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.
A Dedication to Sharing
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Performing Arts Staff
Galm, Bernard
Witherspoon, Blanche
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
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.