John W. Ehrle, 1921
B.S., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 1981
A light opera singer, John W. Ehrle started his career in the theater as the leading man of the southern company of “Desert Song.” He and his wife Electa subsequently rose to fame as signing stars on Broadway and on tour in such operettas as “Castles in the Air,” “New Moon,” Joe Cook’s “Fine and Dandy” with Eleanor Powell, “Face the Music” with Mary Boland, “Student Prince,” “Blossom Time” with John Charles Thomas, “Irene,” “Peggy Be Careful,” “Katinka,” “Triple-Crossed,” “Chocolate Soldier,” “Bitter Sweet,” Merry Widow” opposite Helen Gahagan, and on national tour with “Great Waltz,” “Wild Violets,” “Roberta,” and “H.M.S Pinafore.”
He also opened the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company and appeared several seasons with them both in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
After playing a season in St. Louis with the “Muni” Opera, “granddaddy” of all outdoor operettas, he established a Toledo Civic Light Opera Company for a 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheater where he managed, produced, and performed until his career was interrupted for military service and later development work at Denison and in Toledo.
Since his retirement, he has continued his singing career at Leisure World in California where he lives, performing with Electa in musical shows of his own production for audiences in the area.