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Madeline Heineman Berger  (b. 1882, d. 1943)
Madeline Heineman Berger Temple of Music and Art, Tucson Madeline Heineman with Amelita Galli-Curci breaking ground for the Temple of Music and Art
Madeline Heineman Berger worked tirelessly to expand opportunities for music education and culture in Tucson when it was a small town with few amenities. She led the Saturday Morning Music Club which built the Temple of Music and Art, creating a magnificent cultural arena for Tucson in 1927. The Temple showcased world-renown musicians and still remains in operation today.

Region: Tucson and Southern Arizona
Theme: Women in the Arts

Madeline Heineman moved to Tucson in 1906, the young wife of the merchant, Simon Heineman. One year later, she helped found the Saturday Morning Music Club, a small organization of initially twelve women. By 1910, the Music Club was sponsoring performances by opera singers and other musicians. A Junior Branch of the Saturday Morning Music Club provided musical education for Tucson children. In 1929, there were 700 members in the club; the membership had increased to 1,000 by 1940.

Madeline Heineman's husband, Simon, died in 1924, but she continued working to expand the cultural life of Tucson. She organized an $180,000 fundraising campaign to build the Temple of Music and Art. In December of 1926, she and Metropolitan opera singer, Amelita Galli-Curci, broke ground for the new building. When it opened the following year, it contained an auditorium seating 1,000 people, a stage large enough for a full symphony orchestra, a small recital hall, eight dressing rooms and studio/practice rooms. Madeline's personal life was also busy during these years. In 1928, she married for the second time to Harry Berger.

Over the years, the Temple of Music and Art showcased hundreds of performances, including ballet, opera, and symphonies, becoming the hub of the city's cultural life. Local musicians also performed there. In 1957, the Temple celebrated its fiftieth birthday by offering a free concert to Tucson residents. Also a skilled musician and pianist, Madeline Heineman Berger directed "Il Trovatore" which local performers sang in Italian.

Today, the main building of the Temple of Music and Art is the home of Arizona Theatre Company. It features a 600-seat theater, a café, small Temple Gallery, and a gift shop offering theatrical and musical souvenirs. Visit the Temple of Music and Art at 330 S. Scott Avenue in Tucson.

Photo Credits:
Madeline Heineman Berger - Courtesy of Arizona Historical Society, Tucson
Temple of Music and Art, Tucson - Courtesy of the Arizona Theatre Company
Madeline Heineman with Amelita Galli-Curci breaking ground for the Temple of Music and Art - Courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson

 

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