Behind the Curtain
Adelanta Musette, two copies of actors’ role books, circa 1870-1878
Actors’ role books, -1878, undated, Ms. Coll. 1143
These actors’ role books are part of a collection of about sixty handwritten books providing a glimpse into the world of nineteenth-century theater in the United States. The role books seem to have belonged to the actor Philip Augustus Anderson though some were copied by, or on behalf of, other performers of the day including Charlotte Crabtree, (1847-1924), more popularly known as Miss Lotta. Of the two copies of Adelanta Musette, one appears to have been copied by Philp Anderson for his own use and one was copied for Miss Lotta. Both have very specific instructions for the actors, replacing words or lines, or even altering stage directions.
McIsaac, F.J. The Tony Sarg Marionette Book. New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1921.
AC9 M1898 921t
Tony Sarg (1880–1942) was a German-American puppeteer who created marionettes. F.J. McIsaac spent a good bit of time with Tony Sarg while writing the book and says that Sarg “revealed some of the mysteries which make his marionette productions so different from ordinary puppet shows.” One such mystery revealed is how to make your marionette smoke … it requires the operator to take one for the team, so to speak.
Savoy Company. Staging score for Iolanthe, undated and photograph of a meeting of the cast, 1956.
Savoy Company records, 1901-2010, Ms. Coll. 905
The Savoy Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1901, is the oldest amateur theater company dedicated to the production of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Together, the duo consisting of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900), collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896. Here you will see a photograph of a meeting of the cast.
Stokowski, Leopold. Audition book, undated.
Leopold Stokowski papers, 1916-1994, Ms. Coll. 381
Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was a conductor who is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Even non-music folk might know him from his appearance in the film Fantasia. Throughout his career Stokowski showed a strong interest in young musicians, both women and men, auditioned thousands of them, and encouraged them in their careers. This audition notebook is arranged by orchestra part and includes Stokowski’s comments on and rating of each musician. The book is undated
but many people who auditioned for him remember it, and it was in use during Stokowski’s years with the American Symphony Orchestra, 1962-1972.
Winigrad, Allen J. Photographs of Leonard Bernstein conducting, 1976.
Allen J. Winigrad photographs of performing artists, 1973-1989, Ms. Coll. 110
Allen J. Winigrad was an amateur photographer and practicing dentist who was granted access to rehearsals at the Mann Music Center and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. He captured some of our most famous performers “behind the scenes,” documenting the hard work, practice, and joy of perfecting their art. Here we see Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist, working with an orchestra in Philadelphia in 1976.
Zemlinsky, Alexander. “In der Sonnengasse,” song for Alma Schindler, 1901 August 29.
Mahler-Werfel papers, circa 1880-2004, Ms. Coll. 575
This manuscript bears witness to private passions in the lives of Alma Schindler (later Mahler) (1879-1964) and the composer and conductor Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942). Alma started taking piano lessons from Alexander in 1900, and they fell in love the following year. Alexander composed this song for Alma; it is dated August 29, 1901, for Alma’s 22nd birthday on August 31. Later that year, she met Gustav Mahler and broke off her relationship with Alexander. At some point, the manuscript was torn in pieces, but Alma saved the fragments.