When Fred Scharmer returned from World War II, he told his wife, Ida, that he wanted to experience a different type of drama than that he had known on the battlefield, and had the idea of starting an acting group. She had been playing and singing Gilbert and Sullivan with the Guild of Seven Arts, and before the war they had both performed with the Little Theater of Noroton. They agreed to found a new group with Ida finding the women and Fred, the men, and in 1946 Troupers Light Opera began performing in homes throughout Darien. By 1950 Troupers had become so popular that they recruited members of the Norwalk Symphony for the orchestra and began building sets for the performances.
Today Troupers is a large enterprise, encompassing an orchestra nearing 40 and more than 50 performers and backstage personnel. Talented performers from throughout the tri-state area audition, and Troupers welcomes new members each year.
Our founder, Frederic Scharmer was an artist, sculptor, singer and actor and performed nearly all the leading baritone roles with us during his long life. Here he is shown performing in our 2006 cabaret. He last performed with us in the chorus of GondoliersI in 2010. Fred passed away in 2011 at the age of 99.