Research Catalog

Title
  • Leonard Warren papers, 1938-1963.
Author
Warren, Leonard, 1911-1960.
Supplementary Content
Finding Aid

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Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Box 1Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 2Offsite
Box 3Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 3Offsite
Box 4Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 4Offsite
Box 5Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 5Offsite
Box 6Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 6Offsite
Box 7Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 7Offsite
Box 8Mixed materialSupervised useRequestJPB 06-75 Box 8Offsite

Details

Additional Authors
Description
8.92 linear feet (8 boxes )
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Broadsides.
  • Clippings.
  • Posters.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Telegrams.
Note
  • Formerly called, and cited in Warren's authorized biography as the Leonard Warren Collection.
Source (note)
  • Leifflen, Roy
Biography (note)
  • American baritone, Leonard Warren (1911-1960), was a leading performer with the Metropolitan Opera for over twenty years, whose significant accomplishments have been overshadowed by his dramatic death onstage during a performance.
Language (note)
  • The Professional papers series includes clippings and other items in Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish; the Condolences and memorial tributes series contain some items in Italian.
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Call Number
JPB 06-75
OCLC
150463133
Author
Warren, Leonard, 1911-1960.
Title
Leonard Warren papers, 1938-1963.
Summary
The Leonard Warren Papers document the professional career of the American baritone. Much of the collection is comprised of clippings and scrapbooks, as well as some promotional materials, such as broadsides and posters. Subjects that are particularly well represented among these papers are Warren's various engagements in Latin America during the 1940s and his successful 1958 tour of the Soviet Union, arranged by the Hurok organization. The sudden and unexpected death of Warren in 1960 elicited an outpouring of condolences sent directly to his widow, Agatha Leifflen Warren, or forwarded to her by various departments of the Metropolitan Opera Association. Among the many condolence cards, letters, and telegrams contained in the collection are messages sent by Marion Anderson, Rudolf Bing, Agnes De Mille (whose husband, Walter Prude, represented Warren professionally), Jerome Hines, Erich Leinsdorf, Robert Merrill, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Richard Mohr, John D. Rockefeller, and Richard Tucker. Perhaps some of the most interesting items, however, were tributes offered by fans of the singer. Aside from a few candid photographs and a handmade anniversary greeting for his wife, the collection includes very little of a personal nature.
Biography
American baritone, Leonard Warren (1911-1960), was a leading performer with the Metropolitan Opera for over twenty years, whose significant accomplishments have been overshadowed by his dramatic death onstage during a performance. As a member of the first generation of American-born opera singers to develop a truly international reputation, his success also helped to solidify their position within that prestigious company. Born Leonard Warenoff, the son of Russian immigrants, he later shortened his surname to Warren when he became a professional singer. Early opportunities included appearances on the WOR radio station in New York City and a 1934 summer engagement at a Catskills resort. In 1935, Warren auditioned successfully for the Radio City Music Hall Glee Club. In 1938, he became one of the finalists in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air competition. Wilfred Pelletier took a personal interest in Warren's career development and helped to arrange for him to go to Italy to work on roles in preparation for a Metropolitan Opera debut in the fall of 1938. Warren's initial appearance with the company was in a Sunday concert on November 27, 1938 and his formal debut in a complete opera, in the role of Paolo in Simon Boccanegra, came on January 13, 1939. Still a somewhat raw talent, Warren's progress with the Metropolitan Opera was slow, but steady. Early on it was decided that the best course for him to pursue would be to focus on the Italian opera repertory. He became a Giuseppe Verdi specialist, most notably in the title role of Rigoletto. Warren's career seemed to coalesce most fully during the 1950s after he signed with the Sol Hurok organization. In 1953, he appeared to great acclaim in Milan, Italy at La Scala. The following year, Warren was intimately involved with the world premiere of Norman Dello Joio's cantata, The Lamentation of Saul. Another major accomplishment during this decade was Warren's 1958 tour of the Soviet Union, one of the first postwar appearances in that country by a prominent American performer. By the time the 1959-1960 opera season began, he was regarded as a fixture within the company and faced a demanding schedule. On March 4, 1960, while performing as Don Carlo in Verdi's La Forza del Destino, Warren collapsed onstage during the second act after completing an aria. Confusion ensued, the curtain was brought down, and Warren was pronounced dead backstage. His death was treated as front page news. More than 3,000 people paid their respects at the Abbey funeral home, and the memorial service, held at the St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on March 7, 1960, was attended by over 1,000 mourners. In 1986, the Leonard Warren Foundation was established by Barrett Crawford and Warren's sister, Vivien Warren, to promote the legacy of Leonard Warren and to provide support to young singers. In 2000, a Foundation-sponsored biography of the singer was published and a commemorative CD set of Warren's recordings was released.
Language
The Professional papers series includes clippings and other items in Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish; the Condolences and memorial tributes series contain some items in Italian.
Indexes
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Connect to:
Occupation
Baritones (Singers)
Added Author
Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993.
Bing, Rudolf, 1902-1997.
De Mille, Agnes.
Dello Joio, Norman, 1913-2008.
Hines, Jerome, 1921-2003.
Hurok, Sol, 1888-1974.
Leinsdorf, Erich, 1912-1993.
Merrill, Robert, 1917-2004.
Mitropoulos, Dimitri, 1896-1960.
Mohr, Richard.
Pelletier, Wilfrid, 1896-1982.
Prude, Walter.
Rockefeller, John D., Jr. (John Davison), 1874-1960.
Tucker, Richard, 1913-1975.
Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901.
Warren, Agatha Leifflen.
Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.)
American Music Collection.
Research Call Number
JPB 06-75
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