The Televised Opera and Musical Comedy Database

Early last month, in the eighth installment of my Q & A: Can You Identify These Shows segment, one of the unidentified programs was about a play based on Aladdin performed for television in the 1970s. It was eventually identified as a production by the Prince Street Players that aired on CBS in 1967. A few days ago I received an e-mail from the project director for the Televised Opera and Musical Comedy Database. He had noticed the reference to the Prince Street Players and wanted to let me know that there was information available about the group’s Aladdin production (along with three other plays) at the Televised Opera and Musical Comedy Database, housed online at the Indiana University Digital Library Program. The database contains more than 1,000 television musical and/or operatic programs dating back to 1939.

Here‘s the search results for the Prince Street Players. In addition to the Aladdin performance in June of 1967, the group put on Pinocchio in December 1965, Jack and the Beanstalk in December of 1966 and The Emperor’s New Clothes in September of 1967. Each entry includes information (if applicable) such as composer, conductor, orchestra, company, television director, outlet, length and more. It’s a wonderful resource. For example, I had no idea that the Miniature Opera Group presentation of scenes from Carmen, broadcast by W2XBS on November 5th, 1939, is thought to be the first televised opera in the United States.

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