Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Savoy Company of Philadelphia was founded in 1901 by Dr. Alfred Reginald Allen with the assistance of his sister Anne Carrington Allen (Nance) and Maria Scott Beale (Rydie). Dr. Allen's intent was for the Company to perform Gilbert and Sullivan operas based on the original English staging. He believed Americans had ruined the operas in their attempt to circumvent copyright laws.
The Savoy Company has produced one of the thirteen surviving Gilbert and Sullivan operas annually since its inception, excluding the years 1918-1919, and 1942-1945 due to the World Wars. The operas performed include Trial by Jury; The Sorcerer; H.M.S. Pinafore; The Pirates of Penzance; Patience; Iolanthe; Princess Ida; The Mikado; Ruddigore; The Yeomen of the Guard; The Gondoliers; Utopia, Limited; and The Grand Duke. The productions are produced entirely through the volunteer labor of the Company's membership, which includes the actors, chorus members, backstage crew, board members, officers and committee chairs.
Revenue from each performance is donated to local charities including the Alfred Reginald Allen Scholarship Fund. The Fund was established in 1921 by Savoy members in memory of its founder and supports the acquisition of books and scores for the University of Pennsylvania's Otto E. Albrecht Music Library.
Mark Chiacchiere, Esq. served as a member of the Savoy company and has held the offices of Treasurer and President.
The Mark Chiacchiere collection of Savoy company records consists of files donated by Mark Chiacchiere, a member of the Savoy company who held the offices of Treasurer and President. This collection serves as a supplement to the Savoy Company Records, particularly for those wishing to research the time period between 1998 and 2005, wherein falls the bulk of the material.
Series I, Financial includes records relating to advertising; beneficiaries (the non-profit organizations to which the Savoy company donated its profits, a practice which the company began in 1921 and continues through the present day); banking records; budget plans; financial statements, fundraising records (which includes information on donors and foundations), insurance records; and tax documents.
Series II, Locations, includes information on meeting and rehearsal locations and performance venues, including ticket sales. Meetings and rehearsals were held at the Cynwyd Club and the Germantown Cricket Club. Information relating to the performance venues includes only the primary performance venues for the Savoy Company's yearly productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, i.e., the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music, and Longwood Gardens and contains ticketing information for performances at these locations.
Series III, Meetings, contains three subseries: Board meetings, Committee meetings, and Semi-annual meetings. The Board meetings and Semi-annual meetings subseries range in date from 1998 to 2012. The Board meetings subseries includes meetings of the Board of Directors and meetings of the Advisory Board. The Committee meetings subseries ranges from  to 2011 and includes some undated materials. This group of material contains documents from the meetings of various Savoy committees (e.g., web, fundraising, etc.) as well as from Committee Chair Orientation Meetings.
Series IV, Photographs and audiovisual materials, contains printed photographs from productions and social events dated between 2000 and 2003, as well as a few undated photographs; a digital recording of Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer (); and a disc containing digital photographs from the Savoy Company's performance of the National Anthem at a Philadelphia Eagles game on January 2, 2005. Original audiovisual material is restricted from use and researchers are financially responsible for transfer onto more stable media.
Series V, Printed materials, consists of programs and tickets. The programs date between 1996 and 2004 and include yearly Gilbert & Sullivan operetta productions as well as special productions. The tickets date from 1996 to 1999 and are only for yearly productions.
Series VI, Production files, includes two subseries: Gilbert & Sullivan operettas (yearly performances) and Special productions and performances. The yearly performances include productions of Ruddigore (1998), Pirates of Penzance (1999), Utopia Limited (2000), Iolanthe (2001), Princess Ida (2002), The Mikado (2003), Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer (2004), and Gondoliers (2005). Special productions and performances includes performances of any production other than one of the extant Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.
Series VII, Publicity and public relations includes a press questionnaire from , a copy of the November 2003 Savoy Envoy and materials related to copies of the Savoy Envoy between 2003 and 2005, and a small number of other documents relating to press and publicity (including a pamphlet advertising the company).
Series VIII, Recruiting, admissions, and membership contains a variety of materials pertaining to the Savoy Company's membership experience, including the recruitment and admissions processes, membership procedures, company policies, and dues.
Series IX, Social events, contains documents regarding the Savoy Company's non-performance-related social events including a 2002 ball at the Academy of Music, an Alumni Night in 2000, and three President's parties (a social event thrown by the company president to welcome new members and welcome back old members) ranging from 2003 to 2005. There is also a small collection of documents from various other social events, mostly occurring between 2003 and 2005.
Series X, Miscellaneous contains a wide variety of material including: "Accounting & Recordkeeping Procedures," by-laws and company guidelines, calendars, Dandy Dick by Nine Lives Traveling Players, a lawsuit regarding the estate of Craig M. Hall, correspondence, letterhead, sheet music for "The Star Spangled Banner," and memorabilia. Researchers interested in the Savoy Company's finances may wish to consult this final series, box 4, folders 9 to 14.
Events of note include the 2001 centennial anniversary of the Savoy Company, a 2001 fire that destroyed the building in which the company kept its extra props and scenery, and a 2005 performance of the National Anthem at an Eagles game.
In an effort to maintain as much as possible of the collection's original arrangement, items originally grouped together in folders remain grouped wherever feasible, and the groups were categorized as a whole based on the original folder titles and/or the nature of the majority of documents in each folder. Therefore, in order to use the collection most effectively, one may wish to look at all documents, across series, for the year or years of interest.
Gift of Mark and Allison Chiacchiere, 2015.
- Academy of Music (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pa.)
- Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
- Savoy Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Molly B. Hutt
- Finding Aid Date
- 2015 July 2
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use, however, original audio and visual recordings are restricted from access. Researchers interested in acquiring a digital copy will be financially responsible for the transfer from original and should contact the Kislak Center for Special Collections.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.