Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Peter Mark Papers, 1953-2014, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Mona Farrow

Collection Overview

Title: Peter Mark Papers, 1953-2014, undated

Predominant Dates:1980-2010

ID: 00/MG 114

Primary Creator: Mark, Peter (1940-)

Extent: 46.6 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The collection is arranged into five series: Series I: Peter Mark; Series II: Thea Musgrave; Series III: International Opera Alliance (IOA); Series IV: Lyric Opera of Virginia; and Series V: Virginia Opera Association.

Date Acquired: 12/20/2012. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Conductors (Music)--United States, International Opera Alliance, Lyric Opera of Virginia, Mark, Peter, Musicians--United States, Virginia Opera Association

Languages: English, Chinese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains the personal papers of Peter Mark, Founding General Director and Artistic Director of the Virginia Opera from 1974-2010. The collection includes the correspondence of Peter Mark as Artistic Director of the Virginia Opera, programs from Virginia Opera productions, administrative records of the Virginia Opera, and records pertaining to the International Opera Alliance (IOA) and the Lyric Opera of Virginia.

Collection Historical Note

Peter Mark is the Founding General Director and Artistic Director of the Virginia Opera Association from 1974 to 2010, founding Artistic Director of the Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival and an International Opera Coach, Masterclass Teacher and Conductor.    The Virginia Opera Association bestowed on Peter Mark the title Director Emeritus of the Virginia upon his departure in 2012.  Peter Mark is the founding Director of Lyric Opera of Virginia from 2010 to 2012.  He worked through the International Opera Alliance to identify and train gifted young American and international opera singers.  Prior to his career as conductor and impresario, Maestro Mark, who began his musical career as a boy soprano soloist at the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera, enjoyed a successful career as a solo violinist and violist. Since his Virginia Opera debut in 1975 and under his guidance for the past 36 seasons, Virginia Opera has identified, worked with and presented some of the nation’s most promising young singers – from Jeannine Altmeyer, Renée Fleming, Barbara Dever, Frank Porretta, Grant Youngblood, Fabiana Bravo, Lawrence Brownlee, Nmon Ford, Thomas Truhitte, Cristina Nassif, Jeniece Golbourne, Manon Strauss Evrard and Mary Elizabeth Williams. Maestro Mark conducted his 100th Virginia Opera production - Il Trovatore, totaling 700 highly-successful performances led by him on the company’s stage during his career.  He invited two of the most well know opera singers to the Hampton Roads area, Beverly Sills and Luciano Pavarotti.  As conductor, he brought the artistic achievements of Virginia Opera to the international stage, conducting the company’s productions and presenting the company’s singers in South America, London, New York, and China, where he conducted Shanghai’s first Italian-language Tosca to open the brand new Opera House of the Oriental Arts Center, China’s first, and was featured on the cover of China’s national Opera News.  Among his most recognized productions are four operas by Maestro Mark’s wife, distinguished Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave, and the Virginia Premieres of Strauss’ Elektra and Salome, Wagner’s Die Walküre and Tristan & Isolde, Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, and Handel’s Rodelinda and Agrippina. Maestro Mark conducted the British premiere of Musgrave’s A Christmas Carol for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (telecast throughout the United Kingdom by Granada Television); Porgy and Bess at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, La Traviata and Masked Ball for Krakow Opera, and La Bohème for its centennial production at the Torre del Lago Puccini Festival in Italy.  He has also conducted for New York City Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria in Canada, and the National Opera of Mexico at the Bellas Artes.  Though his travels to China, Africa, Europe and the Americas, he has heard listened, trained and encouraged and presented some of the best young operatic talent.  Peter Mark is the son of Edna and Irving Mark.

Subject/Index Terms

Conductors (Music)--United States
International Opera Alliance
Lyric Opera of Virginia
Mark, Peter
Musicians--United States
Virginia Opera Association

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Accruals: An addition to the collection was given in 2014.

Access Restrictions: Portions of this collection are restricted. Please consult a staff member for assistance.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Gift of Peter Mark

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession #A2013-09

Related Materials: Virginia Opera Papers (MG 85).

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [number], Folder [number and title], Peter Mark Papers, Special Collections, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia.

Processing Information: The collection was inventoried by Mona Farrow, Special Collections and University Archives staff, Greg Magier, Special Collections and University Archives volunteer, and Angelia Mumford, Special Collections and University Archives student assistant from June 2015 through December 2016. Additional material was interfiled into the collection by Mona Farrow, Special Collections and University Archives staff, from January through March 2018.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Peter Mark, 1953-2012, undated],
[Series 2: Thea Musgrave, 1974-2006],
[Series 3: International Opera Alliance (IOA), 2003-2008, undated],
[Series 4: Lyric Opera Of Virginia, 2011-2014, undated],
[Series 5: Virginia Opera Association  (VOA), 1974-2012, undated],
[Series 6: Audiovisual Material, 1953-2012, undated],
[Series 7: Oversize Memorabilia and Promotional Material, 1976-2012, undated],
[All]

Series 2: Thea Musgrave, 1974-2006
This series contains information Thea Musgrave’s personal information and performances. Thea Musgrave was born in Barton, Edinburg on May 27, 1928.  She attended Moreton Hall School, the University of Edinburg and studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Aaron Copland at the Tanglewood Festival.  In 1970 she became a Guest Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and from 1987 to 2002 she was Distinguished Professor at Queen’s College, City University of New York.  In 1971 she married Peter Mark, an American violist and opera conductor.  Ms. Musgrave has written more than a dozen opera and other music theatre works, such as Mary Queen of Scots (1977), Harriet Tubman:  A Women called Moses (1984), Simon Bolivar (1993) and Pontalba (2003).
Sub-Series A: Personal, 1974-2006
Box 5
Folder 11: A Tribute: Awarded The Commander Of The British Empire, 2002
Folder 12: Award, Governors Award For The Arts, 1985
Folder 13: Biographies, 1979-1990
Folder 14: Commonwealth Of Virginia Governor Award, 1985
Folder 15: Correspondence, 1989-2006
Folder 16: Magazines: Performing Arts Of San Diego Symphony, Prelude, Academy of American Ancient Music, 1982, 2006-2007
Folder 17: News Articles, 1976-2005
Folder 18: Novellos and Programs, 1974-2000
Folder 19: Seventy Fifth Birthday Celebration, 2003
Folder 20: The Turbulent Landscapes Played By The Boston Symphony, 2004
Box 40
Folder 1: Estate Planning, 2000
Sub-Series B: Performances - Personal, 1979-2005
Box 6
Folder 1: Ariadne, The Voice Of - New York (including High Fidelity and Musical America Magazine) and Germany, 1977-1995
Folder 2: Pontalba, New Orleans, La, 2003
Folder 3: Viola Concerto, Scottish National Orchestra Scotland, 1973-1974
Folder 4: Two's Company, World Premier Scotland, 2007
Folder 5: Wood, Metal and Skin, National Youth Orchestra Of Scotland, 2005
Sub-Series C: Christmas Carol, 1979-2002
Box 6
Folder 6: Commemorative Book World Premiere, 1979
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1981
Folder 8: Magazines -Metro, New Yorker, News Eek, Horizon, 91.5 KUSC FM Program Guide, 1979
Folder 9: News Articles, 1979-2002
Folder 10: Performance In Australia, 1981
Folder 11: Performance In London, Royal Opera House, 1981
Folder 12: Performance In Philadelphia, Pa, 1981
Folder 13: Programs, 1981
Folder 14: Scrapbook, 1979-1981
Sub-Series D: Mary Queen of Scots, 1977-1981
Box 7
Folder 1: American Premiere, 1978
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1977-1978
Folder 3: Handwritten Notes, 1980-1981, undated
Folder 4: Libretto and Music (Novella) and a Libretto and Correction Notes, 1976, 1977, undated
Folder 5: Magazine, 1977-1981
Commonwealth (2 copies), High Fidelity, New Yorker, San Francisco Opera Magazine, Opera News, Tidewater Virginian, Time (2 Copies), WGH FM 97 Arts Guide
Folder 6: Newspaper Articles, 1971-1981, undated
Folder 7: Performance In Edinburg, Scotland, 1977
Box 8
Folder 1: Performance In Hinsdale, Il, 1981
Folder 2: Performance In New York, 1981
Folder 3: Performance In San Francisco, Ca, 1979
Folder 4: Performance In Trap, Vienna, VA, 1979
Folder 5: Rehearsals, 1978, undated
Folder 6: Research By Irvin Mark (Peter's Father), 1977
Folder 7: Set Design Drawings, undated
Sub-Series E: Harriet: A Women Called Moses, 1984-1985, undated
Box 8
Folder 8: Programs (World Premiere), 1984-1985
Folder 9: Research Materials and Photographs, 1984, undated
Sub-Series F: Simon Bolivar, 1984-1995
Box 8
Folder 10: BBC Proms 95 Scottish Symphony Orchestra, 1994
Folder 11: Composer Forum, 1994
Folder 12: Correspondence (Accolades and Congratulations), 1994-1995
Folder 13: Educational Program, 1984,  1992,  1995
Folder 14: Guest Lists, 1994
Folder 15: Historical Research and Photocopies Of Portraits, 1991,  1994, undated
Box 9
Folder 1: Libretto-First Draft, 1991
Folder 2: Libretto (Complete), 1991
Folder 3: Magazine Articles BBC Proms, Government Issue, Opera, Opera News, Port Folio Magazine, 1995
Folder 4: Music Experts, 1994-1995, undated
Folder 5: Music Scores, Notes,, 1994-1995, Undated
Folder 6: News Articles, 1994-1996
Folder 7: Performance For The Organization Of America State, Washington, DC, 1995
Folder 8: Premiere Programs and Brochures, 1994-1995
Folder 9: Press Packet, 1995
Folder 10: World Premiere Packet, 1994-1995
Box 10
Folder 1: Rehearsal Schedules and Notes, 1994-1995
Folder 2: Simon Bolivar Festival Day, 1995
Folder 3: Simon Bolivar Opening Events Committee, 1994
Folder 4: Virginia Opera Association Press Releases, 1994

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Peter Mark, 1953-2012, undated],
[Series 2: Thea Musgrave, 1974-2006],
[Series 3: International Opera Alliance (IOA), 2003-2008, undated],
[Series 4: Lyric Opera Of Virginia, 2011-2014, undated],
[Series 5: Virginia Opera Association  (VOA), 1974-2012, undated],
[Series 6: Audiovisual Material, 1953-2012, undated],
[Series 7: Oversize Memorabilia and Promotional Material, 1976-2012, undated],
[All]

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