Archives Collection 1 : Edward Johnson

Edward Johnson, tenor and administrator, was born in Guelph, ON, 22 Aug. 1878. He sang in Europe (as "Edoardo di Giovanni") from 1912-1919, and in North America from 1919-1935. From 1935-1950 he was general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City. He died in Guelph in 1959. For a full biography see the Canadian Encyclopedia .

Photographs, programs, and press notices of his performances; manuscripts of songs written for him by composers including Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lalo and Pizzetti; five collections of published songs; a scrapbook of programs from his first year as manager of the Met.


5 boxes;.8 m.

Donations from Johnsonís collection; purchases from James Camner, 1978; other donations.
Opera and oratorio scores from the collection of Edward Johnson are included in the main University of Toronto Library catalogue. The University of Toronto Faculty of Music Opera Division holds further memorabilia. The University of Guelph has a major Edward Johnson collection of over eight metres of material in various media, from textual records to photographs to sound recordings, dating from 1890 through 1959.

Recordings held in Library and Archives Canada are available for online listening at the Virtual Gramophone


Call Number.Description
Box 1. Folder 1 Correspondence, writings, and publicity material. (ALS from Deems Taylor, Gordon V. Thompson, and Edna St. Vincent Millay -- Letters to Earle Poling -- Texts of lectures -- Press releases and magazine articles.) 1923-1950s.
1 file. MS and typescript.
Box 1. Folder 2 Programs. 1907-1929.
1 file of programs.
Box 1. Folder 3 Photographs. (Studio portraits -- Roles in Italy and at the Metropolitan -- 4 sketches by Carl Bohnen.)
28 items.
Box 2. Folder 1 Memorabilia. (Signed photographs : Gabriele D'Annunzio ; Marcella Sembrich -- Leaf of autographs including Giovanni Martinelli, dated NY, April 6/50 -- Vocal score, acts 1 & 2, Peter Ibbetson / Deems Taylor : publishers' version for tenor.)
4 items.
Box 2. Folder 2 Edward Johnsonís collection of historical letters. (Georges Bizet -- Claude Debussy (photograph) -- Gaetano Donizetti -- Jenny Lind -- Giacomo Meyerbeer -- Adelina Patti/Giuseppe Verdi -- Ignacy Paderewski (signed photograph) -- Giacomo Puccini -- Richard Wagner.)
1 file MS ink or pencil.
Box 2. Folder 3 Press notices and obituaries. 1924-28, and 1959. 1 file of printed or photocopied items.
Box 2. Folder 4 Collection of songs in composers' manuscripts. (Maggio ; Un sogno / Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco -- Goodnight / Henry L. Clements -- Rondel de Thibaut de Champagne / Henri Gagnon -- At the feet of my love / Edwin Dodds -- Bring her again to me ; Proposal / Frank Seymour Hastings -- Verdaderas peteneras / Isodoro Hernandez -- Songs from the hills of Vermont: Posey boy; The little pig / Robert Hughes -- Era d'inverno / W. H. Kirby -- Jacquerie / Edouard Lalo -- Ich hab im Traum geweinet / Benjamin Lambord -- Fantasia / G. Marradi -- La preghiera = The prayer / Edward Moore -- La sera / Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli -- Angeleca ; Assunta / Ildebrando Pizzetti -- One tree / Joseph Quintile -- Thistledown = Duvet de chardon / Gerrit Smith -- I would not give you pain / Hilbert Earl Stewart.)
1 file MS ink or pencil.
Box 3 Five binder's albums of vocal sheet music. Contents listed in University of toronto Library Catalogue
5 volumes.
Box 4. Folder 1 Edward Johnson scrapbook, 1925-1935. Contains clippings from newspapers and magazines, and concert programs, pasted on the pages of the Oct. 15, 1925 issue of MacLean's magazine; the issue contains an article on Johnson entitled: A Canadian star shines for the world, by John Nelson.
Box 4. Folder 2 Scrapbook of signed programs from the 1935/1936 season of the Metropolitan Opera House.
Box 5 Display case of medals and other honours.