Opera is a grand form of performance; it can bring together music, dance, theatre, and poetry to tell stories of drama and comedy. the Oxford Companion to Music describes it as "the supreme expression of the human spirit." This guide is designed to introduce a researcher to resources related to the world of opera. It assumes no previous knowledge of the art.

All of the print resources mentioned in this guide are available at the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library at the University of Kentucky. Each book listed is linked to the corresponding entry in the catalog, InfoKat, for availability information. These resources are open to everyone. Please visit the Getting Started section to learn more about locating sources within the library.

Some online sources are part of the University's subscriptions to electronic journals and databases. They are marked with an asterisk (*). Any researcher can freely access subscription resources if they are on campus. Current students, faculty, and staff members can access this content from off campus by sumbitting a linkblue username and password when prompted.

Topic Overview

Please consider these sources for an brief introduction to opera:

Listen to This - MT90 .B66 2011

Oxford Anthology of Western Music - MT91 .O94 2013

Those first two are survey textbooks used by many of the introductory music classes. We also have the relevant selection from the friendly "For Dummies" series.

Opera for Dummies - MT95.P68 1997

We also recommend the "opera" listings on Wikipedia and Oxford Music Online*.

Mozart in Vienna (public domain)

Mozart playing "Don Juan" in Vienna

Upcoming area events in opera:

Don Giovanni
February 15 & 17
Kentucky Opera, Louisville (map)

Marriage of Figaro
March 1-3
Lexington Opera House (map)