Collection of Ira Nowinski Photographs of Glyndebourne Festival Opera Season 1986/87

Scope and Content

This collection contains 57 photographs of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera season 1986/87. Productions covered include La Traviata, Carmen, Cosi fan tutte, Porgy and Bess, L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, L’Heure Espagnole and The Electrification of the Soviet Union as well as rehearsal photographs and portraits.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ira Nowinski (b. 1942) is an American photographer of Polish and Hungarian Jewish descent. He was born in New York City and raised in New Rochelle, New York. In 1973 he earned a Master of Fine Art’s degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. Shortly after, in 1978 he became the official photographer of the San Francisco Opera. He also documented Jewish life in the San Francisco Bay Area in three photographic projects: In Fitting Memory: The Art and Politics of Holocaust Memorials; Karaite Jews in Egypt, Israel, and the San Francisco Bay Area; and Soviet Jews in San Francisco. From 2002 to 2003, he photographed the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands as well as the impact humans have had on the ecosystem. The Standford University Libraries Department of Special Collections exhibited some of his work of Holocaust memorials and sites in 2004.

The Glyndebourne Festival was established by John Christie and his wife Audrey Mildmay in 1934. Initially the theatre held 300 seats and the works performed were almost exclusively those of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The repertoire was eventually expanded to include works by Benjamin Britten, Giuseppe Verdi, and Gioachino Rossini among others. Popularity of the Festival lead to the expansion of the threatre, first in the 1970s and then again in 1994 when a new opera house was built to house 1,200 seats.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Material relating to the Oliver Messel Collection, the Sir Michael Redgrave Archive and the Patrick Robertson and Rosemary Vercoe Theatre Design Collection. Further material relating to Glyndebourne Festival Opera may also be found in biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.

Personal Names