Records of University Opera at the University of Nottingham, 1956-1963

Scope and Content

The collection comprises correspondence and other papers relating to the preparation andproduction of Henry Purcell's dramatic operas 'Dioclesian' (1963), 'King Arthur' (1956) and 'TheFairy Queen' (1959) by the University of Nottingham's University Opera company. The following seriesare present:

  • Minutes. 1956-1963 (UN UU 13/1);
  • Programmes and posters. 1956-1963 (UN UU 13/2);
  • Papers relating to ticketing for 'Dioclesian', including seating plans for the university's GreatHall showing seats sold, sample ticket, and a list of names to receive complimentary tickets. 1963(UN UU 13/3);
  • Papers relating to publicising the production of 'Dioclesian', including mailing lists forposters and bills. 1963 (UN UU 13/4);
  • Other papers including financial items relating to the production of 'Dioclesian', rehearsalschedules, and a few items of correspondence. 1959-1963 (UN UU 13/5).

Administrative / Biographical History

Little is known about the history, status and achievements of the University of Nottingham'sUniversity Opera. Interest in opera grew out of the student Music Society which was establishedsometime between 1935 and 1937. The first mention of a specialist Opera Group in connection with theMusic Society appears in the student handbook in 1955 with reference to the group's annual Februaryproduction, which had become a prominent event on the university calendar. It was held in the GreatHall and was the only Music Society event to charge an admission fee. By 1963, University Opera hada business manager to co-ordinate ticket sales and supervise the payment of performers andsuppliers. The opera group continued to flourish into the 1980s.


Items in the collection have been arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was given to the University's Department of Manuscripts in April 1969.