Scope and Contents
Title: Blanche Thebom Collection
Collection number: ARS.0059
Archive of Recorded Sound
The Blanche Thebom Collection has three major components. The first is scores, correspondence, publicity, production notes,
and media from her post-Met career as teacher and director. Secondly, there are published and unpublished sound recordings
of Thebom. Lastly, the collection also retains Thebom's extensive archive of printed music.
Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.
Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for
Blanche Thebom Collection, ARS-0059. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford,
Operatic mezzo-soprano Blanche Thebom was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania in 1915, and began her formal concert career in 1941.
She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera through 1967, known for her roles in Wagnerian epics. During this period she also
toured extensively, including being the first American to perform at the Bolshoi in Moscow. In 1967 she was appointed head
of The Atlanta Opera Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Following that experience, Thebom taught at the University of Arkansas in
Little Rock. In 1980 she moved to San Francisco and directed an opera workshop at San Francisco State University, and founded
the Opera Arts Training Program in 1988 in conjunction with the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Thebom passed away in March 2010
at the age of 94.
Scope and Contents
The bulk of the Blanche Thebom Collection contains scores, publicity, correspondence, notes, and media from her many years
as a theatrical director. Included are business records and production materials from the Atlanta Opera Company, production
materials from the operas and puppet shows she directed at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock, and some files from her
stint teaching at San Francisco State University. The largest portion of this collection is devoted to Thebom's own printed
music collection, intact and in the order she kept it. Outside of some ephemera from her many tours abroad, there is little
material from her time performing with the Metropolitan Opera, nor is there much in the way of personal correspondence. Thebom
also did not keep a diary, nor did she intend to write a memoir. However, the collection does hold many recordings from this
era, including test pressings from her years recording for RCA (some with unissued takes), as well as almost 150 unique recordings
on fragile instantaneous discs, several from the 1930's.
Thebom, Blanche -- Archives
Atlanta Opera Company (Atlanta, Ga.).
University of Arkansas at Little Rock.