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(US) Collection of Italian Opera Libretti Now Accessible at Harry Ransom Center

Contributed by Admin on Jan 18, 2010

“AUSTIN, Texas — A major collection of Italian opera libretti is now accessible through an online database at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.

The collection of 3,421 items was donated in 1969 by New York rare book dealer Hans P. Kraus. The collection consists primarily of texts of Italian operas but also includes Italian cantatas, serenatas, oratorios, dialogues and Passions.

The collection, which dates from the 17th through the 20th century, documents musical performances by Italian, French, German and Austrian composers performed in numerous Italian cities and elsewhere.

“This extraordinary collection gathers in a single place rare and, in some instances, unique testimonies of the evolution of Italian opera from its origins in the 1600s to the 20th century,” said Guido Olivieri, a musicologist in the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin. “The study of these libretti is of the utmost importance to the history of vocal music. It offers to musicologists and opera historians the possibility of analyzing the relationship between text and music and comparing different versions of the same libretto. It also provides valuable details on the organization of specific events and crucial information on the context of their production. ..“

Visit Opera Today for more information.