Blog topic: New acquisitions

Blanche Thebom as Laura, in La Gioconda

Thebom Collection additions

The Archive of Recorded Sound recently processed a number of important additions to the Blanche Thebom Collection (ARS.0059), courtesy of Phyllis Villec, a close friend of Thebom's for many years. These additions include a substantial number of programs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, and personal documents spanning the mezzo-soprano's career.  

James R. Lilley papers now available

June 17, 2014
by Glynn Edwards

James Roderick Lilley (1928-2009) was an American diplomat who was the ambassador to China during the time of the Tiananmen Square protests. The youngest of three children, he was born to American parents in China and was educated in American schools there until he returned to the US in 1940. After graduation from Yale University in 1951, he was employed by the CIA from 1951-1978 and worked in various Asian countries. He served as director of the American Institute in Taiwan from 19981-1984, Ambassador to South Korea from 1986-1989, and Ambassador to China from 1989-1991. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1991-1993, and upon retirement from government service worked at the American Enterprise Institute. His memoir China Hands: nine decades of adventure, espionage, and diplomacy in Asia was published in 2004.

French Opera and Ballet Libretti

May 28, 2014
by Mimi Tashiro

The Stanford Libraries recently acquired a collection of 214 libretti of French opera and ballets in first and early editions, from the 17th-19th centuries. The major concentration is in 18th-century material, with significant representation of the works of major composers of the period, Dalayrac, Duni, Grétry, Lully, Monsigny, Philidor, Alexandre Piccinni and Nicolas Piccinni. The inclusion of first and early editions provides the opportunity for comparison of first performances and revivals. Libretti are important records of performance history, often including details such as names of the cast, choreographers, set designers, dancers, and other musicians involved in the production.

Donald Pippin

English opera librettos now available from the Donald Pippin Collection

April 3, 2014
by Ray Heigemeir

Since 1952 Donald Pippin has been a part of the musical life of San Francisco. He is best known as the founder of Pocket Opera, which started in 1977 with the purpose of making opera more accessible to the average concert goer by presenting opera in unique English language translations with a small chamber ensemble. The Donald Pippin Collection consists primarily of Pippin's English translations of opera librettos available as pdf files.

Agamemnon, Opera des Dames

November 6, 2014
by Mimi Tashiro

A manuscript fair copy of the text an otherwise unrecorded work, Agamemnon, opéra des dames, Poëme heroique, don’t les paroles et la musique ont fait l’amusement d’un Particulier Vieux Stil, was recently acquired. It is believed to have originated in the second half of the eighteenth century and was apparently performed in Paris, “La Feste est au bord de la Seine près des Thuilleries” to mark the end of recent hostilities.

Verdi and Wagner Purchases

March 31, 2014
by Mimi Tashiro

2013 marked the 200th birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. The Music Library purchased a number of out-of-print and rare scores of works by both composers, and books by and about Wagner. The Wagner works include his Die Kunst und die Revolution (Leipzig, 1849) and Deutscher Kunst und deutsche Politik (Leipzig, 1868), Julius Lang’s Zur Versöhnung des Judenthums mit Richard Wagner (Berlin, 1869), and Hermann Schneider’s Richard Wagner und das germanische Altertum (Tübingen, 1939). Arrangements for piano, 2-hands including overtures to Christoph Columbus (Leipzig, 1908), Faust (Leipzig, 189?), and König Enzio (Leipzig & London, 1908), and a score of Lohengrin in French (Paris 1891) were also acquired. All of the Wagner materials are described in Significant Acquisitions 2012-2013, on the Music Library’s web page.

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