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 7: Oversize Memorabilia and Promotional Material, 1976-2012, undated
This series contains both professional and personal memorabilia belonging to Peter Mark and includes artifacts, magazines, newspapers, and posters.
Sub-Series A: Memorabilia, 1993, 2005, undated
Box 86
Item 1: Small brown box, undated
Contains 16 VOA pins, one viola charm and Peter Mark's name tag
Item 2: Black box, undated
Contains a medallion form the University of California, Santa Barbara
Item 3: Silver Box, 1993 November 6
Presented at the Grand Opening  inscribed "Virginia Opera, The Edythe C. and Stanley Harrison Opera House
Item 4: Metronome Quartz Model 5050 by Seiko, undated
Box 87
Item 1: Red and Gold Book, 2005
China with the inscription reads
Box 88
Item 1: Business Cards, undated
Business cards sent to Peter Mark
Box 89
Item 1: Painting by Ed Weinberg, undated
Sub-Series B: Magazine and Newspapers, 1976-2005, undated
Box 89
Item 2: Arte Ocio Spectaculo:, 1995 February 22
photocopy of front page newspaper, Buenos Aires
Item 3: Bolivar excerpts for BBC Prom:  Concert, undated
Item 4: Giacomo Puccini -  Madama Butterfly, undated
La Scala presents
Item 5: Giacomo Puccini, 2005 June
Item 6: Giuseppe Verdi - Macbeth, 1976
Item 7: Patronos do Theatro Municipal de Sao Paulo, undated
2 copies
Item 8: Port Folio, Christina, 2004 September 12
Item 9: Port Folio, The Godfather Comes to the Opera (Peter Mark) and Don, 1984 January 10
Item 10: Virginia Living, Maestro, 2003 April 25
page 25
Sub-Series C: Posters, 1981-2012
Box 89
Item 11: Lyric Opera of Virginia, Something New to Sing About, 2011-2012
Item 12: Master Class with Maestro Peter Mark at George Mason University, School of Music, Vocal Studies,, 2009 October 15
Item 13: Pittsburgh Opera Auditions, 2011-2012
Item 14: Virginia Opera Association, Bidders, 1981 October 3

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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