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HomeSearchGetRecordLondon: Royal Opera House

Collection Description

Collection Title
London: Royal Opera House
Description
A collection of programmes from the Royal Opera House from 1793 to the present. The collection consists of 109 boxes of material (from 1793 to 2009) including programmes, newspaper reviews, libretti and Royal Opera House magazines. The collection also includes material for the theatres that preceded the Royal Opera House on the same site: there are programmes from the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and the Royal Italian Opera House in the collection.

The earliest programme in the collection dates from 1793. This is a programme from a “Grand selection of music” concert. There are ten other items from the Theatre Royal Covent Garden in the collection, before the theatre became an established opera house in 1847. These items are concert bills from concert and oratorio performances dating from 1816 to 1832. There are ca. 55 other nineteenth-century items in the collection, chiefly from opera performances. Non-opera items include programmes from promenade concerts in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s.

The twentieth century collections are chiefly from performances of opera and ballet. Ballet programmes are from various companies, but a significant amount is from the Sadler’s Wells Ballet and Royal Ballet. Opera performances include "Proms" performances, particularly from the 1970s. In addition, there are programmes from recitals: these are usually, though not exclusively, programmes from recitals by opera singers. There are also programmes from the English Bach festival.

The collection is naturally at its most dense in the second half of the twentieth century, but it is by no means complete. From the 30 years between 1958 and 1988 there are over 70 boxes of material; to compare, there are 7 boxes of material from 1793 until 1947, over 150 years. However, it should be noted that this period includes times when the venue’s function was not a theatre: for example, there is a gap in holdings from 1940 to 1945 when the theatre was used as a servicemen and servicewomen dance venue.

Arrangement:
The programmes are arranged chronologically, with boxes containing the following date ranges:

1793-1905; 1906-1913; 1914-1922; 1923-1927; 1928-1935; 1936-1938; 1939-1947; 1948-1949; 1950-7/1951; 7/1951-1952; 1953-1954; 1954-1955; 1956-1957; 1958-5/1959; 6/1959-9/1960; 10/1960-7/1961; 9/1961-12/1961; 1/1962-5/1962; 6/1962-12/1962; 1/1963-4/1963; 5/1963-9/1963; 10/1963-12/1963; 1/1964-3/1964; 4/1964-10/1964; 11/1964-2/1965; 3/1965-6/1965; 7/1965-11/1965; 12/1965-3/1966; 4/1966-6/1966; 7/1966-11/1966; 12/1966-3/1967; 4/1967-5/1967; 6/1967-7/1967; 9/1967-2/1968; 3/1968-6/1968; 7/1968-12/1968; 1/1969-5/1969; 6/1969-11/1969; 12/1969-4/1970; 5/1970-10/1970; 11/1970-1/1971; 2/1971-3/1971; 4/1971-5/1971; 6/1971-9/1971; 10/1971-11/1971; 12/1971-12/2/1972; 13/2/1972-4/1972; 5/1972-7/1972; 8/1972-11/1972; 12/1972-3/1973; 4/1973-7/1973; 9/1972-12/1973; 1/1974-4/1974; 5/1974-10/1974; 11/1974-2/1975; 3/1975-10/1975; 11/1975-3/1976; 4/1976-11/1976; 12/1976-6/1977; 7/1977-12/1977; 1/1978-6/1978; 7/1978-2/1979; 3/1979-7/1979; 8/1979-3/1980; 4/1980-8/1980; 9/1980-2/1981; 3/1981-7/1981; 8/1981-2/1982; 3/1982-9/1982; 10/1982-12/1982; 1/1983-4/1983; 5/1983-15/7/1983; 16/7/1983-11/1983; 12/1983-3/1984; 4/1984-6/1984; 7/1984-15/11/1984; 16/11/1984-2/1985; 3/1985-4/1985; 5/1985-8/1985; 9/1985-12/1985; 1/1986-3/1986; 4/1986-7/1986; 8/1986-12/1986; 1/1987-4/1987; 5/1987-8/1987; 9/1987-1/1988; 2/1988-4/1988; 5/1988-6/1988; 7/1988-12/1988; 1/1989-6/1989; 7/1989-2/1990; 3/1990-10/1990; 11/1990-5/1991; 6/1991-4/1992; 5/1992-12/1992; 1/1993-6/1993; 9/1993-2/1994; 3/1994-11/1994; 12/1994-5/1995; 6/1995-12/1995; 1/1996-8/1996; 9/1996-7/1997; 8/1997-1998; 1999-2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004-2005; 2006-2009
Format
Date range of collection
1793 - 2003
Accumulation Dates
-
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
This collection is about

Location Details

Royal College Of Music, Library
London SW7 2BS
Open Map
Telephone
020 7591 4723
Visiting Information
Mon-Fri by appointment
Building Information
The CPH collections now form part of the RCM Library. The majority of the concert programme collections are stored off-site so you need to request items before arriving. Requests for programmes are processed on Thursday for delivery to the library the following week. The Library itself is open Monday to Friday during term times and Tuesday to Friday during vacations. We can advise you about our hours when you contact us.
Display Overview
NEW CONTACT DETAILS: 020 7591 4723; [email protected]
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
Open
Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council