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SC 1996.10

Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
Sibley Music Library
Eastman School of Music
University of Rochester

prepared by Andrus Madsen
Summer 1996



Location: M1B 5,6–8
26 linear inches

Biographical Sketch

Josephine Louise Antoine (Oct 27, 1908 – Oct 30, 1971). Born in Denver and adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Arther H. Antoine. By 1914 her family had moved to Boulder. In 1921 she began studying voice with Alexander Grant a faculty member at the University of Colorado. He remained her teacher until she graduated from the University of Colorado in 1929. That same year she won the Atwater Kent Audition Contest which provided her with scholarship money and the opportunity to study at an East Coast conservatory. In 1930-31 she studied at Curtis, and from 1931-34 studied at Julliard. In 1935 she signed with the Metropolitan Opera Company and on Jan. 4, 1936 made her premier lead role performance as Philine in Mignon. Her career with the Met lasted through 1947. During this period she also sang for other opera companies including the Chicago Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Cincinnati Opera and the Chautauqua Opera. After a successful opera career she taught at Indiana University (1947-48), University of Colorado (1948-49), Los Angeles Conservatory (1950-53), University of Texas (1953-57), Arizona State University (1959-66), and at Eastman School of Music (1957-59, and 1966-71). On October 30th 1971 she died of heart failure in Jamestown, New York the day after her daughter, Myra Louise was married. At the time of her death she was a professor of voice at the Eastman School of Music.


The collection was donated to Sibley Library in 1977 by Antoine’s daughter Myra Hinkle Buchanan. Some portions of the collection which were mentioned in the correspondence concerning the transfer of the collection became separated from the rest of the collection and are not contained here. Among the portions of the collection not included here are Antoine’s correspondence papers and her newspaper clippings.

Scope and Content

This collection is useful not only to anyone seeking information about the career of Josephine Antoine, but may also interest anyone studying opera in the United States during the 1930’s and 40’s. The collection includes scrapbooks covering the years 1928-45 chronicling Antoine’s rise in the American opera scene. Also included are programs from opera and concert performances by Antoine as well as a few programs from others’ performances. The playbills advertising Metropolitan Opera performances between 1940 and 1948 are useful to anyone interested in American opera history. The collection also includes a few items of personal ephemera.

Restrictions and Use

No Restrictions.


Further information concerning Josephine Antoine may be found in her faculty file in the Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections. The Department also posses special collections relating to other performers including turn-of-the-century opera singer, Olga Tremelli. the Eastman School Archives possesses two performing collections of Jan DeGaetani.


Series 1: Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings and other momentos chronicling Antoine’s rise in the American opera scene, arranged in chronological order with some overlap between various scrapbooks.

Series 2: Programs

Subseries A: Opera Programs
This portion of the collection includes programs from operas in which Antoine performed during the years 1934-49. The Metropolitan Opera programs appear first arranged chronologically, followed by programs from Chautauqua Opera performances, concluding with programs from performances with other opera companies. Met Gala performances were also included in this portion of the collection rather than with the concert programs as they were arranged when Sibley Library received the collection.

Subseries B: Concert and Recital Programs
This portion of the collection contains programs from concerts and recitals in which Antoine performed during the years 1929-60. they are arranged chronologically, with the exception of undated programs. Respecting the original arrangement of the collection, the programs for Metropolitan Quartet concerts were separated from other concert programs.

Subseries C: Others’ Programs
Programs from recitals by others, including many recitals by students and friends. Arranged chronologically, 1895-1970.

Series 3: Playbills

Playbills mostly for Metropolitan Opera performances arranged chronologically by season, 1940-48.

Series 4: Personal Papers

Includes diplomas, a few cookbooks and menus, as well as a cadenza to Meyerbeer’s aria Ombra legguira.


Series 1: Scrapbooks

Box 1

Scrapbook 1 1928-36
Scrapbook 2 July – September 1940

Box 2

Scrapbook 1 December 1940 – March 1942
Scrapbook 2 January – May 1943

Box 3

Scrapbook 1 May 1943
Scrapbook 2 May – August 1943
Scrapbook 3 1943-45

Series 2: Programs

Subseries A: Opera Programs

Box 4

folder 1 Met 1934-35
folder 2 Met 1935-36
folder 3 Met 1936-37
folder 4 Met 1937-38
folder 5 Met 1938-39
folder 6 Met 1939-40
folder 7 Met 1940-41
folder 8 Met 1941-42
folder 9 Met 1942-43

Box 5

folder 1 Met 1943-44
folder 2 Met 1944-45
folder 3 Met 1945-46
folder 4 Met 1946-47
folder 5 Met 1947-48
folder 6 Met Gala Concerts 1936-38
folder 7 Chautauqua 1935-49

Box 6

folder 1 Other Opera Companies 1934-35
folder 2 Other Opera Companies 1935-36
folder 3 Other Opera Companies 1936-37
folder 4 Other Opera Companies 1937-38
folder 5 Other Opera Companies 1938-39
folder 6 Other Opera Companies 1939-40
folder 7 Other Opera Companies 1940-41
folder 8 Other Opera Companies 1941-42
folder 9 Other Opera Companies 1942-43
folder 10 Other Opera Companies 1943-44
folder 11 Other Opera Companies 1944-45
folder 12 Other Opera Companies 1945-46
folder 13 Other Opera Companies 1946-47
folder 14 Other Opera Companies 1948-49

Subseries B: Concert and Recital Programs

Box 7

folder 1 1929-35
folder 2 1936
folder 3 1937
folder 4 1938
folder 5 1939
folder 6 1940
folder 7 1941
folder 8 1942
folder 9 1943
folder 10 1944
folder 11 1945
folder 12 1946
folder 13 1947
folder 14 1948
folder 15 1949
folder 16 1950-60
folder 17 Undated, (late 1940’s ?)
folder 18 Metropolitan Quartet 1936-41

Subseries C: Others’ Programs

Box 8

folder 1 1895-1929
folder 2 1938-49
folder 3 1957-59
folder 4 1961-65
folder 5 1968-70

Series 3: Playbills

Box 9

folder 1 Tour: March – April 1940
folder 2 Tour: March – May 1941
folder 3 Tour: March – April 1942
folder 4 Tour: March – April 1943
folder 5 Tour: April – May 1944
folder 6 Met 1944-45
folder 7 Tour: April – May 1945
folder 8 Other Opera Companies: Spring 1945
folder 9 Met 1945-46
folder 10 Tour: March – May 1946
folder 11 Met 1946-47
folder 12 Tour: March – May 1947
folder 13 Met 1947-48
folder 14 Tour: March – May 1948

Series 4: Personal Items

Box 10

folder 1 Menus and Recipes
folder 2 Cadenza for Meyerbeer’s aria, Ombra legguira
Unfoldered Diplomas