The Donald Pippin Collection at Stanford University

[From the old website: posted on April 7, 2014 by Veronica Wells]

Stanford University is pleased to announce the availability of the Donald Pippin Collection.

Donald Pippin
Donald Pippin. Photo by Bob Shomler, c1996. Used by permission.

Since 1952 Donald Pippin has been a part of the musical life of San Francisco. He is best known as the founder of Pocket Opera, which started in 1977 with the purpose of making opera more accessible to the average concertgoer by presenting opera in unique English language translations with a small chamber ensemble. The Donald Pippin Collection consists primarily of Pippin’s English translations of opera librettos available as pdf files. Additional materials include facsimiles of over 300 print media reviews of Pocket Opera productions; copies of two anthologies published by Pippin, A Pocketful of Lyrics and As the Lights Go Up…: Tales from the Opera; a speech on Offenbach given by Pippin in San Francisco in 1996; a tribute ode by Anne Dudley on the occasion of Pippin’s 60th birthday; and finally an interview with Pippin published in Journal Français d’Amérique in 1996.

Link to the finding aid here:

About Pocket Opera:

Pocket Opera is a theatre of the mind and of the heart. Productions are staged with minimal costuming and without sets, using only the few practical props (a bench, a desk, a door, …) that are essential to convey the story. A few operas, for which staging would add little or nothing to the interpretation of the story, are performed concert style. Through the use of Pippin’s singable translations and narration, through accomplished vocalists and small chamber orchestra, Pocket Opera presents the essence of opera — affordable, accessible opera of the highest musicality for contemporary audiences (–from the Pocket Opera website).

Ray Heigemeir, Public Services Librarian at Stanford University

Leave a Reply