- McGill users only
- Open access resource
- Free resource
- In-library-use only
- Catalogue record
Sources for background information
- Oxford Music Online (includes Grove Music Online and New Grove Dictionary of Opera)
- The New Grove Dictionary of Opera
Ref ML102 O6 N5 1992b
- Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Ref ML100 M52 1994
- Grosses Sängerlexikon, 4th ed.
Ref ML105 K83 2003
- Loewenberg: Annals of Opera
Ref ML102 O6 L6 1955
- Stieger: Opernlexikon
Ref ML102 O6 S8
There are several other general opera reference books around Ref ML102 O6.
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 both the 3rd-floor Reference area and the 5th-floor stacks.
Genre bibliographies (ML128)
- Marco, Guy A. Opera: A Research and Information Guide. 2nd ed. (2001).
- Parsons, Charles. An Opera Bibliography.
ML102 O6 P25 1986 v.17-18
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."
- Fairtile, L. Giacomo Puccini: A Guide to Research.
Ref ML134 P94 F35 1999
- Harwood, G. W. Giuseppe Verdi: A Research and Information Guide. 2nd ed.
Ref ML134 V47 H37 2012
- Saffle, M. Richard Wagner: A Research and Information Guide. 2nd ed.
Ref ML134 W1 S24 2010
- Willier, S. A. Vincenzo Bellini: A Research and Information Guide. 2nd ed.
ML134 B43 W56 2009
Call numbers for browsing
- Complete works by composer
- Opera - Full scores
- Operas - Piano/vocal scores
- Vocalists – collective biography
- Composers – individual biography
- Vocalists – individual biography
- Comic opera
- Other types of opera with spoken dialogue
(ballad opera, Singspiel, zarzuela)
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.
See How to find recordings for more search strategies.
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:
To discover other dissertation databases, visit the Music Library's Music literature databases and indexes page.
- 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.