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Edward Johnson Collection


Collection of correspondence, photographs both operatic roles and family photographs, broadsides, theatre programs, speeches, postcards, diaries, slides, postcards, certificates, artifacts, music scores, several books on Opera. 

Edward Johnson was born in Guelph in 1878.  Edward married Beatrice D’Arneiro (known as “Bebe”).  They had one daughter Fiorenza, who married George Drew. Edward Johnson studied with Vincenzo Lombardi in Florence.  His debut was as Eduardo di Giovanni, Padua 1912, in Chenier. He was engaged for the Milan season from 1913-1914 where he created Parsifal in Italy. Between 1914 and 1919 he created in Milan and Rome leading tenor roles in Montemezzi's La Nave, Pizzetti's Fedra, and Alfano's L'Ombra di Don Giovanni; also the first Italian Rinuccio and Luigi, Seigfried and Tannhauser.

Edward performed for the Chicago Opera Company 1919-1922; New York Metropolitan Opera Company 1922-1929, sole appearance London, as Faust 1923.  Edward Johnson was the manager of the Metropolitan Opera Company 1935-1950. He was also very active in establishing several music foundations and music scholarship programs, including The Edward Johnson Music Foundation (Guelph) and the Guelph Spring Festival.

Edward Johnson passed away April 29, 1959. 


approximately 7.5 m

Type(s) Of Materials: 
Audiovisual Material
Published Material
Unpublished Material and Manuscripts
How To Access: 

XR1 MS A410, XR1 MS A411, XR1 MS A413-XR1 MS A417, XR1 MS A420-XR1 MS A421, XR1 MS A423-XR1 MS A426, XR1 MS A428, XR3 MS A011, XR5 MS A002-XR5 MS A003

This collection is available for viewing on-site in Archival & Special Collections during our regular business hours.