Oral Histories

Interview of Blanche Witherspoon

Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, co-founder of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Symphony Society. Co-founder of UCLA’s educational outreach program Design for Sharing and staff member at the UCLA Center for Performing Arts.
Subtitle:
A Dedication to Sharing
Topic:
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Performing Arts Staff
Interviewer:
Galm, Bernard
Interviewee:
Witherspoon, Blanche
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Childhood exposure to music and theater in Los Angeles; Alfred Wallenstein and Bessie Bartlett Frankell; University of California, Southern Branch; working for G. Schirmer, Inc., promoting music materials for educational use; cataloging Schirmer's publications; meeting and marrying Herbert Witherspoon; Witherspoon becomes manager of Metro-politan Opera; widowhood, 1935; Metropolitan Opera Guild organized; special programs for young people; USO camp shows; Jascha Heifetz; Federal Bureau of Investigation investigations; Ezio Pinza; Eleanor Roosevelt; Metropolitan Opera General Manager Edward Johnson succeeded by Rudolf Bing; development of "Opera News on the Air"; Eleanor Belmont; fund-raising campaigns; Wagner Ring cycle production; leaving the Metropolitan, 1961; move to Los Angeles; working with Henri Temianka to develop membership organization for California Chamber Symphony; Concerts for Youth chil-dren's programs; working with Frances Inglis in UCLA Fine Arts Productions; deterioration of Royce Hall; Royce 270 remodeled; plans for renovation of rest of Royce Hall; Charles E. Young; Metropolitan Opera conductors; Vern O. Knudsen; Franklin D. Murphy; Friends of the Performing Arts; creation of Design for Sharing; Mimi Perloff; production by Jan Popper of Falstaff; Edmond G. Harrisy; Alma Hawkins and UCLA dance department; Luciano Pavarotti performance; Barbara and Farlan Myers; UCLA Affiliates and Alumni Council; role of athletics relative to arts; Charles Speroni; Student Committee for the Arts organized; Gregg Perloff; Campus Workshops established; participation of students from Los Angeles community; jazz workshop with Paul Tanner and Kenny Burrell; Duke Ellington concerts; outreach programs for Braille Institute and other groups.