Kentucky Opera Association Records, ca. 1952-(1964-1969)-1975

Descriptive Summary

Title
Kentucky Opera Association Records, ca. 1952-(1964-1969)-1975
Creator
Kentucky Opera Association
Extent
7 linear ft.
Repository
University of Louisville

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Kentucky Opera Association (KOA), a Louisville-based company, was founded and incorporated in 1952, for the purpose of bringing opera to the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A group of citizens under the direction of Moritz Bomhard, stimulated by the highly successful opera workshop performances of the University of Louisville School of Music, organized the KOA. The ties between the School of Music and the KOA remain close. In 1967, the Koa became a regional opera company.
A major portion of the records is material relating to Moritz Bomhard's involment in the KOA. Bomhard, the first and only artistic director of the KOA, was born in Germany, where he first studied law, then graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. He came to the United States in 1935, received a fellowship at Julliard School of Music, and a Master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Bomhard formed his own touring company, The New Lyric Stage, and in this capacity came to the University of Louisville School of Music to direct its operas. In 1952, he disbanded the touring company and settled in Louisville to organize the KOA. In 1960, he took a year's leave of absence to go to Hamburg's State Opera. Karlos Moser, of New York City, stood in during his absence. In 1963, Bomhard went as a representative of the Ford Foundation to Berlin to establish a cultural program. Louisville's "Salute to the Arts" honored him in 1966 as the "founding father of opera as an art form in this area." Bomhard is the only man to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Ursuline College. Since 1964, he has produced annually an opera for the Memphis (Tennessee) Opera Theatre.
Between 1961-1963, Moritz Bomhard planned, produced, and hosted "Excursion," a monthly WAVE-radio, non-commercial program series. These were developed to promote and stimulate "cultural permeation of everyday life as opposed to an esoteric hobby." Bomhard also produced and hosted a WAVE-television series, "Artist in Residence," in 1967, designed to give recognition to the importance of performing artists who lived in Louisville and to introduce them to the television audience. During the past twenty-seven years, the KOA has produced 72 operas. With few exceptions, all were designed, staged, and conducted by Moritz Bomhard.
Cast of the KOA productions are chosen from local and out-of-town singers. The opera orchestra is composed of members of the Louisville Orchestra. The range of operas staged go from the 18th century's "Orfeo and Eurydice," by Gluck. through the 20th century's "Katya Kabanova," by Janscek. Six commissioned operas were premiered by the KOA between 1954 and 1958. Five of these were part of a Rockefeller Foundation grant to the Louisville Orchestra. When WAVE-television and radio opened its new building in 1959, the station celebrated with a commissioned opera, "Beatrice," by Lee Hoiby. The KOA performed this opera and recorded it for the Louisville Orchestra Commissioned Series in 1960..
In 1952, KOA became a member of the Louisville Fund and still receives its major income from that source. An auxiliary organization of interested supporters, called the Friends of Opera, was founded in 1957. It serves in various volunteer capacities.
Scope and Content
The KOA records document the company from its founding in 1952 until the late 1960's. The overwhelming amount of material dates from 1964-1969.
The records are particularly relevant to the Louisville cultural community, for they trace the history of a one-man operation that developed into one of national recognition. These records are important because they establish the initial struggle in building support for a fledgling opera company, which is now flourishing and prosperous.
The collection contains evidence of the many aspects of opera production. The record group includes contracts, abstracts, photographs, material relating to public relations and the history of the company, and the personal and business correspondence of Moritz Bomhard. The Bomhard correspondence indicates the difficulties involved in operating an opera company. For example, the problems associated with settings and costume rentals, public relations in the day of society editors, and fund-raising are documented. There is extensive and detailed correspondence regarding orchestra schedules, casts, and contracts with singers and the American Guild of Musical Artists.
The records reflect the dedication and achievements of Moritz Bomhard, KOA's first and to date only artistic director.
There is little material relating to the financial affairs of the KOA. Minutes from meetings of the boards of directors are missing. There is no correspondence with Moritz Bomhard during his leave of absence, and there is no mention of Karlos Moser, who replaced Bomhard during that period.
The Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws are included. These provide factual information on the format of the opera company.
The photographs reveal the wide range of operas performed by the KOA. However, not every opera is represented. There is a unique picture of a performance (pre-KOA days) in the private amphitheatre of a local opera devotee.

Contents of the Collection

Articles of Incorportation and By-Laws, 1952

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Biography: Moritz Bomhard and Brief History of Kentucky Opera Association by Helen Leopold, 1967-1968

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Biographies: Singers, 1964-1967

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Building Operations and Maintenance (Storage and Rehearsal Use): Old Central High School, 1966-, former Collins' Estate Barn, 1970

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Chorus, 1969-1970

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Contracts: American Guild of Musical Artists (A.G.M.A.), 1964-1967

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Contracts: American Guild of Musical Artists (A.G.M.A.), 1967-1968

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Contracts: American Guild of Musical Artists (A.G.M.A.), 1968-1969

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Contracts: American Guild of Musical Artists (A.G.M.A.), 1969-1970

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Contract: Costumes, 1964-1967

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Contract: Fire Equipment Rental, 1968

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Contract: Opera Rental Rights, 1968

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Contract: Scenery, 1964-1967

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Contract: Scenery, 1968

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Contract: Scenery, 1969-1970

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Contracts: Singers, 1964-1967

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Contracts: Singers, 1967-1968

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Contracts: Singers, 1968-1969

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Correspondence, American Guild of Musical Artists, 1956-1966

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Correspondence, American Guild of Musical Artists, 1965-1966

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Correspondence, American Guild of Musical Artists, 1967-1968

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Correspondence, American Guild of Musical Artists, 1968-1969

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1957-1959

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1960-1964

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1965, no. 1

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1965, no. 2

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1966, no. 1

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1966, no. 2

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1967

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1968, no. 1

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1968, no. 2

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1969

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1969-1970

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Correspondence, Moritz Bomhard, 1970

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Correspondence, Music, 1964-1968

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Correspondence and Notes, WAVE Radio Series, "Excursion," hosted by Moritz Bomhard, 1961-1963

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Correspondence: WAVE Television Series, "Artist in Residence," hosted by Moritz Bomhard, 1967

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Denver Lyric Theatre, 1967

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Essays, Student Entries for "Jet to the Met" Contes't, 1967-1968

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History, Kentucky Opera Association Fact Sheet, 1968

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History, Kentucky Opera Association, 1969

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History and Background Reports, Kentucky Opera Association, 1953-1969

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Orchestra, 1958-1966

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Orchestra, 1967

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Orchestra, 1968

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Ledger compiled by Moritz Bomhard, 1952-1958

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Moritz Bomhard, Appointment Calendars, 1956, 1959

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Opera for Students, Proposal, n.d.

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Publicity, Amster & Associates Public Relations and Editorial Services, 1968

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Publicity, Company and Magazine, 1961-1969

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Publicity, Community Ad Page, 1968

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Publicity, Composite of Courier-Journal articles, reviews of KOA productions, 1952-1959

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Publicity, Newspapers, 1967-1969

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Publicity, Radio and Television, 1964-1969

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Publicity, Spot Announcements, n.d.

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Photographs, Early Amphitheatre Opera Performances (Pre-KOA), 1948

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Photographs, Cosa Fan Tutte, 1951

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Photographs, The Telephone, [1952 or 1953]

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Photographs, L'Heure Espagnole, 1953

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Photographs, Television KOA Operas, 1952-1954

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Photographs, The Marriage of Figaro, 1955

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Photographs, Street Scene, 1957

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Photographs, Don Giovanni, 1957

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Photographs, La Traviata, 1957

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Photographs, Rigoletto, 1958

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Photographs, Hansel and Gretel, 1959

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Photographs, Orpheus in the Underworld, 1959

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Photographs, KOA Commissioned Operas, 1953-1959

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Photographs, Carmina Buvona, Down in the Valley, Barber of Seville, 1961

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Photographs, Aida, Tosca, 1962

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Photographs, Masked Ball, La Bohéme, 1965

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Photographs, Faust, 1966

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Photographs, Orpheus and Eurydice, La Traviata, 1967

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Photographs, Pagliacci, Don Giovanni, 1967

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Auditions, Bowling Green, 1967

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1. Promotion, 1970-1971

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2. Program Adds, 1972-1973

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3. Publicity, 1969-1970

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4. Friends of the Opera, 1970-1972

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5. Lyman Martin Memorial, 1971

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6. Louisville Orchestra, 1969-1973

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7. Louisville Theatrical Association, former Macauley Theatre, Inc.), 1963-1975

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8. Macauley Theatre, former Performing Arts Commission, through 1973

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9. Memphis Opera Theatre Correspondence, 1964-1967

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10. Music Correspondence, 1969-1972

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11. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1970-1974

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12. Board of Directors Correspondence, 1970-1975

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13. Board of Directors Members, Minutes, 1972-1975

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14. Central Opera Service, 1970-1974

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15. Music Brochures, Publishers' Catalogs, New Translations, Scores, ca. 1973-1975

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16. National Endowment for the Arts, Applications/Correspondence, through 1974

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17. National Endowment for the Arts, Publications/News Releases, through 1974

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18. NEA March Visit, 1974

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1. Reviews, 1961-1969

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2. Clippings, 1971-1972

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3. Reviews, 1970-1971

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4. Reviews, 1973-1974

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5. News Releases, 1975-1976

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6. Clippings, 1974-1975

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7. "Don Pasquale," December, 1972, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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8. "Macbeth," January, 1971, prints

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9. "La Boheme," March, 1973, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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10. "Don Pasquale," 1968 Tour, prints

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11. "Aida," October, 1972, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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12. "Madame Butterfly," 1969-1970, prints

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13. "Romeo and Juliet," December 1969-1970, prints

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14. "Lucia di Lammermoor," 1969-1970, prints

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15. "Carmen," December, 1970-1971, prints

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16. "Don Giovanni," 1967-1968, print

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17. "Boris Godunov," February, 1968, print

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18. "Rigoletto," December, 1971, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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19. "Die Fledermaus," January, 1972, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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20. "Tosca," March, 1974, prints and negatives

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21. "Adriadne auf Noxos," 1969, prints

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22. "Bartered Bride," February, 1969, prints

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23. "Rape of Lucretia," March, 1971, prints

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24. "Turandot," October, 1971, contact sheets and prints

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25. "Barber of Seville," October, 1970, print

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26. Miscellaneous Portrait Prints

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27. Kentucky Arts Commission, 1974-1975

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28. Copyright Legislation, 1972-1974

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29. Opera America, before 1973

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30. Past O.P.E.R.A. National Meetings, 1970-1971

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31. O.P.E.R.A. Meeting and Auditions, 1971

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32. O.P.E.R.A. Annual Meeting, 1973

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33. O.P.E.R.A. Auditions, 1975

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34. OPERA America, Inc. General Information Survey, 1974

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35. OPERA America, Annual Meeting, 1974

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36. OPERA America, Comparative Income Analysis, 1974

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37. United Scenic Arts, 1975

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38. Proposed Pension Plan, 1975

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39. OPERA America, 1975

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40. "Faust," February, 1976, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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41. "Katya Kabanova," January, 1976, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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42. "Carmina Burana, Il Tabarro," January, 1975, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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43. "Figaro," November, 1975, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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44. "Flying Dutchman," November, 1974, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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45. "Salome," 1975, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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46. "Cosi Fan Tutte," September, 1974, contacts sheets, prints, and negatives

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47. "La Traviata," 1975, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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48. Clippings, 1975-1976

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49. "Jenufa," January, 1973, contact sheets, negatives, and prints

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50. "Susannah," January, 1974, contact sheets and negatives

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51. "Abduction from the Seraglio," November, 1973, contact sheets, prints, and negative

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52. "Otello," September, 1973, contact sheets, prints, and negatives

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53. Courier-Journal Grant, 1972-1976

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54. Promotion Ideas/Notes, 1975-1976

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55. 1974-1975 General Season Clippings

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1. Memphis Opera Theatre, 1967-1968

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2. IRS Documents, 501(c)B Status, 1970

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3. Orchestra, 1974-1975

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4. Applications, Composers, Conductors, Pianists, 1968-1974

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5. Orchestra, 1969-1975

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6. Correspondence With Other Opera Companies, through 1974

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7. Patrons, 1965-1966

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8. Richard Owens, American Institute of Musical Studies, 1971-1973

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9. Applications, Stage Director, 1972-1975

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10. Applications, Administrative/Managerial, to 1975

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11. Corbett Foundation, 1970-1972

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12. "Action for the Arts," 1970

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13. AGMA Contracts, 1976-1977

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14. AGMA Contracts, 1975-1976

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15. AGMA Contracts, 1973-1974

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16. AGMA Contracts, 1972-1973

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17. AGMA Contracts, 1971-1972

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18. AGMA Contracts, 1970-1971

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19. AGMA Correspondence, 1969-1975

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20. Ford Foundation, 1971-1975

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21. Promotion, 1966-1967

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22. Regional Opera Survey, 1967-1970

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23. Rental, through 1973

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24. Schools, 1955-1969

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25. Terstegge Memorial Donations, 1966

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26. Terry Memorial Contributions, 1970

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27. Robert Driver, 1968-1971

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28. University of Louisville, 1964-1973

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29. Young Artists Promotions, Inc., Correspondence, 1964

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1. New York Auditions, 1971

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2. New York Auditions, 1972

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3. Promotion, 1971-1972

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4. Louisville Fund, 1968-1975

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5. Finances, 1965-1968

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6. Credit Plans, 1969-1970

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7. Financial Records, 1958-1963

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8. Singer (Performers) Correspondence, 1974

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9. New York Auditions, 1973

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10. Auditions, 1973-1975

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11. New York Auditions, 1974

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12. Singer (Peformers) Correspondence,

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13. Barbara Daniels, 1973

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1. Programs, 1979/1980 Season

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2. Programs, 1976/1977 Season

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3. Programs, 1975/1976 Season

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4. Programs, 1974/1975 Season

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5. Programs, 1973

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6. Programs, 1972

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7. Programs, 1971

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8. Programs, 1970

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9. Programs, 1969

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10. Programs, 1968

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11. Programs, 1966

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12. Programs, 1965

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13. Programs, 1964

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14. Programs, 1963

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15. Programs, 1962

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16. Programs, 1961

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17. Libretto, Friends of the Opera Newsletter, 1972-1976

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18. Miscellaneous printed items.

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