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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Slideshow: Opera Of The Tobin Collection

And now we come to fifth and final program in the series The Tobin Collection: A Musical Vision. It has been quite an adventure of learning about this wonderful resource here in our midst. I'm speaking of The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts at San Antonio's McNay Art Museum. It is the crown jewel of Robert Tobin's lifelong passion for theatre, and for collecting theatre arts. The collection is wide-ranging, but in the aggregate it becomes apparent that Robert Tobin's greatest interest was in opera.

One must wonder if it was predestined that Robert Tobin would collect art as he did. Perhaps the answer is found in Eugene Berman's design for the 1952 Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's "La Forza del Destino." There are numerous costume and stage designs by Berman in The Tobin Collection, testament to Tobin's keen eye for exceptional visual art, but also testament to the friendship between Tobin and Berman.

 This week's slideshow displays the wide array of styles collected by Tobin. That he could see the value in the playful design of Victor St. Leon for Rossini's "Semiramide," relish the fantasy of Enrico d'Assia's design for Puccini's "Turandot," and collect with enthusiasm the at times stark works of Robert Wilson testifies to the range of his taste. We should all be thankful that he preserved these pieces. In so doing, he invites us to probe the same values which he recognized in these costume and set designers over the years and over the centuries. 

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.