Category Archives: Opera & Classical Music Memorabilia
Rare and unique memorabilia items related to opera, classical music and ballet – usually items we recently acquired. They could be available for sale or not
Beautiful Memorabilia sold by the Met
Probably the most popular and celebrated memorabilia items associated with the Metropolitan Opera are pieces of the ornate Sputnik Chandeliers hanging in the main auditorium (see images). Now that the Met Opera is replacing these crystals with new ones, the old ones are for sale as souvenirs at the Met shop.
According to the website of the Metropolitan Opera Shop – the exclusive seller of these items – “The Metropolitan Chandelier, made of hand-cut Swarovski crystals, is inspired by the “Sputnik” chandeliers designed for the Metropolitan Opera House by Hans Harald Rath of J. & L. Lobmeyr, Vienna. The original chandeliers, given to the Met in 1966 by the Austrian government, are among the best- loved and most recognizable features of the opera house.
In addition to pieces of these chandeliers, the Met Opera Shop sells several varieties of original wall sconces in various sizes and dimensions also created for the Met’s 1966 opening season at Lincoln Center. These too consist of Swarovski crystals by the same designer.
Tamino Autographs is happy to spotlight the sale of this unique type of opera memorabilia items as part of our own tribute to the Metropolitan Opera’s 50th anniversary season at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Renata Tebaldi – Signed Handkerchief from Otello
Top: frame with Renata Tebaldi signed handkerchief used in Otello, with autographs photos by Tebaldi (left), Del Monaco (right) in Otello, and a cast page from a program (center top). Bottom: a larger view of the signed handkerchief.
Collecting opera and classical music memorabilia not always focuses strictly on the usual autograph photos, letters, books, programs and playbills. Over the years, we have seen many unusual items that can become treasured collectibles by the music fan. They include signed ballet pointe shoes, conductor´s batons – signed and unsigned -, magazine ads, violins and other music instruments, pieces of the old Metropolitan Opera building (will say more about this in a future posting), and even a signed fan.Top: frame with Renata Tebaldi signed handkerchief used in Otello, with autographs photos by Tebaldi (left), Del Monaco (right) in Otello, and a cast page from a program (center top). Bottom: a larger view of the signed handkerchief.
Our collection is on display in our offices, and it includes this handkerchief signed by star soprano Renata Tebaldi (1922-2004) after a performance of Otello in 1964, the very same handkerchief she used on stage at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Otello was dear to Tebaldi since it was the opera of her debut at the Met in January 1955. We framed this item with a signed photo of her as Desdemona, and one of tenor Mario del Monaco (1915-1982) in the title role, plus an original cast page from a program for that debut night on January 31st, 1955 (frame available for sale, price after request).
Marc Chagall´s Poster “Die Zauberflote”
Die Zauberflote - Marc Chagall Poster 1966
We love when customers frame their purchases from us and send us a pictureDie Zauberflote – Marc Chagall Poster 1966
Here is one of a poster we sold unframed, our customer was nice to send us a picture of the final product, beautifully framed.
Back in 1966, five thousand of these posters were created in France for the Metropolitan Opera. They depict part of the mural by Russian painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985) at the (then) recently inaugurated Met Opera at the Lincoln Center. Chagall even created a production of Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) for the Met.
In any case, these original posters are nowadays highly collectible and sought-after by collectors, there are originals from the 1966 lith
ographs and high quality re-prints made in 1973 that sell for a bit less. We currently have in stock one of these Zauberflote posters, signed by Marc Chagall himself – please inquire if interested.
Our Visit to Beethoven´s Birth House in Bonn, Germany!
The Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany, where the genius was born in 1770
Just days ago, we had the chance to visit Beethovenhaus, the place where Beethoven was born inThe Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany, where the genius was born in 1770
December 1770, and lived for the first 4 years of his life. Located in Bonn, Germany, this was the musical genius´first home, then the Beethoven family moved to different houses in Bonn in the coming years.
Currently a very nice museum, library and mini-concert hall, the Beethovenhaus is open to any visitor and provides a very touching experience, in close contact with Beethoven, his life and his music. Instruments used by him, including pianos and violins, his personal desk, some of the devices he employed to improve his hearing, personal objects, his death mask and a mask that was created in his lifetime, portraits of him, family and friends, and more. The museum also hosts the largest collection in the world of music manuscripts and documents from the great composer, a small shop, concert hall, and even a small theater where we enjoyed a 20-minute video performance of “Fidelio” excerpts, presented with interactive 3D images. Overall, a highly recommended visit to anyone visiting the old, yet very beautiful city of Bonn. Much of their content can be found online in their site.
Fragment from the Opera Comique collected by Massenet!
Fragment from the Opera Comique´s wallpaper - collected by Massenet, who wrote above about the 1887 fire.
An especially interesting and unique historical item just added to our inventory is this fragment of wallpaper from the Paris Opera Comique collected and preserved by the great French composer Jules Massenet. This was acquired by Massenet after the Opera Comique was burned in a fire on May 25, 1887 – at the time, the composer had just completed the score of his most celebrated opera Werther which ironically had just been rejected by Leon Carvalho, the director of the Opera Comique who considered the work too depressing. Two Complete scores of Massenet’s were lost in this fire: the one-act opera La Grand’ Tante and a four act comic opera Don Cesar de Bazan.
According to the current Opera Comique’s online timeline, the theatre building which burned in 1887 was the second Salle Favart constructed in 1840 by the architect Louis Charpentier as the first one had also been burned in a fire in 1838. This was at least the sixth home for the Opera Comique since it’s emergence in 1717. For his part, Massenet continued his close association with the company, having already premiered his great opera Manon there in 1884 and later adding Esclarmonde, Cendrillon, Sapho and Griselidis to the list of titles inaugurated by that theatre.
This wallpaper fragment, attached to a small album page and handwritten by Massenet at the top, provides an especially valuable historical artifact representing both the personal possession of one of the major composers of nineteenth century opera as well as a remnant of a now-vanished opera house.
Met Opera on European Tour 1910 – Signed Sheet!
Sign Here: Opera Magazines!
Alfredo Kraus (1927-1999), signed Opera News Magazine (Nov/91)
For a long time, opera fans have been turning to opera-related publicationsAlfredo Kraus (1927-1999), signed Opera News Magazine (Nov/91)
such as programs, librettos, scores and even opera magazines, all for the purpose of getting them autographed by their favorite artists.
Opera magazines offer a good option, since most feature beautiful photographs of opera stars in their covers. A couple of good examples are Opera News, a monthly publication associated with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Das Opern Glas, a Hamburg-based publication released every month in German language.
Recollected by a fan for nearly 20 years, we acquired and listed nearly 100 signed magazines from these 2 publications, all from the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. Each one is signed by a famous opera star, either singer or conductor.Time Magazine, 1956 – Maria Callas´celebrated debut at the Met Opera.
TIME magazine, a famous weekly publication since 1923, has also celebrated the art of opera and classical music. Time has periodically released covers featuring singers and conductors, including an article about the featured artist.
We have listed over a dozen of them, unsigned, with artists such as Lily Pons, Maria Callas,
Rosa Ponselle, Nellie Melba, Kirsten Flagstad, and many others. See them HERE. Separately, we also listed a few of these signed by Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Rudolf Bing, etc. Find them by typing the proper keywords.
Bayreuth Festival 2014
Tickets stubs from the first festival in 1876 and first performance ever of the full ring! - Set of 4 was sold in 2013 for almost 10,000 usd, these are only one of the many collectibles related to the Festival that are in the market
Starting tomorrow, July 25th, the famous Bayreuth Festival will run until August 28th.Tickets stubs from the first festival in 1876 and first performance ever of the full ring! – Set of 4 was sold in 2013 for almost 10,000 usd, these are only one of the many collectibles related to the Festival that are in the market
One of the hottest opera tickets in the world, you often need to buy them up to 10 years in advance.
Founded in 1876, inauguration took place on August 13th of that year, with Wagner himself present, plus attendance of Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Grieg, Liszt and other distinguished composers in the audience.
Plagued by financial problems in the first few years, the Festival managed to not only survive them but to have a regular annual presence for almost 140 years now.
Bayreuth Festival collectibles (programs, photos, guide books, etc) are highly sought-after today. We have created a special category dedicated to Bayreuth Festival, with 2 sub-sections, one for Bayreuth Photos and the other for Bayreuth Programs and Playbills
Caruso Porcelain Figurines
Made at different times, porcelain figurines of the superstar Italian tenor (1873-1921) are valuable, sought-after collectibles that one can find in antique shops, auction houses and even flea markets around the globe.
Top Line (from left to right): Caruso as Canio in Pagliacci, his signature role, first 2 from the left were made by Rosenthal, most likely after Caruso´s death. The one on the right is not only the largest (12 inches high!) but also is – by far – the rarest of these Pagliacci figurines.
Bottom Line (left to right): Caruso as the Duke of Mantua, in Rigoletto (made by Studio 21, UK) – Caruso as Radames in Aida – Caruso as Canio in Pagliacci. The Metropolitan Opera in New York ordered 5,000 of these from Hutschenreuther, Germany to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of its opening in 1983 (although they were made and labeled 1981 at the bottom). This is so far the only known commerical porcelain based on the iconic photo of Caruso as Canio with a drum, created by Hermann Mishkin.
A Truly Amazing, Large Collection of Programs
Metropolitan Opera Cast Clip, 1907 - "Hansel und Gretel" and "Pagliacci", signed by Caruso, Farrar and Schumann-Heink
We just acquired an amazing collection of programs – A total of 52 banker´s boxes!Metropolitan Opera Cast Clip, 1907 – “Hansel und Gretel” and “Pagliacci”, signed by Caruso, Farrar and Schumann-Heink
Collection contains a wide variety of items, including opera programs (both signed and unsigned) and playbills mostly from European and American theaters as well as some Latin-American performances. This is by far the largest program collection we have ever purchased.
Starting in the 1830s, and all the way through 2012, we are finding many rarities and treasures (like this signed cast clip shown on the right).
There are of course quite a few sought-after opera programs, such as nearly 50 programs and playbills with star soprano Maria Callas!
Quite a few vintage programs and playbills from Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals, a mini collection with over 200 playbills from the K.K. Hofoperntheater (from 1870 through 1920) and other Vienna theaters from that era, and more.
It will take us a while to sort through such a vast collection, catalog, scan and list in our website some of these treasures, but that will certainly be happening during the rest of this year. Stay tuned!