[Blanche Thebom as Laura, in La Gioconda]
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, 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.
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 in Atlanta, Little Rock, and San Francisco. Secondly, there are published and unpublished sound recordings of Thebom. Lastly, the collection also retains Thebom's extensive archive of printed music.
The finding aid for this collection was produced by Franz Kunst, ARS Project Archivist, and was funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. All available finding aids for ARS collections are accessible via the Online Archive of California.