Opera Disc Company

Opera Disc Company (Germany) / c. 1921

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Design: Images of scantily clad females plucking stringed instruments seems to have been a popular motif for German-designed labels (see Homokord, Disco Odeon). The rise of German nationalism during the late 19th and into the early years of the 20th century had led to a popularization of pagan mythology, furthered by the music of Richard Wagner, and a longing for the trappings of the greatness of past empires. Also, the relatively new science of archaeology, which had brought to light many astounding artifacts of ancient times, had generated extreme popular interest in the ancient world.

History: In 1921, German-owned Opera Disc took advantage of a pre-WWI arrangement with Victor to market 'bootleg' recordings of classical music in the U.S., but within a year a lawsuit was filed against them by Victor, which proved successful; in 1923, Opera Disc Company was ordered to turn over all their records to Victor for destruction. As a result, the few remaining records are today quite rare. Label scan (above) courtesy of musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.

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