Monday, May 30, 2011

The Victor Book of the Opera 1912

Samuel Holland Rous was the author of this book and it was designed to explain opera to people and potential customers. It would list in pages where one could get a recording from the galaxy of stars of various opera pieces. Plus tell the story of the many operas. But only the operas they had records of.

He was the son of a musician and a well respected writer and musical artist. But in the history of music the book here is know for him. But of course he was involved in so many pursuits and was involved in running much of the fortunes of the Victor Company. So it seems fitting that this fellow should write the book.

Sam Rous used a stage name of S. H. Dudley.But as a singer it was something different. Rous is on the lower left side. He was the manager of this very successful singing group called the Hayden Quartet and all of them made money. But the group never sang opera. He would also record a number of "Coon Songs" That were in fashion at the time.

He made many recordings in the late 19th and early 20th. Much with the Hayden Quartet or Harry MacDonough(John MacDonald) who is also pictured above Rous on the right in the quartet picture.

A famous Victor Operatic advertisement.

The Book has been around now for almost 100 years and has sold a lot of records. Many more than Rous or the Victor Talking Machine Company could ever have imagined

First edition of this famous and much republished book (1912)