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Guide to the Opera Air Check Recordings Collection
PA Mss 91  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Opera Air Check Recordings collection
    Dates: 1937-1956
    Collection number: PA Mss 91
    Collector: University of California, Santa Barbara. Archive of Recorded Vocal Music
    Collection Size: 4 linear feet (350 record discs).
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Abstract: 350 instantaneous disc air check recordings of mostly Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera live performance broadcasts (in addition to other, unnamed orchestras) from 1937 to 1956. Because the provenance of these discs is not known, they have been retained, though duplicate recordings of these performances may be held elsewhere.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Use governed by UCSB Special Collections policy.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Opera Air Check Recordings collection. PA Mss 91, Department of Special Collections, University Libraries, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Provenance unknown

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Opera Air Check Recordings collection comprises air checks of mostly Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera live perfomance broadcasts on recorded instantaneous discs, from 1937 to 1956, in addition to other unnamed orchestras from the same time period. Some of the conductors represented in these recordings include Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, and Sir Thomas Beecham. Singers include Lauritz Melchior, Ezio Pinza, Jan Peerce, Lily Pons, Licia Albanese, Ljuba Welitsch, Zinka Milanov, among others. Many of these broadcasts were sponsored by the Texas Company (Texaco) and carried on the Blue Network, with announcements and commentary by Milton Cross.


    The collection has been divided into the following series: I. Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, II. San Francisco Opera broadcasts, III. Miscellaneous broadcasts, IV. Sponsored broadcasts (not Texaco), V. Re-recordings.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Albanese, Licia.
    Beecham, Thomas, Sir,1879-1961.
    Cross, Milton, 1897-1975.
    Melchior, Lauritz.
    Milanov, Zinka.
    Peerce, Jan, 1904-1984
    Pinza, Ezio.
    Pons, Lily, 1898-1976.
    Welitsch, Ljuba.
    Toscanini, Arturo, 1867-1957.
    Walter, Bruno,1876-1962.
    Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.).
    San Francisco Opera.
    Texas Company.