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San Diego Opera Guild Records, 1939-2000Add to your cart. | Special Collections & University Archives

Title: San Diego Opera Guild Records, 1939-2000Add to your cart.
ID: MS-0476
Extent: 25.59 Linear Feet
Predominant Dates: 1955-1974
expand icon Historical Note

The San Diego Opera Guild (SDOG) was a non-profit organization founded in 1950 by thirty San Diegans interested in enriching San Diego's cultural community through promoting appreciation and support for opera, especially music, drama and other associated performing arts.  Starting in 1951, the SDOG sponsored performances in San Diego of San Francisco Opera Company productions.  Sponsoring between one and three performances a year, the productions were so well received by the local community that the arrangement continued for 15 years.

In 1963 a committee comprised of SDOG members studied the feasibility of ending the relationship with San Francisco Opera, and instead forming an opera company in San Diego.  With financial difficulties forcing the San Francisco Opera Company to cancel its tours, as well as the opening of the new Civic Theatre in San Diego scheduled for 1965, the Guild voted to establish the San Diego Opera (SDO) in 1964.  They hired Walter Herbert, formerly of the San Francisco Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and an internationally-recognized conductor and opera administrator, as Artistic Director.  Herbert became General Director in 1969.

The new San Diego Opera's activities were largely governed by the San Diego Opera Guild during these years.  In 1966 a separate Board, San Diego Opera, Inc., responsible to the Guild Board, was created to replace the Guild's Production Committee, and handle all problems related to the production of operas, including fiscal and liability issues.  The Guild Board continued to work at such activities as fundraising with the Combined Arts and Education Council of San Diego County (COMBO), outreach and education especially via the Youth Opera Program, and numerous other outreach programs and projects.

By 1970, the Guild boasted over 2300 members.  In 1974, with the San Diego Opera experiencing steady success and sell-out performances, the San Diego Opera Guild was dissolved in the interest of streamlining operations and introducing public memberships.  The San Diego Opera Association, a new entity which took on the responsibilities both of the Guild and of San Diego Opera, Inc., was formed at that time.

expand icon Arrangement

I. Administrative Files, 1950-2000

     a.) General Files, 1950-2000

     b.) Minutes, 1950-1988

     c.) Opera Season Books, 1954-1964

     d.) Membership Rosters, 1953-1974

     e.) Artist Card File, n.d.

II. Programs and Publications, 1939-1977

III. Photographs, 1965-1974

     a.) Production Photographs, 1965-1974

     b.) Workshops and Events, 1973-1974

IV. Scrapbooks

expand icon Administrative Information
Acquired: 2008. 2008-029
Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Rights: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Note: San Diego History Center
Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, San Diego Opera Guild Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Collection Material Type: Official Records
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