March 6, 2012

CCLaP Rare: "Der Rosenkavalier" libretto and program, Chicago Civic Opera Company

Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto and program of 'Der Rosenkavalier,' circa 1922-1931

Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto and program of 'Der Rosenkavalier,' circa 1922-1931

Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto and program of 'Der Rosenkavalier,' circa 1922-1931

Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto and program of 'Der Rosenkavalier,' circa 1922-1931

Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto and program of 'Der Rosenkavalier,' circa 1922-1931

Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto and program of 'Der Rosenkavalier,' circa 1922-1931

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Chicago Civic Opera Company libretto of "Der Rosenkavalier"
Circa 1922-1931

DESCRIPTION: The Chicago Civic Opera Company lasted just a short time, from 1922 to 1931 altogether, formed out of the ashes of the Chicago Grand Opera Company, which dissolved after losing the support of a small number of key private backers. Its most lasting legacy is undoubtedly the creation of the Chicago Civic Opera House, currently the second largest opera facility in the US (behind the Metropolitan in New York), and home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago since the mid-1950s; originally planned to be paid for over decades with rents from the Art Deco skyscraper's worth of offices built directly above it, it unfortunately opened less than a month after the stock market crash of 1929, the opera company itself bankrupt less than four years later.

This is a dual-language (English/German) libretto of their production of Richard Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" from those same years, although the most recent date found within is 1912, the latest copyright date from Adolph Furstner, Europe-based publisher of Strauss's work. Printed in New York by Fred Rullman, Inc., originally an opera ticket broker who expanded into inexpensive "scripts" for various groups from around the nation; they put out such scores and librettos at least from the 1890s through 1960s, and maybe even older and newer than that. To save on costs, these librettos were generally the same on the interior from one production to the next; the company would then print a cheap paper cover with that specific company's production information printed on the outside, sold in the lobby of that particular opera house during that particular run. This particular copy includes lovely ads for Steinway Pianos, Roger & Gallet Parfumeurs, and the Rullman ticket agency itself on its front and back covers.

CONDITION: Good Minus (G-), with numerous small tears and folds in the fragile paper cover, pages slightly yellowing on their edges. Not originally designed for posterity, this is in delicate condition.

PROVENANCE: Donated by the Stark Family of Chicago's Hyde Park, affiliated with the neighborhood Unitarian Church through its popular choir, to an arts organization called the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP), October 15th, 2011. Purchased on that same day by Jason Pettus.

PRICE: US$30

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:46 PM, March 6, 2012. Filed under: CCLaP Rare | Literature | Literature:Nonfiction | Profiles |