Scope and Contents
The Harry P. Girard Music Manuscript collection details two of his most well known light operas, "The Maid of Manalay," and "The Alaskan." Handwritten music manuscripts comprise the bulk of the collection along with published scores. There are also four folders of unknown manuscripts.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish from the Harry P. Girard Music Manuscripts must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Biographical / Historical
Harry Perrelet Girard, singer, voice teacher and composer, was a native of St. Louis, MO, born June 17, 1875. His early education was at the Military Academy at Stanford, CT, and then graduated from Yale University in 1893 with a BA degree. His first musical instruction was from William H. Plaff and later studied composition with Horatio W. Parker of Yale and piano with Raphael Joseffy. His vocal training was from Arthur Hartington and singer Charles W. Santley of London. At thirteen Girard was soloist at Trinity Church Choir, New York, and at sixteen he was organist and choir-master at Zabriski Memorial Church. He then went to Christ Church, Rye, NY, and following at Archdeaconry Church, New York City. At twenty-five he became organist at St. John's Church, Seattle, WA, where he also organized a Symphony Society and was director of the Ladies' Musical Club and the Glee Club. During this period he completed his light opera, "The Alaskan," in which he starred at the Knickerbocker Theater, New York. He became a member of Augustin Daly's Musical Comedy company as leading baritone. He appeared in "The Runaway Girl" and in English grand opera in leading parts as Tonin in "Pagliacci," Alfeo in "Cavalleria Rusticana," Count di Luna in "Il Travatore," Escamillo in "Carmen," Plunkett in "Martha," and the title role in "Rigoletto." In 1908 he organized the Imperial Opera Company of New York and the in Los Angeles as executive director of the Institute of Vocal Physiology. Girard also produced a second opera, "The Maid of Manalay." Under the nom de plume Victor Kemp, he published "Trend of Time" and "Lyrical Idyl" among others.