Hill Choral Society, and she has performed with Leivsdorf at Tanglewood. In 1959 she received a SLOC scholarship and in 1961 Gracie appeared at a Hunter College Opera Workshop. An engagement as a Tanglewood scholarship soloist in the summer of 1964 followed.

Appearances also included stints with the Diamond Point Festival Theatre, Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, SLOC, and six shows at the Colonic Tent. Gracies also performed with the Diamond Point Festival Theatre, Schenectady Civic, and with Riverview Entertainment. From professional work to community theatre, Gracie displayed a versatility that few performers have. She was a truly remarkable woman and performer.



SLOC debut: La Perichole in La Perichole: May 1959 at Niskayuna High School.

Tupin in The King and I: November 1961 at Niskayuna High School

Anna in The King and I: April 1981 at Proctor’s Theatre

Monica in The Medium: June 1964 at Scotia-Glenville School

Maria in West Side Story: November 1969 at Niskayuna High School

Jacque Brel: May 1988 at the Old Opera House on State Street

Goldie in Fiddler on the Roof: April/May 1987 at Proctor’s Theatre

The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors: Dec. 1987 at Old Opera House on State St.

Soloist in SLOC’s Birthday Bash: Musical Celebration (50 years)

Duet (from La Perichole)with Allan Foster in The Best of Times-the 60thAnniversary Concert: Oct. 1987 at the Old Opera House on State Street