This collection comprises papers relating to the life and career of English soprano Joan Cross.
The collection includes press reviews and programmes covering many years of her career, and correspondence, notably letters from Tyrone Guthrie, and letters and telegrams of congratulations on the award of CBE to Cross in 1951. Further items of interest include a draft autobiography with performance diary, and a list of Cross's performances from 1924 to 1957, arranged by opera and by date with details of venue and other cast members. There are also opera vocal scores, performance scores and printed music used and annotated by Cross, as well as manuscript and printed music by Lawrance Collingwood.
The papers include an extensive collection of photographs of Cross throughout her life and of her colleagues, friends and family. There are portraits of Cross, many of her in costume, and portraits of colleagues, including Vic-Wells Opera Company and Sadler's Wells Opera Company colleagues from the 1930s and 1940s. There are production photographs of operas in which Cross performed and also operas she directed. These include photographs of the 1969 production of Peter Grimes at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk; Norwegain productions of Peter Grimes in 1965, Albert Herring in 1967, Eugene Onegin in 1966 and Poppea and Cosi Fan Tutte in 1968; production of Albert Herring at the 1970 Chester Festival by the Phoenix Opera Company, and Marriage of Figaro at York Festival in 1969. There are also photographs of Joan Cross's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers with Scottish Opera in Edinburgh in 1968, with press cuttings and Cross's marked libretto. There are further photographs of colleagues involved in the production of The Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne in 1946, Albert Herring at Glyndebourne in 1947 and the 1954 Aldeburgh Festival.