Nov/2015: New Autographs Added!

Sergei Rachmaninoff signed photo

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), signed photo

We have been working hard on finishing the scans of the vast RG collection (9 months of hard work

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), signed photo

just for the scans!), acquired by Tamino Autographs last January. This month, we have uploaded to our website some interesting material:

Autographs – Composers: Franz Liszt, Arnold Schönberg, Anton Bruckner (the first signed photo we ever have in stock), Sergei Rachmaninoff, Manuel de Falla, Gaetano Donizetti, Paul Hindemith, Ernesto Lecuona, a rare Antonio Carlos Gomes signed cabinet photo.

Autographs – Singers: Conchita Supervia, Maria Malibran, a collection of Czech opera stars, and nearly 200 more items to the categories Autographs – Singers $50 or less. Also, a couple of Maria Callas autographs in the corresponding section.

Autographs – Conductors: Eduard Napravnik, Hans Knappertsbusch, Clemens Krauss, Theodore Thomas, Robert Heger, etc

Autographs – Pianists: Vladimir Horowitz, Olga Samaroff, Martha Argerich, Jeanne-Marie Darré, etc

Autographs – Strings: including violinists and cellists, autographs by Aguilar Quartet (Lute), Michael Rabin, August van Biene, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Mischa Maisky



Just Acquired: (La Scala Autographs)

Giovanni Velluti - Signed Concert Pass 1828

Giovanni Velluti, the last great castrato - Signed concert pass to admit one person, 1828

Tamino Autographs is pround to announce the successful purchase of, the

Giovanni Velluti, the last great castrato – Signed concert pass to admit one person, 1828

domain comes with the name and inventory of La Scala Autographs, located in Princeton, NJ. Founded in 1975 by expert autograph dealer James Camner, La Scala has been providing quality autographs to collectors for 40 years. With this purchase, we will have the domain, a nice inventory, and, more importantly, James´expertise helping us. We are very excited to also announce that Tamino Autographs now becomes the provider of autographs for the Metropolitan Opera shop.

Included in the inventory was this amazing concert pass to admit one person, signed in 1828 by the last great castrato, Giovanni Velluti – during the Bel Canto era and later, it was common practice for singers and composers to give away these notes offering free tickets to someone.


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.

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.


Aug/2015: New Items Added!

Hariclea Darclée Signed Cabinet Photo as Tosca

Hariclea Darclée (1860–1939), beautiful signed cabinet photo as Tosca, the role she created at the world premiere in 1900.

Since our last posting in this blog about newly added items, we have created a few interesting

Hariclea Darclée (1860–1939), beautiful signed cabinet photo as Tosca, the role she created at the world premiere in 1900.

listings including composers, pianists, violinists, and more. We are still very busy scanning new material and cataloguing it, a job that should be quite complete by the end of this year.

COMPOSERS: Francis Poulenc, Ottorino Respighi, Dimitri Shostakovich, Percy Grainger, Erich

Korngold, Gioachino Rossini, Arthur Sullivan. CONDUCTORS: Sergiu Celibidache

PIANISTS: Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Artur Rubinstein, Clara Schumann, Alexis Weissenberg, Clara Haskill, Wanda Landowska, Wilhelm Kempff, Wilhelm Backhaus, Fanny Davies

STRINGS: Ginette Neveu, Jacques Thibaud, Gioconda de Vito, Arrigo Serato

SINGERS: Hariclea Darclée as Tosca,  Conchita Supervia. BALLET: Andrei Uvarov. ACTRESSES: Josephine Baker, Henny Porten, Maurice Chevalier


Jon Vickers 1926-2015

Jon Vickers signed photo as Canio

Jon Vickers signed photo as Canio

On July 10, 2015 the legendary Canadian tenor Jon Vickers died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88 years old. Although he had been retired for many years, his legacy of  uniquely dramatically and musically intense performances in a wide variety of roles in virtually of the world’s major opera houses made him cherished by several generations of opera lovers.

Jon Vickers signed photo as Canio

Most of his major roles have also been preserved on CD or DVD.

While he was particularly celebrated for his Wagnerian roles such as Tristan, Siegmund and Parsifal, his interpretations of the leading Italian and French heroic tenor roles such as Don Jose, Canio, Aeneas, Otello and Radames were also greatly admired. Particularly controversial was his interpretation of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes – one explicitly disavowed by the composer but quite likely responsible for that opera’s continued success and visibility over the past five decades.

Vickers was unique not only for his riveting physical acting (see in particular his Met performance of Otello co-starring a truly terrified Renata Scotto) but his expressivness with the text. Although large, his immediately recognizable voice also had a incredible ability to convey human suffering and pain – whether that of the unjustly imprisoned Florestan in Fidelio, the despised and rejected Peter Grimes or the betrayed Canio in Pagliacci. At the same time, its heroic qualities were evident not just in Wagner but as Otello, Aeneas in Les Troyens and even in much of the oratorio repertoire – such as his widely acclaimed recording of Handel’s Messiah conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

Tamino Autographs is proud to salute the legacy of the great tenor Jon Vickers.


Our Visit to Puccini Sites

Puccini's birth house museum in Lucca, Italy

Puccini’s birth house museum in Lucca, Italy

We recently visited Giacomo Puccini’s birth house in Lucca, Italy! Located just a few kilometers wesst from Florence, Italy, the town of Lucca is a tourist attraction by itself. Surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls, Lucca still has all the flavor of an historic, small town, and it is not hard to imagine how it was during Puccini’s childhood and young adult years.

Right in a small square within the medieval walled-town, lies a large bronze statue of the great composer. Behind it, there is an old building where, on the second floor, Puccini was born in 1858. The place is now a museum showing some of the original furniture, one of his personal coats, and of his pianos, and other memorabilia. Not a lot to see inside, but still a very gratifying experience for any Puccini fan.

Just a few more kilometers to the west, in the town of Torre del Lago and by the lake Massaciuccoli lake, lies the museum Villa

Puccini Villa Museum in Viareggio

Puccini. This was the house where he lived for over 20 years, until just 3 years before his death in 1924, and where he composed most of his operas. The lake provided a perfect, calm environment where he could write his music and spend time hunting and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, pollution in the lake forced him to move just north, to Viareggio.

This is an even more fulfilling experience since you can see his desk and his piano, a room full of his gun collection and stuffed animals, one of his fedoras, the places where he used to relax and socialize, and lots of memorabilia including autographs to him by Verdi and many important singers of his time.

The graves of Puccini, his wife Elvira and Antonio, their only son,  are all in the small chapel built right at the center of the house. If you ever get the chance to stay in Florence for a few days, don’t hesitate to pay a visit to this museum full of memories and interesting artifacts.

June/2015: New Autographs Added!

Bela Bartok signed photo

Bela Bartok (1881-1945) signed photo

We have created quite a few new listings for the both the composer and the singer categories

Bela Bartok (1881-1945) signed photo

COMPOSERS: autograph material from Bela Bartok, Richard Wagner, Gioachino Rossini, Aaron Copland, Albert Lortzing, Fromental Halevy, Arthur Sullivan, John Adams, Philip Glass, Helmut Lachenmann, Peter Eotvos, etc

PIANISTS: Gabriela Montero, Khatia Buniatishvili, a double signed photo of

Martha Argerich and Evgeny Kissin performing together, Alice Sara Ott, Nelson Freire, etc.

SINGERS: autographs by Kathleen Ferrier, Maria Callas, Maria Barrientos, Florence Austral, Anna Case, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and also some contemporary singers (Jonas Kaufman, Danielle De Niese, etc

Plus many new listings in the “Under $45” categories, and a few additions to String Autographs. Enjoy!



Detroit Symphony invites local residents to create a “Symphony” for their city

Symphony in D

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and composer Tod Machover are collaborating with many of that city’s residents on a very exciting new project that aims to convey the unique “sound” of the city of Detroit. Ordinary Detroit citizens are creating and collecting sounds that will become part of the “Symphony in D” which will premiere at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall this coming November. The project has been financed by a $315,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

While Machover has engaged in similar collaborative projects in Toronto, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Perth, Australia, this is his first such effort in the United States. Detroit residents and community institutions have already begun submitting their musical contributions as well as engaging in workshops and discussions throughout the city. Machover, Professor of Music and Media at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed technologies that can collect all of these various sounds – for example the sound of a motor vehicle engine or of people gathered in a popular public market – and transform them into music. Especially prominent among them is the “Constellation app”, a web-based application that allows anyone to hear the latest sounds collected and to combine them into their own desired mix.

In Machover’s word’s “Detroit is a city filled with bold and contrasting sounds, from the roar and purr of cars, to the crackle and snap of Motown, to the gentle rhythms of urban gardening…I look forward to working with Detroiters from all backgrounds to create a collective musical portrait of this exciting moment in the city’s history, when everything is being rethought and anything is possible.”

More information regarding this bold initiative can be found on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s website:

This process should be very interesting to observe in the year ahead and – if you live in Detroit – to actually participate in! Perhaps it will also inspire similar efforts by other performing arts institutions in other parts of the United States to engage with their own local communities and re-engage a broader public.


Met Opera on European Tour 1910 – Signed Sheet!

Enrico Caruso 1910 Cruise to Europe Norddeutscher Lloyd
In 1910, the Metropolitan Opera from New York went on their first tour to a foreign country. The chosen destination was Paris. Many of the Met Opera stars and crew members boarded in May, 1910, the “Norddeutscher Lloyd”, a ship from a German cruise company. This was a trip across the Atlantic that would take nearly 2 weeks, arriving on time for the Paris engagement (from May 21, 1910 thru June 25, 1910).
We know the tour was extremely successful for the Met Opera, and was remembered for many years by both Parisians and artists.
We have found a fantastic document created during their trip to Europe, a page with the ship´s letterhead, signed by the Captain A.O. Cüppers, and some of the Met Opera stars travelling in that cruise!
The sheet is dated on May 14th, 1910, exactly a week after the last Met Opera performance on tour in Atlanta, which took place on May 7th, which means their departure took place within those days. Most likely, this sheet was signed in a night when the Met stars where having dinner with the ship´s captain.
Signatures include some super stars, such as singers Enrico Caruso, Emmy Destinn, Geraldine Farrar, Olive Fremstad, Johanna Gadski, Antonio Scotti, Louise Homer, Riccardo Martin, Andrés de Segurola, Otto Goritz, Pasquale Amato and others, and conductor Alfred Hertz.





Just Acquired: The Roger Gross Collection of Autographs!

The Roger Gross collection of autographs

The Roger Gross collection of autographs

The Roger Gross collection of autographs

We are glad to announce the acquisition of the Roger Gross collection, one of the largest music autograph collections in the world.

Roger Gross, who passed away in January 2013, was both a  very dedicated collector and opera fan and a highly respected music autograph dealer and antiquarian. Reflecting his deep passion for music, Roger provided material to many famous institutions and collectors around the entire world. As a dealer, he unquestionably had the largest inventory of opera and classical music autographs in the world and was extremely knowledgable about opera history and singers world-wide, and a true expert in music autographs.

Roger´s work as a music antiquarian will certainly be remembered for a long time and has inspired many others – including us – in the art of collecting and dealing with quality music autographs.

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), gigantic signed photo – 20 x 25 inches! (50 x 62.5 cm) – probably the largest Puccini autograph photo ever. Part of this amazing collection.

Totaling over 50,000 items, our acquisition includes both his amazing personal collection as well as his not less incredible, vast inventory. Most items are autographs of singers, composers, conductors, pianists, violinists and ballet dancers. There is also a smaller lot of cuban music and composers, vintage prints and playbills, posters both signed and unsigned and more.

Collection is, for the most part, well-organized into labeled folders, and also includes some jazz-related material, and some framed material, such as this unbelievable Puccini autograph shown in the picture.

Needless to say, this is an immense challenge for any dealer to browse, curate and verify, organize, scan, catalog, list and last, sell and ship, but we love music and what we do, and we are not easily intimidated by challenges. As you might well imagine, there are many true jewels in the collection and inventory, and you will be seeing them at in the coming years. Stay tuned!

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