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Guide to the Lawrence Tibbett Collection ARS.0041
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Sponsor
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Arrangement note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lawrence Tibbett Collection
    Dates: 1929-1945
    Identifier/Call Number: ARS.0041
    Creator: Tibbett, Richard M.
    Collection size: 2.8 linear feet, 3 audio disc storage boxes for 12" sound discs; 1 small box with tape reel; 1 document storage box for miscellaneous documents
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries
    Stanford, California 94305-3076
    Abstract: The collection contains primarily sound recordings of performances of Lawrence Tibbett from recording sessions that occurred between 1929 and 1945. Some of the recordings are 12" vinyl 33 1/3 rpm microgroove discs, but most are 78 rpm shellac discs and 12" instantaneous discs. A few 10" 78 rpm single-sided test pressings, and 1 7" tape reel are also included. Written materials in the collection consist of a set of of 13 index cards with handwritten listings of the contents of tape reels in Tibbett's personal collection (tape reels not included in this collection), photocopies of published articles by Tibbett, and typed inventories of the collection which were prepared by the donor.
    Language of Material: English, German, Italian, French
    Location note: Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound Stanford University Libraries Stanford, California 94305-3076

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Collection is open for research. Listening appointments may require 24 hours notice. Contact the Archive Operations Manager.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    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.

    Preferred Citation note

    Lawrence Tibbett Collection, ARS.0041. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA.


    This collection has been processed under the auspices of the Council on Library and Information Resources with generous financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Born in Bakersfield, California (USA) on November 16, 1896, baritone Lawrence Tibbett began his career as an actor as well as a singer in performances of light operas and also in churches. Tibbett's teachers were Joseph Dupuy and Basil Ruysdael in Los Angeles and Frank La Forge and Ignaz Zitomirsky in New York. Tibbett's study in New York led to his Metropolitan Opera debut in the role of Lewicki in Boris Godunov in 1923. Following shortly after his Met debut he sang the role of Valentin in Faust. In 1925 Tibbett became an overnight sensation in the role of Ford in Falstaff, and he later assumed the title role. He eventually sang many leading Italian, French, German and American roles at the Met and remained a principal with the company for 27 seasons. He sang in the premières of Deems Taylor's The King's Henchman (1927) and Peter Ibbetson (1931), Louis Gruenberg's The Emperor Jones (1933), Howard Hanson's Merry Mount (1934) and John Laurence Seymour's In the Pasha's Garden (1935). The first Metropolitan Opera performances of Jonny spielt auf, Peter Grimes, Richard Hageman's Caponsacchi, as well as Simon Boccanegra and Khovanshchina also included Tibbett in the cast. His last appearance at the Met occurred in 1950 as Ivan in Khovanshchina. In 1936, along with violinist Jascha Heifetz, he founded the American Guild of Musical Artists, and served as its president for 17 years. Tibbett appeared in major opera houses around the U.S. and the world, including San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, London, Vienna and Prague, and at Covent Garden he created the title role in Eugene Goossens's Don Juan de Mañara (1937). In addition to performing on stage, Tibbett also sang frequently in radio performances during the early years of his career. Partly as a result of his striking good looks, as well as his dark, agile voice, Tibbett had significant success in film roles and light opera. He also appeared in Broadway stage productions, and his last Broadway role was in the musical comedy Fanny in 1956. His recordings for Victor sold in the millions. Among his best recordings are those of Verdi's Otello, in which he sang the role of Iago, and the live recording of his 1935 performance of La Traviata at the Met with Rosa Ponselle. Tibbett died in New York, on July 15, 1960.

    Scope and Contents note

    The Lawrence Tibbett Collection was assembled and donated by his son, Richard M. Tibbett. The recordings in the collection are primarily privately issued 12" sound discs, both 78 rpm and 33 1/3 rpm. The collection also includes 10" single-sided discs recorded for the Victor Company, 1 7" tape reel, and written materials consisting of a set of 13 index cards with handwritten notes in pencil, photocopies of pages from published articles by Tibbett, and photocopies of two typed inventory lists of the collection prepared by the donor.

    Arrangement note

    The collection is arranged by material type in five boxes as follows: (1) Vinyl and aluminum sound discs, arranged in chronological order by recording session date with undated materials at the end; (2-3) Shellac and instantaneous sound discs, arranged in chronological order by recording session date with undated materials at the end of Box 3; (4) 1 reel-to-reel tape; (5) 13 handwritten index cards with information about content of audio tapes in Tibbett's personal collection, none of which are included in this collection; typed and photocopied documents.

    Indexing Terms

    Arlen, Harold, 1905-1986
    Froman, Jane, 1907-1980
    Goodman, Al, 1890-1972
    Goossens, Eugene, 1893-1962
    Green, Bud, 1897-1981
    Gruenberg, Louis, 1884-1964
    Hanson, Howard, 1896-1981
    Hupfeld, Herman, 1894-1951
    Jaffe, Moe, 1901-1972
    Lange, Johnny, 1905-2006
    Margetson, E. J.
    Mercer, Johnny, 1909-1976
    Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.). Chorus.
    Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.). Orchestra.
    Newman, Alfred, 1901-1970
    Porter, Cole, 1891-1964
    Romberg, Sigmund, 1887-1951
    Seymour, John Laurence
    Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966
    Templeton, Alec, 1910-1963
    Tibbett, Lawrence, 1896-1960
    Weiskopf, Carroll
    Operas--19th century
    Operas--20th century
    Motion picture music--Excerpts
    Vocal duets with orchestra
    Popular music--1931-1940
    Popular music--1941-1950
    National songs--United States
    Radio program excerpts