Cecii De Mille wrote the book for the operatic drama, "California," the music is by Robert Hood Bowers and the lyrics by Grant Stewart. The scene is set at a Spanish Mission, threatened by demolition as a result of the onward march of civilization in the form of a railroad. Twenty years ago there was an earthquake at the mission which destroyed a wing of the old building, killing all of the natives, except a little child. The child has become the idol of the mission. She is called "California" by the inmates. The inmates stand by her against the invaders. They plot to kill the engineer in charge of construction. In the meantime, the owner of the railroad has arrived, making himself known. The leader of the greasers decides he is to be held prisoner and hung with the young engineer. When the engineer arrives, "California" lavishes her affections on him so she can lure him to the greasers. But, he becomes so taken by her that he proposes. She is taken aback by his sincerity. As the men are about to hang him, California experiences a revulsion of feeling upon seeing how bravely he goes to his death. She vainly attempts to save him. It is only then when he asks why he is to be hung. He then gives orders to spare the mission and run the railroad around the property. O'Maliey Jennings, the only comedian, plays the Englishman. Leslie Leigh does extremely well as California. Harry Griffiths is the civil engineer, Francis K. Lieb is the leader of the natives and William Gordon plays the Padre of the mission.
Bowers has written an unusually melodious score, "I Love You, My Own," being particularly tuneful. The piece is put on beautifully.
Variety 24:12 (11/25/1911)