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Simon Mulligan at The Sembrich. Photo credit: YM Photography

“Youth’s Magic Horn” Concludes Sembrich Studio Talk Series — The Early Phonograph and Its Greatest Stars —

“Youth’s Magic Horn” Concludes Sembrich Studio Talk Series

— The Early Phonograph and Its Greatest Stars —

BOLTON LANDING, NY —  The Sembrich concludes its summer studio talk series on Wednesday, August 30th at 1:30 pm with “Youth’s Magic Horn: The Early Phonograph and Its Greatest Stars,” a presentation by Wall Street Journal writer Barrymore Laurence Scherer.  This is a “members appreciation event” with free admission offered to members of The Sembrich.  General admission is $20.

Though Thomas Edison initially thought of his phonograph as a dictating machine for offices, his invention proved an entertainment godsend—especially during the Golden Age of Opera. Featuring a dazzling mix of historic images and rare recordings, this lively presentation will reveal the extraordinary story of Edison’s invention and its astonishing impact on the music world.

The program will feature the voices of Marcella Sembrich, Enrico Caruso and other great singers captured by the phonograph horn over a century ago, including Luisa Tetrazzini, John McCormack and Adelina Patti (who had sung for President Lincoln).

“It was the heyday of the Edison Phonograph Co., Columbia Graphophone Co. and above all, the Victor Talking Machine Co.,” states Scherer, “And together we will sample the cream of the crop. Composers like Camille Saint-Saëns, Ruggero Leoncavallo and Giacomo Puccini also entered the recording studio, sometimes to perform, sometimes to speak.  We’ll sample that as well as rare film footage of great stars of that opulent time.”

Mr. Scherer, a classical music and art critic for The Wall Street Journal and contributing editor of The Magazine ANTIQUES, is author of the acclaimed books, “Bravo! A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed” and “A History of American Classical Music.”

“As a special feature, we will enjoy the very rare opportunity to wind up Marcella Sembrich’s beautifully preserved Victrola and listen to her as she herself did,” says Scherer.  “In short, this will be an event to remember.”