Table of Contents

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Descriptive summary

Biographical note

Scope and Contents note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Controlled Access Terms

Special Formats

Administrative Information

Series Descriptions and Container list

Correspondence

Richard Strauss 1917-1945

General 1905–1958

Posthumous

Professional Materials

Manuscript Materials

Printed Materials

Photographs

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The Leopold Sachse Collection


Print finding aid created by Jonathan Greenberg. Machine readable finding aid created by Christine Parker in 2013.

Descriptive summary

Repository: Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives
Creator: Sachse, Leopold, 1880-1961
Title: The Leopold Sachse Collection
Dates: 1824–1982
Extent: 1.5 Linear feet, 3 boxes
Abstract: Leopold Sachse was a German opera stage director. Because he was Jewish, he was forced to emigrate to the United States in 1935, and lived in the New York City area for the rest of his life. In the 1910s, 20s, and 30s, he worked with some of the most important European opera composers of the time, and the collection contains correspondence from many of them, often relating aspects of their collaboration. Sachse also collected important items relating to his career, including a sketchbook by Richard Strauss.
Identification: PA.1996.001
Languages: Correspondence is largely in German, but examples of English, French, and Italian correspondence are also included.

Biographical note

Leopold Sachse was born in Berlin in 1880. He trained as an operatic bass singer in Cologne, Milan, and Vienna, and had his operatic debut in Berlin in 1899. In 1907, he became the general manager ( Intendant) of the opera house in Münster, and went on to hold that post in Halle (1914–1919) and Hamburg (1922–1931). In 1931 he was demoted to Oberspeilleiter, and stayed on in that capacity until 1933, when he was forced out by the Nazis, who had just come to power. He then became involved with Jewish arts organizations that were producing music under increasingly antagonistic conditions. In 1935, he went to Paris to direct Lehár’s La chanson de bonheur, and then to New York to be stage director for Wagner operas at the Metropolitan Opera. In 1937, still expecting to return to Germany, the German consulate told Sachse that he was not welcome to return. His house in Hamburg was sold, and the contents of his bank accounts confiscated. He continued on at the Metropolitan until becoming general director of the newly formed New York City Center Opera (later the New York City Opera) in 1945. He also taught at the Julliard School and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Bibliography

Heer, Hannes, Jürgen Kesting, and Peter Schmidt, eds. Verstummte Stimmen: Die Vertreibung der “Juden” aus der Oper 1933 bis 1945: Der Kampf um das Würtemburgische Landestheater Stuttgart. Berlin: Metropol, 2008.

Petersen, Peter. “Sachs(e), Leopold.” In Das jüdische Hamburg: Ein historisches Nachschlagwerk, edited by Kirsten Heinsohn. Göttingen: Wallstein-Verlag: 2006. http://www.dasjuedischehamburg.de/inhalt/sachse-leopold.

Stompor, Stephan. Jüdisches Musik- und Theaterleben unter dem NS-Staat. Hannover: Europäisches Zentrum für jüdische Musik, 2001.

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Scope and Contents note

The Leopold Sachse Collection consists of correspondence and professional documents passed down from Sachse to his son-in-law Erich Krueger. The bulk of the collection is from Sachse’s own letter files, where he saved letters, postcards, and telegrams addressed to him. Most of the letters are from the colleagues Sachse had as stage manager in Halle and Hamburg: composers, librettists, and performers with whom he worked. Among those colleagues are some of the best-known European opera composers of the era: Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ernst Krenek, Hans Pfitzner, Ottorino Respighi, and Richard Strauss. Most of the correspondence was written to Sachse before his emigration to the US, but there are also a number of letters addressed to him in New York, perhaps most notably from Strauss in 1945 and from Korngold in 1942 (from Los Angeles). By far the largest quantities of items are from Richard Strauss (39 letters and one telegram).

A smaller set of materials consists of professional and personal items from Germany and the US that Sachse saved. As the prolific correspondence during the mid-1920s shows, Sachse worked closely with Richard Strauss on Strauss’s 1928 opera Die ägyptische Helena, for which the collection includes the composer’s sketchbook and a first edition piano-vocal score with a personal inscription from Strauss. Another subset of materials relates to the premiere of a German-language adaptation of Una cosa rara, the 1786 opera by Vicente Martín y Soler (with original libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte). The new German libretto as well as complete libretto parts are present.

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Arrangement

Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Professional and personal materials

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Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.

Copyright

The Leopold Sachse Collection is the property of the Queens College Libraries. All intellectual rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

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Special Formats

Photographs

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Controlled Access Terms

Jews, German
New York (N.Y.)
Opera--20th century
Sachse, Leopold, 1880-1961
Strauss, Richard, 1864-1949

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

Item, date (if known), box, folder, The Leopold Sachse Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York.

Source

The collection was donated to the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in 1996 by Marjorie Navidi at the bequest of Erich Krueger, who was her brother-in-law. Krueger’s first wife was Sachse’s daughter.

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Series Descriptions and Container list

Series I: Correspondence
Sachse corresponded with many prominent figures in the opera community in Europe and the United States throughout his life, and saved letters envelopes alphabetically arranged in a two-ring binder. Much of the correspondence relates to professional activities, and the largest part of the series consists of his significant correspondence with Richard Strauss. Correspondents with multiple items have individual folders, while folders 6 and 7 in Box 2 contain single items of correspondence, organized alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent. All correspondents are listed below. Sub-series C contains correspondence between Erich Kreuger and Beverly Sills regarding a 1945 letter from Strauss to Sachse along with a transcription in block letters and an English translation. Correspondence is largely in German, but examples of English, French, and Italian correspondence are also included. All items are in German unless stated otherwise below.

A: Richard Strauss 1917-1945
Box-folder
1-1 1917–1919
1-2 1920-1929
1-3 1930-1945

B: General 1905–1958
Box-folder
1-4 Aravantinos, Panos 1924–1930 (7 items)
1-5 D'Albert, Eugen 1922–1931 (3 items)
1-6 Ernst, Otto 1922–1923 (3 items)
1-7 Goldmark, Rubin 1928 (2 items)
1-8 Graener, Paul 1928–1933 (8 items)
1-9 Keußler, Gerhard von 1923–1924 (5 items)
1-10 Klose, Friedrich 1919 (3 items)
1-11 Korngold, Erich Wolfgang 1916–1942 (11 items)
1-12 Krenek, Ernst 1926–1930 (10 items)
1-13 Markus, Stefan 1919 (2 items)
1-14 Melchior, Lauritz 1933 (2 items)
1-15 Nikisch, Arthur 1919 (2 items)
1-16 Pfitzner, Hans 1919–1923 (19 items)
1-17 Pizzetti, Ildebrando 1928–1958 (5 items, in Italian)
2-2 Rehfisch, Hans 1919–1929 (5 items)
2-2 Respighi, Ottorino 1925–1932 (7 items, in Italian and French)
2-3 Schreker, Franz 1920–1931 (6 items)
2-4 Wagner, Siegfried 1926–1930 (11 items)
2-5 Weinberger, Jaromír 1930 (2 items)
2-6 General, A–F 1920–1943
Consists of correspondence with Elisabeth Aravantinos, Ralph Benatzki, Ferdinand Bruckner (Theodor Tagger), Donald Dame, Max Dryer, Luc Durtain, Kirsten Flagstad, and Ludwig Fulda.
2-7 General, G-Z 1905–1952
Consists of correspondence with Marjorie Lawrence, Mark Lothar, Otto J. Nass, Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli, Maria Schreker, Bruno Walter, Joseph Viktor Widmann, and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari.

C: Posthumous
Box-folder
2-8 Beverly Sills/Erich Krueger
Series II: Professional Materials
Richard Strauss gave Sachse a sketchbook and a first-edition piano-vocal score for Die ägyptische Helena. The two men worked closely on the 1928 Hamburg production of that opera. The collection also includes materials for a German-language adaptation of Una cosa rara, the 1786 opera by Vicente Martín y Soler (with original libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte), including program notes written by Sachse. Sachse’s collection also included an 1824 baptismal record, the name on which is indecipherable.

A: Manuscript Materials
Box-folder
2-9 Richard Strauss’s handwritten sketchbook for Die ägyptische Helena
2-10 Handwritten German libretto to Una cosa rara
2-11 Handwritten part books to Una cosa rara (1)
2-12 Handwritten part books to Una cosa rara (2)
2-13 Text of the prologue to The Fairies, opera by David Garrick
2-14 Baptismal record for unknown person (1824) 1824

B: Printed Materials
Box-folder
2-15 Program with program notes to Una cosa rara [A photocopy of the program of Sachse’s revival of Una cosa rara; Photocopies (2) of a typed English translation of Sachse’s program notes to Una cosa rara]
2-16 Various [Five photocopied pages from Richard Strauss’s and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Briefwechsel (Zurich: Atlantis Verlag, 1952)]
3 Score to Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena (in inches: 13 x 10 13/16 x 1 1/16)

C: Photographs
Box-folder
2-17 Photographs