Horace G. Whitney (1858-1921) was music and dramatic critic writing for the Salt Lake Herald and the Deseret News.
Letters received by Horace G. Whitney (1857-1921), manager of the Salt Lake Opera Company between 1897 and 1906 from costumers, music companies, actors and theatres in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. The letters reveal the complicated logistics (securing permissions, booking a theatre, agreeing on the division profits, costumes, props, the orchestra, etc.) Of taking an opera on the road at the turn-of-the-century. Roughly half of the letters were written by managers of theatres in Evanston, Rock Springs, Pocatello, Park City, Provo, Ogden and Logan in order to entice Whitney to bring the company to their town. The other large group of letters are from costumers, and the Whitmark Music Company of New York. The letters from Whitmark are especially interesting because of their discussion of copyright issues and the payment of royalties. These letters reveal that Whitney sometimes paid hundreds of dollars less in royalties than other theatres to perform copyrighted plays and music. The third, and smallest group of letters are from actors and discuss their availability for roles in upcoming productions.
The Salt Lake Opera Company was organized in 1897 by Heber S. Goddard, Willard E. Weihe, John D. Spencer with Horace G. Whitney as the manager. Goddard, a singer, was something of a celebrity and Whitney and Spencer were well-known locally as members of the Home Dramatic Club. The Company gave its last performance in 1912. The Company performed at the historic Salt Lake Theatre. It also took the show on the road to Pocatello, Logan and other towns throughout the region.
The Company performed thirteen operas in its time. These were: "The Mascot," (February 25, 1897) "Patience," "Chimes of Normandy," "Said Pasha," "The Queen's Lace Handkerchief," "A Trip To Africa," "Madeline," "The Mandarin," Fatitza," "The Wedding Day," "Martha," "The Jolly Musketeers," "The Girl and the Governor," "Robin Hood." The March 8, 1912 performance of "Robin Hood" at the old Salt Lake Theatre was the last performance given by the Company.
For more information see George D. Pyper's book The Romance Of An Old Playhouse.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the The Salt Lake Opera Company Records must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.
Initial Citation: The Salt Lake Opera Company Records USU_CAINE Coll Mss 30, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.
Following Citations:USU_CAINE Coll Mss 30, USUSCA.
|1||1||Opera House Club Rooms and Saloon
|1||2||Grand Hotel and Opera House Company Rock
|1||3||Union Opera House, Rock Springs, Wyoming
|1||4||Opera House, Pocatello, Idaho
|1||5||Grand Opera House, Butte, Montana
|1||6||Provo Opera House, Provo, Utah
|1||7||R.R. Irvine and Sons, Provo, Utah
|1||8||S.S. Jones, Provo, Utah
|1||9||Grand Opera House, Ogden, Utah
|1||10||The Reed, Ogden, Utah
|1||11||Thatcher Opera House, Logan, Utah
|1||12||Hanks Hotel, Logan, Utah (5 pieces)|
|1||13||Salt Lake Theatre, Salt Lake City, Utah,
|1||14||ivoli Opera House, San Francisco,
|1||15||Arthur W. Tams Music, New York City
|1||16||Inter Mountain Theatrical Circuit, Denver,
|1||17||Goldstein and Company Costumers, San
|1||18||Salt Lake Costuming House, Salt Lake City,
|1||19||Samuel French, New York City
|1||20||Whitmark Music Library New York City|
|1||21||Whitmark Music Library New York City|
|1||22||Whitmark Music Library New York City|
|1||23||Whitmark Music Library New York City|
|1||24||T.J. McLaughlin, Park City, Utah
|1||25||Schalchi Tour, New York City
|1||26||Letters from prospective cast members and miscellaneous|