Depuis le Library Conference


So I’m going to a conference today about libraries and I’m reading up on the speakers, and oh wait, what’s this, one of them works at the freakin’ Metropolitan Opera Library!!!  Tanisha Mitchell, a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, works as a music librarian in three different NY libraries, and get this, she sings opera too!  That profile on her includes a link to an unlisted YouTube video of her singing “Depuis le Jour” from Gustave Charpentier‘s 1900 opera Louise…  so here’s Leontyne Price performing the same aria at the Hollywood Bowl in 1958:


Oh man, I am going to have to geek out about opera with her…

Speaking of the Met Opera and libraries, here’s the Met Opera Online Database, with archival materials, histories of Met performers, and statistics on house repertory.  Not the most user-friendly interface, but tons of great info laying in wait…  If you want to just jump in and look at pictures, I recommend clicking on “New Photo” on the left sidebar; lots of good jumping off points from there!

After a bit of scrounging around, I did find some information on the Met premiere of Louise, in 1921.  No pictures or designs, sadly, but there is a full-text review by Richard Aldrich of the New York Times:

For the first time Charpentier’s opera of “Louise” was given at the matinee performance at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday. The audience was very large and full of curiosity and interest to witness a performance in which Mme. Farrar made her first appearance as the wayward heroine, and Messrs. Harrold and Whitehill and Mme. Bérat took the other leading parts. It was apparently pleased with the results and was liberal in its applause.

Geraldine Farrar as Tosca at the Met, 1909

Geraldine Farrar as Tosca at the Met, 1909