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Hands On History: Girls (and Some Guys) of the Golden West

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San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

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An experience that brings Gold Rush California, in all its variety, to your fingertips!

Join us for a close-up show-and-tell using the San Francisco History Center’s 19th century books, manuscripts, broadsides, newspapers, letter sheets and photography, and discover the background for the creation of Girls of the Golden West, a new opera by John Adams and Peter Sellars, premiering in San Francisco in late November.

Selections will include the earliest printing of the Dame Shirley Letters; an issue of the San Francisco Herald newspaper, published June 1850; daguerreotypes dating from the 1850s; a broadside for the local Metropolitan Theatre’s January 1855 production of Bellini’s opera Norma; sheet music for a Stephen Massett ballad, 1853, signed by the composer; original records of the Mexican government in San Francisco; and books featuring illustrations and characters which composers and playwrights have mined for inspiration.

This gathering will be held in the San Francisco History Center and is limited to 30 attendees. The behind-the-scenes event is led by our archivists, who will guide the group in a tour of some of our more rare and less seen materials. Photography is welcomed and encouraged.

See the history behind the Opera before the curtain goes up!

This program is being presented in conjunction with San Francisco Public Library's On the Same Page November - December selection The Shirley Letters from the California Mines, 1851-1852.

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San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

View Map

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