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Opera History and Literature

Specialized resources for research in opera.

Search Tips for Books

The Music Collection owns more than 1,000 books about opera.  If you are searching for a book by title or author, simply type them into the search box in OneSearch.  You can also search for books and scores togetner by using the composer's name and the title of the opera as keywords:

Narrow your results to "Content Type" (book, score, music recording or video recording):









Subject Searching

Books on a topic are assigned specific Library of Congress subject designations.  For a composer, use the last name with "criticism and interpretation," for example:
Verdi --
 Criticism and Interpretation

Opera History Subjects

Opera is the main subject term.

There are sub-divisions by century:

There are also sub-divisions by country:

Recommended Books

Recommended Books

  • Abbate, Carolyn & Roger Parker.  A History of Opera.   
    ML 1700 .A22 2012
  • The Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies 
    ML 1700 .C166 2012
  • The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera  
    ML 1700 .C17 2005
  • Cannon, Robert.  Opera 
    ML 1700 .C195 2012
  • Carter, Tim.  Understanding Italian Opera  
    ML 1733 .C37 2015
  • Evans, David, ed..  Phantasmagoria:  A Sociology of Opera  
    ML 1700 .E92 1999
  • Giroud, Vincent.  French Opera: A Short History
    ML 1727 .G57 2010
  • Grout, Donald Jay & Hermine Williams.  A Short History of Opera  
    ML 1700 .G83 2003
  • Kirk, Elise.  American Opera  
    ML 1711 .K56 2001
  • Lindenberger, Herbert.  Opera in History:  From Monteverdi to Cage  
    ML 1700 .L54 1998
  • Raeburn, Michael.  The Chronicle of Opera  
    ML 1700 .R34 2007
  • Snowman, Daniel.  The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera  
    ML 1700 .S66 2009
  • Warrack, John.  German Opera: From the Beginnings to Wagner
     ML 1729 .W37 2001
  • Weiss, Piero.  Opera: A History in Documents  
    ML 1700 .O644 2002