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After We Shot the Grizzly: 1921

New York. May 16, 1921. The Metropolitan Opera soprano Yvonne d'Arle and friend. 8x10 inch glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

New York. May 16, 1921. The Metropolitan Opera soprano Yvonne d'Arle and friend. 8x10 inch glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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Vintage guitar

I believe the guitar pictured here might be a Martin Model 2-26. It has a Martin "pyramid bridge"and appears to have wood purfling around the top edge a "rope pattern" soundhole ring. Also, this model featured an ivory-bound top. This guitar was made from the 1850s to the 1880s. A similar guitar is pictured on page 22 of "The Martin Book". The pearl position dots may not be original.

[Word of the Day: Purfling! - Dave]

I don't think she's playing that guitar at all

She's really bouncing up and down on the bear, making the squeaker go.


The bear is singing along with the pretty girl. Lucky Bear.

Chords- Lost & Found

Let us assume Ms. d'Arle is fretting the 2nd fret on the A string, the 3rd fret on the G string (the middle and pinky fingers not pressing down), and the other strings ringing freely in the open positions. What we have here is what could be called a D6sus2#5/E chord. Yvonne clearly has a flair for the exotic, with a Phrygian mode, Spanish sort of flavor.

After she shot the bear, our French nightingale went flamenco.

Guitar Girl

I know nothing of guitars. I know less than that about opera and opera personalities. I know something of pretty girls -- and here's one in the picture. But, I know beyond a doubt that the bear is not a grizzly, but a black bear.

[But that's not a song! - Dave]

Lost Chord?

Just asked my long-time guitarist buddy, and he says it looks valid, probably a C or C7th.

So there!

Could It Be?

When she stood up, the bear's mouth closed.

Lost Chord

One minor criticism on the pose. As an amateur guitarist, I have never seen a chord quite like the one Yvonne is playing. I'm sure someone more knowledgable will correct if I am in error! And yes, I did notice that she was hot!

Ziegfeld Girl

Mlle. d'Arle also played Queen Anne in Florence Ziegfeld's 1928 production of The Three Musketeers. And I agree with jimmylee42. Yvonne d'Arle was hot.

Proportionately Speaking

At last a Diva that wasn't super sized.

A timeless beauty

If we had a top 10 Shorpy Babe List this young lady would get my vote.

Sheer beauty

What a magnificently posed photo of a stunning woman holding a beautiful guitar (that I wish I had in my own collection)! Oh, and then there's the bear rug.

Three great things, that go great together

A guitar, a pretty girl, and a bearskin rug!

Look for the bear necessities

The simple bear necessities, forget about your worries and your strife (unless you're the bear!!)

Una fanciulla del West

A student of the important voice instructor and agent William Thorner, the charming Miss d'Arle had already sung with New York's Hammerstein Opera company and toured with the New York Grand Opera. Although born in France, she had been raised in Denver from the age of two, and sang at a roof garden cabaret in New York before signing with Thorner. This photo was probably occasioned by the announcement that she was one of five young American sopranos who had been newly signed for the Metropolitan's 1921-1922 season by the company's General Manager, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, as reported in the New York Times on May 9, 1921. She would remain at the Met until 1926, and later sang leading roles with the St. Louis Civic Opera and other regional companies before moving to Europe. She died in Cannes at age 80 on March 23, 1977.

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