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Opera

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Sources for background information

Encyclopedias/Dictionaries

There are several other general opera reference books around ML102 O6.

Bibliographies

Bibliographies are lists, usually annotated, of materials written about a particular composer, period, or genre. Below are a few examples; these and others will lead to a wealth of potential resources on any operatic topic.

Bibliographies in print may be found in the 5th-floor stacks.

Genre bibliographies (ML128)

Composer bibliographies ML134

The following titles are only a small sample of the composer bibliographies available. Search for others in the Library catalogue by entering the composer's name and "bibliography" and selecting "Keyword in subject."

Call numbers for browsing

M3
Complete works by composer
M1500
Opera - Full scores
M1503
Operas - Piano/vocal scores
ML400
Vocalists – collective biography
ML410
Composers – individual biography
ML420
Vocalists – individual biography
ML1700-ML1751
Opera
ML1850
Comic opera
ML1900
Operetta
ML1950
Other types of opera with spoken dialogue
(ballad opera, Singspiel, zarzuela)

Recordings

Most operas recordings are relatively simple to locate since they have unique titles (e.g. Tosca as opposed to Concerto no. 4 in G major). From the Library catalogue's Advanced Search screen, a simple search by title and author keywords in combination with the limit "Recorded Music" will produce relevant hits.

Visit Opera in Video, Naxos Video Library, and Medici.tv to watch streaming opera performances online.

See How to find recordings for more search strategies.

Opera periodicals

Scholarly

Popular

To find other opera periodicals available at McGill, type “opera periodicals” in the Keyword Search box in the Library catalogue and select “Keyword in Subject.”

Music Literature Indexes

Periodical literature about opera may appear in several publications, not just journals dedicated to opera. To locate articles, conference papers, chapters in books, theses, and reviews in these other sources, search the following music literature indexes, all linked from the Music Library Resources page:

Opera is an interdisciplinary art and scholars from several areas (political science, history, literature, medicine, sociology, for example) write frequently on opera. Therefore, relevant articles may be found by searching periodical indexes in non-music disciplines as well. Visit McGill's subject guides to other disciplines to access the relevant core databases for these areas.

Articles and books are also accessible via Google Scholar and Google Books:

Dissertations

To discover other dissertation databases, visit the Music Library's Music literature databases and indexes page.

Other databases

  • Opening Night! Opera & Oratorio Premieres
    A cross-index of data for over 38,000 opera and oratorio premieres curated by Stanford University. It allows complex searches across multiple categories or simple browsing within any single category, such as genre, composer, librettist, premiere date, country, oratorio subject, or theatre.
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