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Links to resources and primary sources about Opera











The combination of musical score, text, masterfully trained voices, staging -sometimes minimal sets, often dramatic scenery to match the story, all combine to bring Opera to life and present to the audience, an experience like no other. 

This site is designed to help you learn about Opera and to present on a single page information resources and selected websites to help you make you time more productive. Comments and suggestions are are always welcome. Please submit them by email found on the Guide Information page. 

Finding Books

Books and similar items, like DVDs,  are assigned a class number based on their subjects. This forms the first part of the shelf number, also called a call number. All items assigned a shelf number that falls within the alpha-numeric ranges found below will match the identified subjects. 

M = Music

M1495 - M 2199:  Vocal music

M 1495:  Collections

M 1497 - M 1998:  Secular vocal music

M 1497:  Collections 

M 1500 - M1527.8:  Dramatic music

M 1528 - M 1529.5:  Two or more solo voices

M 1530 - M 1609:  Choruses

M 1611 - M 1624.8   One solo voice 

M 2000 - M 2007:  Dramatic music

M 2010 - M 2017.6:  Choral services, etc.

M 2018 - M 2019.5:  Two or more solo voices

M 2020 - M 2101.5:  Choruses

M 2102 - M 2114.8:  One solo voice

ML = Literature on Music     

ML 47 - ML 54.8:  Librettos. Texts. Scenarios 

ML 1400 - ML 3275:  In this range find Vocal Music 

ML 1700-1751:  Literature on opera history, criticism, and companies


Library Search at Rowan University Libraries

Search engine for finding library resources available through Rowan University Libraries


The World's biggest Library catalog. See everything available on your subject. 

Open Library

Access the combined titles from Internet Archive and Open Library, more than a million free titles. Also set up an account and sign in with your NJ Library card for borrowing privileges to 200,000 modern titles.

Opera References & Databases


Classical Music Reference Library

Classical Music Reference Library brings together more than 40,000 pages of essential reference materials, spanning the entire history of Western classical music, in a unified online database. Included are the authoritative reference titles Baker's Dictionary of Music, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and Baker's S

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is the first comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. More than 9,000 pages of material, combined with entries by more than 700 expert contributors from all over the world, make this the most complete body of work focused on world music.

Oxford Music Online

An encyclopedia on all aspects of music history and music-related topics, this is a continuously updated online version of the former historically significant print references:The New Grove Dictionary of Music and MusiciansThe New Grove Dictionary of OperaThe New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and The Grove Dictionary of American Music.  The former can be cross-searched. Separate searches are available for the Oxford Dictionary of Music, and the Oxford Companion of Music.  Articles include biographies, bibliographies, composers’ works lists, and illustrations. It includes numerous “tools and resources,” or indexes, for accessing the textual and musical content as well as links to related sites, sound archives, illustrations. 


Classical Music in Video

Classical Music in Video will contain 1,000 hours of classical music performances and masterclasses captured on video—approximately 1,500 performances in all. The collection will contain performances of all forms of classical music, including major orchestral performances by leading orchestras, plus chamber music, oratorio, and solo performances, along with masterclasses and interviews with master teachers from around the world.

Classical Music Library

Streaming audio of classical music recordings from over 45 labels with searching available by composer, performer, instrument, genre, historical period, or label. Liner notes also searchable.  Provides personal playlist and clip-making options. Offers  selected downloads for free and for purchase.  Includes themed playlists and listening designed to accompany the major music history and appreciation textbooks.


Archive of full-text scholarly journal articles in a broad range of academic disciplines.

Music Index

Music Index is a comprehensive guide to music periodicals and literature from 1952 to present. Formerly The Music Index Online provided by Harmonie Park Press, this database contains cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts of articles about music, musicians, and the music industry for more than 475 periodicals, as well as book reviews, obituaries, bulletins, newsletters and selective coverage for more than 230 periodicals. Coverage includes both the classical and popular worlds of music.(from the webpage)

Music Online: Classical Music Library

From Alexander Press

Music Online: Opera in Video

From Alexander Press, A subscription based resource, Opera in Video contains five hundred hours of the most important opera performances, captured on video through staged productions, interviews, and documentaries. Selections represent the world’s best performers, conductors, and opera houses and are based on a work’s importance to the operatic canon. (from the website)

Music Online: Classical Scores Library

Music Online: Classical Scores Library is a series of three volumes and contains the most important classical music scores, manuscripts, and previously unpublished material, allowing for the study and analysis of more than 45,000 musical scores. Classical Scores Library, Volumes I, II and III serve as an integral resource for music students and faculty, encompassing all major classical musical genres and time periods from medieval to contemporary. With full, study, piano, and vocal scores, this comprehensive collection will enhance the study of music history, performance, appreciation, and theory for a variety of scholars (from website).

Naxos Music Library

Provides streaming audio of music recordings, including over 500,000 tracks and 48,000 CD’s on over 132 record labels. Genres include classical, jazz, folk, and some non-western world music.


NAXOS Synopses of Operas

Opera Libretti, Indexed by Composer

Online Opera Scores Prototype 

William and Gayle Cook Music, Indiana University Bloomington

Opera Houses and Companies


Listed below, in alphabetical order, are Opera House celebrated for their architecture as much as for their companies.  

NOTE: Numbers refer to corresponding online articles (at bottom). Articles include photos and descriptions of the Opera Houses 


Bass Performance Hall 
Fort Worth, TX USA

The Bolshoi Theatre
Moscow, Russi
 1 , 2 , 3 , 5/7

Civic Opera House
Chicago, USA

Copenhagen Opera House
Copenhagen, Denmark  3

Drottningholm Theatre
Stockholm, Sweden  3 , 4

English National Opera: London Coliseum
London, UK

Estates Theatre
Prague, Czech Rep. 3 , 4 , 5/18

Bayreuth, Germany

Gran Teatro del Liceu
Barcelona, Spain

Grosses Festspielhaus
Salzburg, Austria

Guanzhou, China  

Hungarian State Opera House
Budapest, Hungary 1 , 2 , 3 , 5/19

L'Opera Bastille
Paris, France

L'Opera Royal, Versailles Court Theater
Versailles, France  3 ,

La Scala (Teatro)
Milan, Italy  1 , 2 , 3 , 5/3

Margravial Opera House
Bayreuth, Germany  3 ,

Mikhailovsky Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia

Mariinsky Theater
St. Petersburg, Russia  3 ,

Metropolitan Opera
Lincoln Center, New York City  1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5/8

Oslo Opera House
Oslo, Norway

Palais Garnier
Paris, France  1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 2         

Palau de laes Arts Reina Sofia
Valencia, Spain

Prague National Theatre 
Prague, Czech Rep.

Romanian Athenaeum
Bucharest, Romania  

Royal Opera House
London, England  
3 , 5/4

Royal Swedish Opera
Stockholm, Sweden  

Salle Favart: L'Opera-Comique
Paris, France Sydney 

Opera House Sydney, Australia  1 , 2 , 3 , 5/9  

Teatro Amazonas
Manaus, Brazil  1 , 2

Teatro Colón
Buenos Aires, Argentina  1 , 2 , 3 , 5/5

Teatro di San Carlo
Naples, Italy Teatro   1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5/12

La Fenice
Venice, Italy  4 ,
5/11 , 

Teatro Massimo
Polermo, Italy  

Teatro Olimpico
Vicence, Italy

Teatro De la Zarzuela
Madrid, Spain Teatro Real Madrid, Spain

Teatro Regio di Parma
Parma, Italy

Teatro Regio
Turin, Italy

Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie
Brussels, Belgium

Vienna Staatsoper
Vienna, Austria  1 , 2 , 5/6

War Memorial Opera House
San Francsisco, USA

1. Most Famous and Beautiful Opera Houses in the World  / by Valentina Romano.  The Golden Scope   

2. 10 Most Remarkable Opera Houses in the World / Touropia

3. The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World / Flavorwire

4. The Stunning Grandeur if the World's Great Opera Houses / by David Rosenberg.  Slate Magazine online

5. World's 20 Amazing Opera Houses /  Fodor's Travel


 Arizona Opera

 Baltimore Opera Company

 Bayerische Saatsoper

 Bayreuther Festspiele

 Birmingham Opera Company 

 Bolshoi Theater

 Boston Lyric Opera

 Boulder Opera Company

 Bronx Opera Company

 Calgary Opera

 Canadian Opera Company

 Cincinnati Opera

 Cologne Opera

 Deutsch Oper Berline

 East Village Opera Company

 Edmonton Opera

 English National Opera

  Florentine Opera Company

 Geneva Opera

  Glyndebourne Opera

 Goteborgs Operan

 Grand Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

 Greek National Opera, Athens

 Houston Grand Opera

 The Israeli Opera

 Den Jyske Opera

 Det Kongelige Teater

 Long Island Opera

 Los Angeles Opera

 Lyric Opera of Chicago

 Madison Opera

 Magyar Alliami Operház = Hungarian State Opera

 Der Munt = La Monnaie

 Manitoba Opera

 Melbourne City Opera

 The Metropolitan Opera

 Narodny-Divadlo - National Theatre

 Nashville Opera

 New Orleans Opera

 New York City Opera (Links to a Wikipedia article about the NYC Opera)

 New Zealand Opera

 Oper Graz

 Oper Leipzig

 Oper Stuttgart

 Opera Australia 

 Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

 Opera Birmingham (Alabama)

 Opera Company of Brooklyn

  Opera de Massy

  L'Opera de Montreal 

 Opera di Firenze

  Opera National de Paris

 Opera Zuid

 Opernhaus Zürich


  Opera de Quebec 

  Pacific Opera, Victoria, CA

 Pittsburgh Opera

 Regina Opera

 Riverside Lyric Opera (Calif)

 Royal Danish Opera 

 Royal Opera House 

 Royal Swedish Opera

 San Diego Opera

 The San Francisco Opera

 Santa Fe Opera House

 Scottish Opera

 Seattle Opera

 Semperoper Dresden

 Singapore Lyric Opera

 St. Petersburg Opera Company

 Sydney Opera House 

 Tacoma Opera

 Teatro alla Scala 

 Teatro di San Carlo, Naples

 Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos

 Teatro Real, Madrid

 Vancouver Opera

 Volksoper Wien 

  Wiener Staatsoper

 Wolf Trap Opera


National Opera Association

The National Opera Association seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities, and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera.

Opera America: The National Center Website 

Opera America draws on resources and expertise from within and beyond the field to advance a mutually beneficial agenda that serves and strengthens the field. 


Selected Websites


50 Top Operas

An article by Fiaona Maddocks, published in the Guardian Newspaper, Friday 19 August, 2011.   

The Aria Database

1288 Arias - 177 Operas - 65 Composers - 389 Translations - 1027 Aria Texts - 223 MIDIs


Bachtrack is your guide to the best classical music concerts, opera and dance performances worldwide. Browse for some of the 12,000 upcoming events in our database, look for your favourite composer or performer or read some of the 200 reviews we write each month across the world. Learn about world trends in music and get tips on the opera and ballet stars of tomorrow (website).

The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

"The Premier Light Opera Website"

Opera and Composers: A Pronunciation Guide

Native pronunciation of the words included in the guide. 

Opera Base

45,000 performances,  50,000 artists,  900 opera companies.  

Opera Glass

Maintained by Stanford University, includes Libretti, source texts, Performance histories, synopses Role Characters and more.

Timeline of US Opera since 1845

This timeline is specific to Opera development in the U.S.


Guide Information

Authorship and Terms of Use

This site s designed as a starting point for those interested in the study of Opera.  It was developed by Bruce Whitham and Marjorie Morris and updated by Bret McCandless. 

Rowan Library research guides are hosted on the Springshare portal, to which Rowan University Libraries subscribes.  

Rowan University makes no claim to freely available websites nor does it accept responsibility for the information or opinions expressed by those who have created or authored the content or by those who are quoted on the sites.

The use of this guide infers acceptance of the Terms of Use, spelled out on the Rowan University Libraries site. If you do not agree to abide by these terms you are required to leave the site.