The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Summer 1972, Volume 18, Number 3
James E Moss, Editor
Page 13. TAKING THE SHOW TO THE PEOPLE
The cast, musicians and crew of the Opera Unit filled two buses. Using a truck to carry props, costumes, instruments and simple sets, they presented several operas in Southern California towns.
Page 14. Fifty-nine people appear in the curtain call for Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Gondoliers.” At other times over 100 people performed in the Opera Unit’s productions, in addition to the accompanying Federal Music Project Symphony Orchestra.
Page 15. Three of the guiding lights of the Opera Unit were, left to right, singer Rafael Villagrana, conductor and teacher Dr. Julius Leib, and William Dean, WPA administrator for the San Diego Federal Music Project. Leib and Dean greatly assisted in the development of the Starlight Opera.
Page 17. The San Diego Opera Unit singers performing in the roles of Hansel and Gretel in Humperdinck’s opera often sang the parts with local WPA choruses in Southern California tours. Here Barbara Beck performs as the Good Fairy with Carmen Conger as Hansel and Genevieve Roberts as Gretel.
Page 18. Costumed here for Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Iolanthe” are most of the lead singers for the Opera Unit’s productions. Left to right, standing, are Elizabeth Clarke, George Gunther, Dorothy Starbird and Leda Grey. Kneeling left to right are Elsie Mallett, Genevieve Roberts, Charles Cannon, Carmen Conger and Jack Dawson.
Page 29. TWO STYLES OF “THREE LITTLE MAIDS”
Genevieve Roberts, Carmen Conger and Helen LaZelle, left to right, sang in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Mikado” and other operas. On other occasions Annabelle Gaskins joined Roberts and Conger singing hit tunes of the 1930’s at other Federal Music Project presentations.
Photographs provided by Mrs. Genevieve Roberts Riddle.