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San Diego Opera Guild Records, 1939-2000 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: San Diego Opera Guild Records, 1939-2000Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1955-1974

Primary Creator: San Diego Opera Guild (1950-1974)

Extent: 25.59 Linear Feet

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

Date Acquired: 00/00/2008. More info below under Accruals.

Forms of Material: Ephemera, Organizational Records, Photographs, Slides

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The San Diego Opera Guild Records (1939-2000) documents the organization and activities of the San Diego Opera Guild (SDOG), the early growth and development of San Diego Opera, and the productions brought to San Diego by the SDOG.  It includes annual reports, clippings, correspondence, reviews, minutes, programs, photographs, and scrapbooks.  The collection consists of four major series: Administrative Files (1950-2000), Programs and Publications (1939-1977), Photographs (1965-1974), and Scrapbooks. The Administrative Files have five sub-series:  General Files (1950-2000), Minutes (1950-1988), Opera Season Books (1954-1964), Membership Rosters (1953-1974), and Artist Card File (n.d.).  The Photographs are filed in two sub-series: Production Photographs (1965-1974) and Workshops and Events (1973-1974).

The Administrative Files (1950-2000) include four subseries: General Files (1950-2000), Minutes (1950-1988), Opera Season Books (1954-1964), Membership Rosters (1953-1974), and Artist Card File (n.d.).   These files document the SDOG's work in bringing opera performances to San Diego, and in part the early growth and development of San Diego Opera.  The bulk of materials date from 1955 to 1974.  The General Files (1950-2000) document regular SDOG operations, and include annual reports, some clippings, budgets and financial documents, correspondence, and information on fundraising.   It is filed alphabetically by file name.  The Minutes (1950-1988) document the discussions and actions of SDOG itself, as well as the Production Committee, and the SDOG's Board of Directors.  Minutes are filed chronologically.  The Opera Season Books (1954-1964) document SDOG's early work in bringing various operatic productions to San Diego.  Each book details one show, and includes information on publicity, events, committee reports, treasurer's reports, and ticket sales information.  They are filed chronologically.  The Membership Rosters (1953-1974) document SDOA's membership and committee service.  Created annually, each roster is a booklet which contains information on SDOA officers, the board of directors, various committees, the SDO's season for that year, and an alphabetical listing of all SDOA members.  Rosters are filed chronologically.  The Artist Card File (n.d.) is filed alphabetically by artist's name, and includes a listing of which productions and roles each individual played.

The Programs and Publications (1939-1977) document productions staged at numerous west coast opera companies, and opera in the US in general.   They usually include general background information about individual shows, photos of the production, a cast list, biographies of actors and production staff, the name of the production's theater, background information about the show, and advertisements.  Separate programs are sometimes included for San Francisco Opera productions that were performed both in Los Angeles and San Diego.  Programs are filed chronologically.

The Photographs (1965-1974) include two subseries: Production Photographs (1965-1974) and Workshops and Events (1973-1974).  The series documents some of the special events and programming organized by SDOA, and the opera productions performed in San Diego.  The Production Photographs (1965-1974) document finished San Francisco Opera performances as they were staged in San Diego.  The subseries contains production stills only, and is filed chronologically.  The Workshops and Events (1973-1974) subseries documents some of the special events and supplementary programming organized by SDOG.  Photographs are filed chronologically.

The Scrapbooks consist of numerous scrapbooks documenting Guild history, activities, programs, and social events, as well as the operas the Guild brought to San Diego.  Clippings, photos, and other materials documenting the Guild's early existence, including original board members, are included.

Biographical 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.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 2008-029

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: 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 Source: San Diego History Center

Related Materials:

San Diego Opera Association Records (MS-0474)

San Diego Opera Office Records (MS-0477)

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.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Administrative Files, 1950-2000],
[Series 2: Programs and Publications, 1939-1977],
[Series 3: Photographs, 1965-1974],
[Series 4: Scrapbooks],
[All]

Series 2: Programs and Publications, 1939-1977Add to your cart.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Los Angeles Season of the San Francisco Opera, 1939-1946Add to your cart.
Box 17Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Los Angeles Season of the San Francisco Opera, 1950-1955Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Metropolitan Opera House, 1928-1963Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, 1931Add to your cart.
Folder 4: San Diego Season of the San Francisco Opera, 1952-1966Add to your cart.
Folder 5: San Diego Season of the San Francisco Opera, 1952-1966Add to your cart.
Folder 6: San Diego Opera, 1965-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 7: San Francisco Opera, 1957-1960Add to your cart.
Box 18Add to your cart.
Folder 1: San Francisco Opera, 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 2: San Francisco Opera, 1962-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Special Concerts, 1960-1972Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Student Performances, 1966-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Opera Briefs, 1955-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Opera Briefs, 1970-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Applause, 1972-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Opera News, 1973Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Administrative Files, 1950-2000],
[Series 2: Programs and Publications, 1939-1977],
[Series 3: Photographs, 1965-1974],
[Series 4: Scrapbooks],
[All]


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