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Guide to the Blanche Thebom Collection ARS.0059
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Publication Rights
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Blanche Thebom Collection
    Dates: 1934-2003
    Collection number: ARS.0059
    Creator: Thebom, Blanche
    Collection size: 85 boxes
    Contributing Institution: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Abstract: 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 Secondly, there are published and unpublished sound recordings of Thebom.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.

    Publication Rights

    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 assistance.

    Preferred Citation

    Blanche Thebom Collection, ARS-0059. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    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.

    Indexing Terms

    Thebom, Blanche -- Archives
    Atlanta Opera Company (Atlanta, Ga.).
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
    Puppet theater