"To each of his productions he brought a fearsome intelligence, an understanding of the artists with whom he worked, and an intense musical sensitivity. His intense personal charm helped him in making all of those with whom he worked give more than they thought possible....He respected the contribution of every participant in a production, and was always appreciated for learning the names of every chorister and supernumerary with whom he worked. He could also be a difficult colleague because of his high and uncompromising artistic standards... his attention to detail and his insistence upon thorough and careful rehearsal was rewarded by the polish of the performances."
- from program notes by Speight Jenkins, General Director,
Seattle Opera, January 1991
The Patrick Bakman Papers is a testament of the meticulous attention to detail given by this talented director to each opera and musical production he was invited to undertake. The collection is replete with notes on a myriad aspects of production, including cast and technical staff contact lists, rehearsal schedules, costume and prop lists, script revisions and cuts, scene summaries or breakdowns, as well as printed reviews and programs relating to the performance. In addition, there are files of background information, such as opera histories, period costumes, furniture and culture, which Bakman used to research and authenticate his productions.
The production files are complimented by a library of music scores (primarily vocal) to many of the productions directed by Bakman. Those that bear director's annotations are included in this collection, while the remainder have been distributed to the main stacks of the Georgetown University Library to enhance the general collection in music. Scores are arranged alphabetically by title with copyright or imprint dates noted when possible.
The collection is completed by a large series of blueprints and some renderings of stage sets. It is well to note at this point also, that some of the production files and blueprints files include some costume design renderings (in watercolor, ink, or pencil) that include fabric swatches.
In using this finding aid, please note the following:
i. Companies and composers are indexed once in association with the various opera productions directed by Bakman. Thereafter, researchers are directed to look up information by opera title.
ii. A glossary of words and terms commonly used in relation to opera and theatrical productions is provided after the Introduction. These terms are used throughout this finding aid in reference to the material in each folder.
iii. Abbreviations used: PB = Patrick Bakman; AMs = autograph manuscript; TLS = typed letter signed; TMs = typed manuscript.
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Patrick Thomas Bakman was born in Fresno, California, where he grew up and received his early eduction at St. Helen's School. Later, he left Fresno to attend Bellarmine College of Preparatory in San Jose. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, earning a B.S. in chemistry in 1966. Bakman's predilection for the theater and performing arts showed clearly in active participation during his college years in student organizations such as the Mask and Bauble Society, the university's dramatic group; and the Collegium Musicum (Friends of Music), composed of students interested in the academic role of music and a sponsor of the Georgetown Concert Series. After Georgetown, Bakman went on to Columbia University to pursue his interest in theater and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing in 1970.
Bakman's professional career began auspiciously in 1972 when he was engaged to stage Carlisle Floyd's opera "Susannah," for the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. Patton Campbell, one of Bakman's first teachers at Columbia, recollects the vigorous progress of the promising young director: "In the fall of 1967 I taught my first class in the Theatre Department at Columbia, and there were three designers and three directors...One of the directors was Patrick Bakman, and his love of music and fascination with opera were obvious from the start. As most of you know, when Patrick wanted something, he was never shy! Toward the end of his third year he told me that he wanted to work for the New York City Opera and that he wanted to assist Frank Corsaro [veteran director of NYC Opera productions]. I told him I thought I could arrange the one, but I wasn't so sure about the other. Well, one phone call to [NYC Opera director] Julius Rudel, and Patrick was engaged for the fall season and almost immediately assigned to Corsaro's productions. Soon afterward he began assisting in Frank's classes. Now, I've passed the torch to a lot of young designers, but I'm enormously proud to have passed it to a talented young director as well..." (from a memorial service address given by Campbell, December 20, 1990).
In less than a decade, after his first assignment with the New York City Opera, Bakman's talent as a director and knowledge of opera and theater earned him engagements with many prominent opera companies around the country. His engagement in Alaska by the Anchorage Opera, to have started in 1991, would have been the fiftieth state in which he directed. A resume of Bakman's major productions is given at the end of this introduction.
The legacy of gifted teachers in his university years was never lost on Bakman. In his turn, he was deeply involved in passing along to the next aspiring generation of directors, all the knowledge he had acquired from his own mentors and experience. For two consecutive summers in 1972 and 1973, he directed the Opera Workshop Program at the State University of New York at Albany. In the spring of 1975 he was artist-in-residence at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, where he conducted an acting seminar and directed a new musical, "Up Your Stars." For two consecutive semesters, from fall 1979 through spring 1980, he taught a directing seminar on the plays of Tennessee Williams and Oscar Wilde at the University of Houston, Theatre Department.
From 1978 to 1980, Bakman was director of dramatic studies for the Houston Opera Studio of the Houston Grand Opera. He gave classes in interpretation of operatic arias, acting and improvisational acting, as well as directed the Houston Opera Studio productions of "The Rape of Lucretia," and "Two Widows." During this time, he also taught two semesters, fall 1979 and fall 1980, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he also directed the Opera Workshop and productions of "La Boheme," and "The Consul."
Bakman resided in Manhattan, N.Y. until his death on December 16, 1990, at age 46. He is survived by his parents Virginia and Richard L. Bakman, who still reside in Fresno; his brother Richard, also in Fresno; and sister Jane Anne of Newport Beach. Bakman is buried in Fresno. In his memory, the Patrick Thomas Bakman book fund was established by his family and friends at the Georgetown University Library.
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Processed by Lisette C. Matano, January 1993.
RESUME OF PRODUCTIONS DIRECTED BY PATRICK T. BAKMAN
Arkansas Opera Theatre Marriage of Figaro 1987
Magic Flute 1989
A Postcard from Morocco 1989
Threepenny Opera 1989
Augusta Opera Marriage of Figaro 1978
Washington Square 1979
Charlotte Opera (Assoc.), N.C.
Chicago Opera Theater Susannah 1986
Turn of the Screw 1987
University of Chicago Mavra 1982
Colorado Opera Festival The Rake's Progress 1977
La Cenerentola 1978
La Boheme 1980
Madama Butterfly 1985
Equity Showcase Production, N.Y. Another Part of the Forest 1970
Folger Theatre Group, Washinton, D.C. Love's Labor's Lost 1974
Fort Worth Opera La Traviata 1974
Boris Goudnov 1978
Goose Girl 1981
The Flying Dutchamn 1982
The Seagull 1982
Glimmerglass Opera Theatre, N.Y.
The Merry Widow 1979
The Marriage of Figaro 1980
Operatic Triad: 1981
Trouble in Tahiti
Madama Butterfly 1982
Abduction from the Seraglio 1983
Eugene Onegin 1987
Hartt Opera Theater,
Hartt School of Music, Conn.
Pelleas et Melisande 1983
Two Widows 1984
Hawaii Opera Theatre Madama Butterfly 1985
L'Amico Fritz 1987
A Masked Ball 1987
The Bartered Bride 1990
Houston Grand Opera Susannah 1972, 1976
Of Mice and Men 1973
La Rondine 1973
La Boheme 1975
The Rape of Lucretia 1979
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg 1980
Two Widows 1980
Kansas City Lyric Opera La Traviata 1974, 1976
The Ballad of Baby Doe 1976, 1983
The Tales of Hoffmann 1977
Kentucky Opera La Traviata 1974
Knoxville Opera Company La Boheme 1987
Lake George Opera Festival
The Threepenny Opera 1972
Tosca 1972, 1973
La Traviata 1974
The Last of the Mohicans 1977
The Consul 1984
Memphis Opera Susannah 1983
Eugene Onegin 1984
Michigan Opera Theatre Carmen 1981
University of Michigan La Boheme 1979
The Consul 1980
Mobile Opera, Alabama Don Giovanni 1980
National Theatre of South Korea
La Boheme 1977
New York City Opera Susannah 1972
The Magic Flute 1973
The Ballad of Baby Doe 1976
New York City Opera
National Company (Tour) La Boheme 1990
Oberlin Music Theater Barber of Seville 1970
Oklahoma University Albert Herring 1984
The Magic Flute 1985
Portland Opera, Oreg. Susannah 1976
La Fanciulla del West 1983
San Diego Opera La Boheme 1975
Lucia di Lammermoor 1981
Santa Fe Opera La Traviata 1976
Seattle Opera La Fanciulla del West 1983
Anna Bolena 1988
La Traviata 1988
Southwestern Opera Theater Chanticleer 1980
Signor Deluso (date?)
Sweet Betsy from Pike (date?)
Syracuse Opera Theatre Aida 1977
Texas Opera Theater La Boheme 1981
Tulsa Opera, Okla. The Ballad of Baby Doe 1976
Madama Butterfly 1983
Washington Opera Society Gianni Schicchi 1974
Western Opera Theater, Alabama Susannah 1976, 1977
The following defines words and terms that are commonly used in theatrical productions and that are adopted for use in this finding aid. An asterisk (*) indicates that the word or term is pertinent to this finding aid only and is not otherwise in common use.
Blueprints - see also Groundplans. Refers to scaled technical drawings of stage sets.
Cuts - Exclusions made by the director of a part of the music or script.
Design(s)* - Refers to renderings of costumes or stage settings.
Director's Notes - Also called Program Notes. Background (historical and cultural) and synopsis of the opera.
Groundplans - Floorplan that delineates placement of furniture, props, moveable scenery, other technical apparatus that might appear on stage in a particular scene.
Hang Plot - Outline of the order of hanging the backdrops for each scene or act.
Production Notes* - Refers to the general category of autograph and typed notes amassed by Bakman when directing an opera. Includes: cast/staff lists, rehearsal schedules, costume/plot lists, script revisions, scene breakdown, hang and lighting plots, cues, etc.
Reference Material* - Refers to information (printed text/illustrations and autograph notes) collected to research the history and background of an opera.
Rendering(s) - See also Design(s). Sketch or watercolor of stage setting for a scene or of a costume design.
Review(s) - Printed critical reviews received by a performance.
Scene Breakdown - An outline of the stage action of a scene in order of character appearance, used to aid the director.
Timings - List of the length (in minutes) of each scene.
BULK DATES: 1970 - 1990
SPAN DATES: 1891 - 1991
EXTENT: 20 boxes