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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 986

Bon Appétit! opera collection, 1982-1993


Musical score for Bon Appétit!, handwritten by composer Lee Hoiby, and correspondence among Hoiby, Julia Child, Jean Stapleton, and Mark Shulgasser re: production of the opera.


  • 1982-1993

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the Bon Appétit! opera collection may be held its their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.96 linear feet (1 folio box)

Collection includes a handwritten draft and annotated copies of the musical score for the opera Bon Appétit!, as well as text from The French Chef used in its creation. The collection also contains correspondence related to the project and performances, including correspondence between Julia Child and Jean Stapleton, as well as letters from Child to Mark Shulgasser. In addition, there are letters from Stapleton to Hoiby and Shulgasser about Hoisby's opera The Italian Lesson.


Lee Hoiby (1926-2011) was an American composer and pianist. In the mid 1980s, Hoiby composed the short opera Bon Appétit! for his friend, actress Jean Stapleton. The opera features chef Julia Child making a chocolate cake; Child wrote the text for the opera. The libretto was adapted by Mark Shulgasser from transcripts of two episodes of The French Chef, Child's television show. Stapleton preformed the opera at the Kennedy Center in 1989.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2019-M27

The Bon Appétit! opera collection was acquired by the Schlesinger Library from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians in January 2019.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Julia Child Additional papers,1890-2004, (MC 660).

Processing Information

Processed: March 2019

By: Paula Aloisio

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Radcliffe College Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund and the Gerard Schlesinger Library Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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