London, George (1920-1985)

The George London collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, musical scores and libretti, photographs, professional material, and other material.

Manuscripts in the collection by London include speeches and essays written and presented from the late 1960s through the 1970s, along with pieces by London which appeared between 1952 and 1972 in publications such as Music and Artists, High Fidelity, The Sunday Star Newspaper, Counterpoint, and Music Clubs Magazine. Also included in the series are two film proposals, one by London and one by Cuthbert Randall Fashaw.

Correspondence in the collection includes both personal and professional letters.  The personal correspondence includes several hundred letters between London and his parents (dated 1945-1977) as well as letters from his children.  There are also well over three hundred letters in London’s general correspondence files.  Notable correspondents include Rudolf Bing, Katherine Cornell, Betty Ford, Robert Hale, Arthur Judson, Wilma Lipp, Robert Merrill, Walter Mondale, Noelle Rogers, and Astrid Varnay.

Printed material includes material primarily regarding the George London Foundation, and consists of programs, flyers, newsletters, pamphlets, and articles, among other items.

Musical scores and libretti in the collection include a copy of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, used by London in his performances and with many notes and markings; Seven Songs for Voice and Piano; and several other items. 

Photographs in the collection include photos of London’s family and images relating to London’s musical career.  The family photos include images of London’s ancestors; many photos of London and his wife Nora London; the Londons and their children; and London with such friends and notables as Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Marcel Marceau, Leopold Stokowski, Celeste Holm, Werner Swizer, and Maya Plisetskaya.  Musical-related photographs include images of London in various roles and/or performing in different operas. These photos include Birgit Nilsson, Risë Stevens, Anna Moffo, and several other performers.

Professional material in the collection consists of office files containing letters, memos, printed material, notes, and interviews.  The interviews cover such topics as London’s autobiography, The John F. Kennedy Center, the Music Center Opera Association, programs narrated by London, The National Opera Institute, the Star Spangled Banner controversy, The Washington Opera, and more.  Most of these files date from the late 1960s through the 1970s.  In addition, the collection includes several publicity items pertaining to London’s career: press books, posters, fliers and more.  There are also scrapbooks and packages containing a great many programs from London’s performances; clippings about his career; and about fifty issues of Opera News magazine (dated 1953-1976).

Other material includes scrapbooks; artwork; memorabilia; film and video; and audio material.

Notable Figures
1. London, George, 1920-1985
Associated Subjects
1. Music Collections Subject Guide
2. Opera Subject Guide