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Ryerson Opera Workshop
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Ryerson Opera Workshop

  • RG 718
  • Fonds
  • 1952-1976

The fonds consists of records pertaining to the operetta, Ryerson Opera Workshop, otherwise dubbed ROW, including programmes, notices and advertisements, newspaper articles and reviews, and a 1967 audio tape from The Wizard of Oz.

Established in 1951 by Jack McAllister, at the time faculty in the English Department, and in the continuing role of director-in-chief, the Workshop was an institute-wide, student endeavour from production crew to cast members.

Financial upsets were occasionally felt, with no Workshop performed usually because the Student Administrative Council felt it could not support the show.

The productions were as follows:

1952, March – Down in the Valley and The Devil and Daniel Webster (at Riverdale Collegiate)
1953, March – Beggar's Opera (at Riverdale Collegiat)e
1953, November – Brigadoon (at Bloor Collegiate)
1954 – Madamoiselle Angot (at Bloor Collegiate)
1955 / ‘56 – Trial By Jury and HMS Pinafore, (at Ryerson Hall Theatre)
1956 / ’57 – no production
1958, March – The Gondaliers (at Hart House)
1958 / ’59 - – no production, no funding from Student Admisitrative Council
1960, March – Finian’s Rainbow (at Hart House)
1961, March – The Boys from Syracuse (at Hart House)
1962 – Beggar’s Opera (at Ryerson Hall Theatre)
1963 – Once Upon A Mattress(last musical at Ryerson Hall Theatre)
1964 – Brigadoon (first ROW performance in newly constructed Ryerson Theatre)
1965 – no production
1966, March – Kiss Me Kate / November – Bye Bye Birdie
1967, November – The Wizard of Oz
1968, November – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
1969, November – Peter Pan
1970, November – Alice in Wonderland
1971, Nov / Dec – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
1972, November – Sinbad and the Mermaid
1973, November – Red Riding Hood
1974, November – George, Gertie and the Garbage Grabbers
1975 – no production
1976, November – Stick With Molasses

Reel-To-Reel recordings - ROW

File contains reel to reel audio recordings related to the Ryerson Opera Workshop:

  1. "The Wizard Of Oz", performed Nov. 23-25. (A black and white photograph of Ron Taber, conducting the orchestra, has been pasted on the front of the tape case.)
  2. The Boys From Syracuse Record
  3. The Boys From Syracuse Part 1
  4. The Sound of Storowski and Wagner - Side 2 (complete) Tannhauser: Overture + Venusberg Music - Symphony of the Air
    and Chorus
  5. Once Upon A Mattress

Prints/Negatives: various ROW Productions

This file contains photographic images and negatives related to various Ryerson Opera Workshop productions including: The Beggar's Opera, Snow White, Brigadoon, Once Upon a Mattress, Kiss me Kate, Bye Bye Birdie, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, & A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

ROW News Clippings

This file contains newspapers clippings about ROW productions; however, there are also reviews on performances from the Drama Workshop and RIOT.

"Peter Pan" ROW production

The file consists of the original 16 mm film re. the 1969 ROW production of 'Peter Pan'. The film rolls were screened on equipment available in the School of Image Arts technical department.

FILMS :
For identification purposes the film cans were labelled A and B. Based on the technician’s evaluation and expertise, only the A film was transferred onto two videocassettes. The B film requires more specialized equipment not available in the School of Image Arts.

VIDEOCASSETTES :
Two videocassettes, copies of the 16 mm film, can A.

1 of 2 : A 15 minute video made by the faculty and students of RPI Photographic Arts and RTA departments recording segments of the 1969 ROW production, "Peter Pan".
The scenes include :

  • Rehearsal
  • Behind the scenes/preparations
  • Production performance scenes
  • Audience.

2 of 2 : A 15 minute video similar to #1 above with a different introduction.
Scenes include :

  • Rehearsal
  • Behind the scenes/preparations
  • Jack McAllister
  • Production performance scenes.

Both cassettes have the occasional black (blank) segments.

The Wizard of Oz script with lighting cues

This file contains the script of The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Frank Gabrielson, with the music and lyrics of the screen version by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Hand written lighting cues by David Priddle (Chemistry 1967).

R.P.I. Beanie

This beanie would have been worn by a first year student during Initiation when Frosh were required to perform acts, such as shine shoes or sing at the command of other students and often in costume.