University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Music Library


Music Research

Opera: A Starting Guide

Part I: Where to Find Opera Materials in the UNLV Music Library
  • Analysis and appreciation: ML1711-1900 (Lied Library and Music Reference)
  • Biographies of composers: ML410 (Lied Library)
  • Full scores: M1500
  • History & criticism: ML1460-1700 (Lied Library)
  • Libretti: ML50 (Lied Library)
  • Piano/vocal scores: M1503
  • Selections: M1505, M1507, M1508

See also our lists of Opera and Musical Compact Discs and Opera and Musical Videos on this site.

Part II: Representative Subject Headings for Opera
Part III: Useful Sources

Baker's Dictionary of Opera. New York: Schirmer Books, 2000.
Music Ref. ML102.O6 B26 2000

Boldrey, Richard. Guide to Operatic Roles & Arias. Dallas: Pst. Inc., 1994.
Music Ref. ML102.O6 B62 1994

Bourne, Joyce. Who's Who in Opera: A Guide to Opera Characters. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Music Ref. ML102.O6 B68 1998

Career Guide for Singers. Washington, DC: OPERA America, 1992-
Music Ref. ML12 .C37x (Latest edition only in Music Ref.)

Grout, Donald Jay. A Short History of Opera. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
Lied Book Stacks ML1700 .G83 2003

International Dictionary of Opera. Detroit: St. James Press, 1993.
Music Ref. ML102.O6 I6 1993

The New Kobbé's Opera Book. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1997.
Music Ref. MT95 .K52 1997

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. New York: Grove's Dictionaries of Music Inc., 1992.
Internet Access

The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Lied Books Stacks ML1700 .O95 1994
Internet Access: NetLibrary

Web Resources

Aria Database ( - Information and translations for over 1,000 operatic arias.

Part IV: Periodicals

Cambridge Opera Journal.
Lied Periodicals ML1699 .C36x
Online Access: JSTOR

Lied Periodicals ML5 .O66

OPERA America Newsline.
Lied Periodicals ML27.U5 O726

Opera Annual.
Lied Book Stacks ML21 .O6

Opera Canada.
Lied Periodicals ML5 .O6715

The Opera Journal.
Lied Periodicals ML1 .O46

Opera News.
Lied Periodicals ML1 .O482
Online Access: Academic Search Premier

The Opera Quarterly.
Lied Periodicals ML1699 .O65
Online Access: Academic Search Premier, Oxford Journals Online, Project Muse