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The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- A Selective Mapleson -- Bibliography
- Illustrations


Album cover: A painting (artist unknown) of the interior of the Metropolitan Opera House around the turn of the century, showing the final scene of Gounod's Faust in progress on stage. In both this picture and that on the booklet cover, note the position of the conductor, close to the stage apron with his back to many of the orchestra players, and also the doors in the proscenium arch, used for curtain calls.

Booklet cover: Curtain call after a Faust performance in the 1894/95 season; the singers are Edouard De Reszke, Nellie Melba, and Jean De Reszke. This engraving (after a drawing by T. De Thulstrup) appeared on the cover of Harper's Weekly, February 16, 1895.

Pages 4, 6, 8: Lionel Mapleson was a dedicated photography enthusiast and maintained his own darkroom. One day, probably in late 1901 or early 1902, six pictures were taken backstage at the Metropolitan Opera: five were of Lionel, probably taken by his wife Helen; he himself probably took the sixth (reproduced in part on page 8), in which she is seen in front of the recording apparatus. The entire series is reproduced with commentary in Recorded Sound, 82 (July 1982), pp. 47-50. The originals were made on 4-inch by 5-inch glass negatives, most or all of which evidently came to William Seltsam with his batch of cylinders, but so far only one of the glass negatives has been located.

Page 12: Figure 3 by Steven Mark Needham

Pages 14ff.: The visual documentation of the artists in this booklet has been drawn entirely from the general period of the Mapleson recordings. Without exception, all the photographs illustrating the biographies and program notes were produced roughly between 1895 and 1905. Most of them are the work of Aimé Dupont who, although not always designated as the Metropolitan Opera's official photographer, served in that capacity from 1895 until 1910, when Herman Mishkin arrived at the house. Familiar Mishkin photographs such as those of Antonio Scotti in Tosca and Pagliacci have been excluded as having the appearance of another era.

Among the portraits in the booklet, the following are not by Dupont:

Melba as Marguerite (p. 22): Reutlinger (Paris)

Edouard De Reszke as Méphistophélès: J. Mieczkowski (Warsaw)

Melba as Marguerite (p. 24): Davis & Sanford (New York)

Edouard and Jean De Reszke in Le Cid; Edouard De Reszke in Ernani: Benque (Paris)

Gilibert as Sulpice: Davis & Eickemeyer (New York)

Gadski as Elsa: G. Gerlach (Berlin)

Gadski as Eva: W. Hoffert (Berlin)

Jean De Reszke as Siegfried: Nadar (Paris)

Ternina as Isolde (p. 66): Elvira (Munich)

Begué, Maurer, Van Cauteren, Viviani, Von Hübbenet, Nordica as Valentine and as Brünnhilde, Sembrich as Violetta: unknown


New York Public Library: Gadski as Elsa, Nordica as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, Mapleson with recording equipment

Harvard Theatre Collection: Sembrich as Violetta

Opera News: Album cover, Begué, Mühlmann, Nordica, Saléza, Ternina, Seppilli, Scheff as Marguerite, Melba as Violetta. De Marchi as Cavaradossi

Metropolitan Opera Archives: Booklet cover, Gerhäuser, Marilly, Van Cauteren, Vanni, De Marchi as Radames, Eames as Aida, Anthes as Siegfried, Metropolitan Opera programs

Theatre Collection of the Museum of the City of New York: Edouard and Jean De Reszke in Le Cid

James Camner: Scheff

Charles Mintzer: Von Hübbenet

Henry Y. Porter: Nordica as Valentine

William Seward: Saléza as Edgardo

Robert Tuggle: all other photographs

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