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Michael Burden
Papers 1960-

MSS 0168


Biographical Note

Michael Burden (1960- ) is Fellow in Music, Dean and Chattels Fellow at New College, and Director of New Chamber Opera and Professor in Opera Studies in the University of Oxford.

He did his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Adelaide, and his PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He has served on the Council of the Royal Musical Association, is a patron member of the American Society for Eighteenth-century Studies, a trustee of Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), and is currently the Past President of the British Society for 18th-century Studies.

His research is on the stage music of Purcell, and on aspects of opera, dance and theatre in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. His publications include a catalogue of Metastasio's operas as performed in London; an edition of Le Ballet de la Nuit, with Jennifer Thorp; a biographical account of Regina Mingotti's years in London; and the five volume London Opera Observed, 1711-1844. He is also on the editorial committees for the collected Stradella and Eccles editions, and is a member of the Project Team for Ballad Operas Online.

Print items donated by Michael Burden have been catalogued as the Burden Collection. These papers comprise source materials used for published editions and ephemeral material donated by Michael Burden since 2006.


Contents Listing

Series 1. Source materials used for edited editions etc

1.1 Benedetto Marcello 10 cm.

Il pianto e il riso delle quattro stagioni. Oratorio in 2 parts.

  • "Il Pianto, e il Riso delle Quattro Stagioni dell' Anno per la Morte, Esaltazione, e Coronazione di Maria sempre Vergine Assunta in Cielo. Oratorio a Quattro Voci" [1730-1740] 90 leaves. Photocopy of ms score from The British Library, London GB-Lbl (GB-Lbl/ Add. 28172) RISM ID no. 806036555 (2 vols) Spiral binding
  •  "Il Pianto, e il riso delle quattro stagioni dell' anno per la morte esaltazione, e coronazione di Maria Assunta in Cielo. Oratorio a quattro voci composto nell' anno MDCCXXX [1730] ..." In Macerata: per glì Eredi del Panneeli ...., 1731. Printed libretto. 12 pages. Photocopy of the printed libretto from the Biblioteca Comunale Mozzi-Borgetti, Macerata, 7.14.A.126 Spiral binding

Il Trionfo della poesia e della musica. Oratorio in 2 parts.

  • "Ad. M.D.G.B.V.M. Il Trionfo Della Poesia, e Della Musica, nel Celebrarsi La Morte La Esaltazione, e La Incoronazione Di Maria Sempre Vergine assunta in Cielo Oratorio Sagro a 6:voci 1733 Musica, di Benedetto Marcello Poesia Interlocutori La Musica La Poesia, il Soprano, il Cembalo il Tenore il Basso Coro Di Poeti Di Arti Liberati Di Musici vetterani" [1733] 218 leaves. Photocopy of ms score from Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, Bruxelles (B-Br/ Ms II 3930 Mus Fétis 2172) RISM ID no. 700006035 (2 vols) Spiral binding. With photocopied titlepage and lyrics from the 1731 published edition p. 3-12 only.
  • [Second unbound copy including Parte Seconda] p. 229-431

1.2 Digitised source materials 2 cm. In Microfilms box

  • 'Le Gemèlle' [1784], music by Girolamo Tonioli. Ms copy of opera libretto in Italian scanned from the original in the Henry E. Huntington Library, LA 681_1047_112 (PDF on CD)
  • 'Ottone' [1734] 3 CDs, scanned as TIFF files
  • 'Atillio Regolo' [opera, music by Alessandro Scarletti, libretto by Matteo Noris ca 1719] 3 CDs, scanned as TIFF files
  • 'Gli uccellatori: a new comic opera. The music by Florian Leopold Gasman' [ie Gassman] (London: printed for W. Griffin, [18th century]. Print libretto copied from the original in Civica Biblioteca Archivi Storici "Angelo Mai" (Bergamo, Italy) (JPEG files on CD)

1.3 Microfilms 18 cm.

Giovanni Paisiello. Gli Schiavi per amore (1788)
Huntington Library LA182
Pietro Metastasio. Ciro Riconoscioto. J.C. Smith
Albert Schatz collections of opera librettos (Library of Congress) Creso ‘67
Giovanni Paisiello. Elfrida: a serious opera in two acts
Royal College of Music. MSS 597, 645, 660, 666. Reel 7
Carlo Francesco Badini. Il Bacio: a new comic opera
Domenico Fischietti. Opera full scores
Pietro Metastasio. L’Olimpiade 1783
John Davy. Divertimentos for harp and pianoforte.
Kane O’Hara. The Golden Pippin
John Burgoyne / Francois Bathelemow. The Maid of the Oaks
Carlo Francesco Badini. Didone abbandonata … 1786
Evristo? 1757
Pietro Metastasio? Demetrio 1716
Handel. Alessandro Severo 1738
Handel. Parnasso in festa 1734
Handel. Orestes 1734
Niccolo Jommelli. Ricinero 1780 / Giovanni Paisiello. La Frascatana 1778 / Le serve rivali 1780
[plus 7 untitled reels]
Pietro Metastasio. Alessandro nell'Indie (1764) Microfiche

Series 2. "Salmon Collection" photographs and correspondence IN ALBUM

In 2013 Michael Burden donated photographs and ms letters purchased from the Salmon Collection.
"The famed Salmon Collection was probably the finest and most comprehensive operatic memorabilia collection assembled on the West Coast in the 20th Century. The collection, especially rich in autographs and photographs of rare tenors, was phenomenal, and incorporated the private photo archive collection of Terry McEwen...." Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company catalogue

2.1 Photographs (Salmon Collection) 1 cm.

Lillian Nordica


Lillian Nordica (1857-1914) Image 14 x 10 cm, inside oval (NY: Aime Dupont) ca 1891-1910
American opera singer. One of the foremost dramatic sopranos of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Sang at the New York Metropolitan Opera 1891-1910





Sir Michael Costa (1808-1884) Image 8.5 x 5 cm, cut from album. Undated
Italian born musical composer & conductor

Zeni Nozic (?) as Carmen Image 16.6 x 10 cm (Baltimore: Perkins) Undated

Maria Felicita Malibran Garcia (1808-1836)

One of the most famous opera singers of the 19th century

  • Postcard, Museo Teatrale all Scala
  • 'Malibran in Fidelio' Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction by Delta Record Co., from the Alan Jefferson Collection
  • 'Malibran' Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction by Delta Record Co., from the Christopher Raeburn Collection
  • 'Malibran's Bajelito Waltz' Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction of printed music cover by Delta Record Co., from the Alan Jefferson Collection
  • 'The late Madame Malibran de Beriot' = Malibran as Desdemona in Othello Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction by Delta Record Co., from the Alan Jefferson Collection
  • [Malibran] 'Drawn on stone by Augusta Cole after the original from the life by Grevedon' Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction by Delta Record Co., from the Christopher Raeburn Collection
  • [Malibran] 'A lithograph by W. Sharp c. 1835 after the drawing by John Hayter' Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction, from the Christopher Raeburn Collection
  • [Malibran] Image 25 x 19 cm. Reproduction

2.2 Letters written to Louis-Henri Obin (1820-1895) (Salmon Collection)

Louis-Henri Obin studied in Lille and Paris, making his début in 1844 as Elmiro in Rossini's Otello at the Paris Opéra, where he was engaged for nearly 25 years. In 1850 he sang in the première of Auber's L'enfant prodigue. He created Procida in Verdi's Les vêpres siciliennes (1855), the High Priest of Brahma in L'Africaine (1865) and King Philip in Verdi's Don Carlos (1867). His repertory included Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Leporello, the title role of Mosè in Egitto, Balthazar (La favorite) and Bertram (Robert le diable), which he sang at Covent Garden in 1863.
From Grove Music Online

46 letters ca1856-1899?


  • the writer Edmund About (undated, 12/2/1862))
  • the singer Marie Vachot (written during her visit to New York, 23/10/1881)
  • Berthe Bronville (cantatrice with the Paris Opera, 14/8/1887)
  • E. Desmet (basse at the Paris Opera?, August 1884)
  • Alfred Auguste Giraudet (singing teacher, 19/2/1888 & 27/7/1891)
  • Jean Gautherin (sculptor of Obin's bust, ,?/4/1889, 30/12/1889, 11/9/1889, 21/10/1889)
  • Mr A. Bétolaud, avocat (3 letters)
  • General (later Marshal) [Bernard Pierre] Magnan, commander of the army in Paris (14/7/1856)
  • Gal Battaille [= General Battaille, Le Général Commandant, Ire Brigade de Voltigeurs, Garde Impériale] (undated, 6/6/--, 7/1/1862, 2/1869, 8/1/1869, 14/1/1869) Some letters have embossed initials "JB"
  • N.Y. Delsart (chanteur Paris Opera 1885?, undated)
  • A. Baudin (8/1/1863) [NOT Admiral Charles Baudin]
  • G (=Gustave?). Lanson? (undated)
  • A. Thibault or Hubault? (25/9?/1868)
  • [Edmond] Geffroy of the Théâtre-Français (2 undated)
  • C. Baratte (17/2/1855 or 99?)
  • Charles-Louis-Étienne Nuitter (archivist of the Paris Opera, re a bust of Obin, 9/4/1891)
  • Edmond Membrel? (undated)
  • the singer Maria Lureau (2 undated)
  • the composer Emile Pessard (27/5/1868, Wednesday? 1868)
  • Achille Vogue, autograph collector (undated)
  • Alph. Quincey(??) of the Cercle Artistique et Litteraire (8/4/1884)
  • the writer, Frederick Saltus Saltus (25/5/1884, from New York)
  • Jacques? De Boisjoslin (26/1/1889)
  • Dr Conneau, "attendant" and friend to Napoleon (3/9/1856)
  • Marguery? (20/12/1887)
  • ? from Conservatoire National de Musique en de Declamation, Cabinet du Directeur (21/2/1888)
  • ? Massart? (28/5/1884, 30/6/1883)
  • Hector Pessard(?) (3/7/1894)
  • Unidentified signatures (25/?/1871, 1883)

Series 2.3. Other memorabilia.

- Prologue and Epilogue to Thomas Otway’s The Cheats of Scapin, Westminster School, 1727.
- [Manuscript] Prologue and epilogue to Scapin. Spoken by the Westminster Scholars, Dec 14th 1727.
- Quarto, folded folio leaf. Title from back page.
- [Page 1] Prologue to Scapin. Dec 14: 1727. Spoken before Prince William by J. Friend.
- [Page 2-3] Epilogue. Spoken by Scapin. With the cast list:
- Scapin W. Friend
- Thrifty Bernard
- Gripe Ducasse
- Leander J. Friend
- Octavian Taylour
- Shift Lecois
- Sly Williamson
- Clara Slater
- Lucia Vivian

Series 3. Prints, art works

3.1 Drottningholms Palace Theatre, Stockholm IN MAP CABINET

Interior diagram of Drottningholms Slottsteater (=Drottningholms Palace Theatre, Stockholm): Suffiterna. Delineavit Kull © 75-87. Roof and stage cut away to show details of stage machinery.
Plate no.II [of 28 plates] from Drottningholms slottsteater = The Drottningholm Court Theatre = Il castello il Drottningholm / Gustav Kull. Härnösand: Bjärtrå teatertekniska, 1987.

3.2 Boccaccio, Act II, 1924 / Erna Planchte (1893-1986) On Rare Books stacks wall

Pastel on paper 39x48 cm, framed 50x58 cm. Interior of Berlin Grosses Schauspielhaus showing audience, orchestra and stage for performance of operetta Boccaccio by Franz von Suppé.

Erna Plachte (1893-1986) was a German Impressionist & Modern artist.  She was most noted for his work as an artist at the League of Nations between 1933 to 1936. At the end of her career was a tutor at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford which still awards annual Erna Plachte scholarships for their Masters in Fine Art (MFA) Course…At the age of 90 she authored a book of her drawings entitled: An artist at the League of Nations (Als Zeichnerin beim Völkerbund), published by Carl Habel Verlag, Germany, 1983. Info on Plachte courtesy of the the National Library of Australia blog

3.3. Ghost scene from Hamlet, 18th century. Attributed to Fuseli. On Rare Books stacks wall

Watercolour 23x18 cm, framed 40x34 cm, of Hamlet and Horatio encountering the ghost of Hamlet's father.

3.4 Jubilee Exhibition Building, Adelaide [ca 1920?] / John Goodchild (1898-1980) On Rare Books stacks wall

Ink & pencil on paper 39x26 cm, 55x45 framed. South east view of now demolished Exhibition Building, North Tce, Adelaide, built in 1887 to accommodate the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition in celebration of the colony's 50th birthday. Demolished in 1962 to make way for the Napier Building of The University of Adelaide.

Series 3.5 Costume designs for new chamber opera performance of Cossi fan tutte by Jack Edwards, 1997. Produced by Michael Burden. .05 cm

  • Hand-coloured sketches for costumes of notary (disguise), Don Alfonso x 2, Guglielmo & Ferrando x 2, Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Despina, Doctor (Despina). Ink and watercolour on card 30x23 cm.
  • [18] p. of ink sketches and ms notes on ruled A4 notepaper
  • Letter from Edwards to Burden 22/4/1997 re costume design for Don Alfonso

3.6. Drawings by Stephen Ward  IN OVERSIZE BOX
with covering note “The late Hugh Griffiths, the celebrated actor, sketched by the late Stephen Ward on board the S.S. Georgic returning from India in October 1945. On the reverse is a sketch of myself (Dr Ellis Stungo) 24/8/1981

Series 4. Other

4.1 Opera scores and scripts 4 cm.  IN OVERSIZE BOX

The Bear: An extravaganza in one act [opera]. Libretto adapted from Anton Tchekov by William Walton and Paul Dehn, lyrics by Paul Dehn, music by William Walton.

  • Photocopy of full score. A3, 236 p. From a copy held by the Library of Congress
  • Photocopy of score pages later altered by Walton. Signed “Gift of the composer 3 October 1967.” A3, [13] p. From a copy held by the Library of Congress
  • Photocopy of ‘optional cuts’ to score. [4] p. From a copy found at Oxford University Press
  • Photocopied libretto pages with extensive ms annotations. A3, [32] p., A4 [11] and [21] p. From a copy held by the Library of Congress

Il Radamisto: opera rapresentata nel Regio Teatro d’Hay Market composta … Giorgo Fredrico Handel. London: Publisht by the author. Printed and sold by Richard Meares & by Christopher Smith [1720] Photocopy of published score held by the Yale University Music Library “For reference use only. Permission necessary for reproduction or publication.” A3

  • [version first performed at the King's Theatre, London on 27 April 1720 at a performance attended by King George I and his son, the Prince of Wales]

Series 4.2 Scripts and miscellanea from the sale of the Richard Bennett Collection 2 cm.

Script for play “The Dresser” by Ronald Harwood. Computer printout, 42, 30 p. Signed: R. Harwood 15/5/1981, with some minor ms annotations

Script for the 1994 film “War of the Buttons” by Colin Welland. Version 5 14/7/1993. Computer printout, 95, [2] p. Signed by David Putman (Producer), John Roberts (Director), Steve Norris (Associate producer), Jim Clay (Production designer) and Jacky Fitt (London contact)

Flyers, brochures and postcards for performances of plays by Arnold Wesker and Wesker presentations in England, japan, Italy, France and the United States, all signed by Wesker. 22 items, 1980, 1989-94

4.3 Stage notes of Alec Clunes 3 cm.

Alexander "Alec" Sheriff de Moro Clunes (1912-1970) was an English actor and stage manager, and the father of British actor Martin Clunes. Born into a stage family, he began his career with Ben Greet's company before playing at the Old Vic theatre in 1934. He played numerous Shakespearian roles before taking over the management of the Arts Theatre, London, in 1942, where he remained until 1950. Among the plays he presented were Christopher Fry's 'The Lady's Not For Burning.' He also gave the actor and dramatist Sir Peter Ustinov his first break with his production of 'The House of Regrets'.

His film career was brief but varied, appearing in wartime films such as One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942), Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1955), The Adventures of Quentin Durward (1955), and Tiger in the Smoke (1956). Clunes's later stage work included succeeding Sir Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the stage musical My Fair Lady in 1959. His final stage appearance was in 1968.

The files, contained within a folder labelled 'Old notes: bits of scenes rejected etc' and 'Tiger in the Smoke: final shooting script' on reverse, consist of:

  • Draft scripts, working notes and scenery sketches for a proposed stage adaptation of the novel 'Beria's Gardens: A Slave Laborer's Experiences in the Soviet Utopia' by Unto Parvilahti (1960). The file also includes letters of 1960 to Unto Parvilahti proposing the adaptation, and from Clune's agent re the terms of agreement; and typescript drafts for a related radio excerpt for Radio Playhouse: 'More than time' by Martin Wilder.
  • Typescript drafts of 'The lady's not for burning' by Christopher Fry as a 'Radio excerpt for Radio Playhouse' ['Television Playhouse' amended in pen to 'Radio Playhouse'] 7 p.
  • Draft typescripts of an untitled play based on the statue scene from the legend of Don Juan, with characters Ana, Don Juan, the devil and the statue.
  • Other miscellaneous items: a letter from Christopher Sykes to Clunes 8/9/1960 re 'a copy of the Doughty text' to be titled "A disciple of Spenser and venerable Chaucer"; a draft typescript letter in French to 'Maddelena'; a ms untitled script set in a psychiatrist's office with characters Elvira and Psyche. 6 p.; ms note re a proposed 'satirical' musical 'Boule de Suif' to be placed in France during the WWII occupation

Cheryl Hoskin
August 2013
Revised with additions May 2020

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