Libraries Tasmania invites you to dig deeper into 91 Stories

Media Release

4th April 2022

Who was Australia’s first female conductor?

Sitting within the Tasmanian Archives is the musical score for The Toreador, dating from 1926. The Toreador, or How Sammy Gigg Won the Bullfight, is a comic opera about a bullfighter competing for the hand of a wealthy widow. This historically important item represents more than just a performance. It tells the story of a performer, who despite setbacks, would not compromise on her artistic visions.

The full story of Tasmanian woman, Lucy Benson, and The Toreador is now available to read online.

In 2021, Libraries Tasmania invited all Tasmanians to contribute to an important community led exhibition – 91 Stories – shared with the Tasmanian public online and in-person at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts.

This year Libraries Tasmania is digging deeper into five of the 91 Stories, starting with The Toreador and the story of Australia’s first female conductor, Lucy Benson.
Four more stories will be released throughout 2022, highlighting important treasures in Tasmanian history, and the people that they represent.

These are just some of the hidden gems that can be found in the collections of the State Library of Tasmania, Tasmanian Archives and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts.

Within these three cultural institutions, Libraries Tasmania holds a wealth of stories in its care – unique objects and artworks, rare and mysterious artefacts, and
documents of memorable events and the personal lives of past Tasmanians.

Communications and Marketing – 6165 6386 or 0417 465 669