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Pittsburgh Opera Season 2011 - 2012

La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, 1813-1901


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 16 other CD versions and 6 additional visual presentations of the opera!

La Traviata

Deutsche Grammophon, 2004 (1977).
Cotrubas, Domingo, Milnes; Kleiber, Bayerischer Staatsopernchor, Bayerisches Staatsorchester


La Traviata

EMI Classics, 1997 (1955).
Callas, di Stefano, Bastianini; Giulini, Orchestra e coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano


La Traviata
(DVD) M1500.V48 T5 2006x

Deutsche Grammophon (Universal Music Distribution,), 2006.
Netrebko, Villazón, Hampson; Rizzi, Konzertvereingung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Mozarteum Orchester, Wiener Philharmoniker


La Traviata
(DVD) M1500.V48 T5 1999bx

Universal Home Video, 1999 (1982).
Stratas, Domingo, MacNeil; Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
(Franco Zeffirelli's film version)


La traviata [videorecording] : love and sacrifice
(DVD) ML410.V4 T735 2008x

Documentary presenting the story of Verdi's opera La traviata, illustrated by excerpts taken from various productions, 1955-1994.



Seven Verdi librettos
ML49.V45 O62 1977x

Libretto of La Traviata by Francesco Maria Piave


For further reading

Verdi with a vengeance : an energetic guide to the life and complete works of the king of opera
ML410.V4 B29 2000

Berger explores Verdi's operas in chronological order, provides biographical information on the composer and discusses his view of the art of Italian opera from the baroque era to the present. His chapter about La Traviata includes commentary (interspersed throughout a synopsis of the opera) that describes musical motifs and elements of staging. The final section of Berger's book gives the author's recommendations of recordings, films and other books about Verdi.


ML410.V4 B9 2008

In addition to his invaluable 3-volume set about Verdi's operas, Budden's biography of the composer is also a wonderful resource. Budden offers a complete sketch of Verdi's public and private life. The chapter, "The High Noon," discusses the musical details of La Traviata, labeled by Budden as "the best-loved opera in the Verdian canon."


Verdi : a biography
ML410.V4 P43 1993

Written with the full collaboration of the Verdi family, this biography explores the rich life of Verdi the composer, Italian nationalist and intensely passionate friend/husband/farmer.


Tragic manhood and democracy : Verdi's voice and the power of musical art
ML410.V4 R49 2004

Richard's book details the sociological elements at play in Verdi's operas. Specifically he focuses on patriarchal practices such as codes of honor and how these practices affect personal and political relationships. Violetta, Alfredo and Germont are tragically affected by the demands of their society. This work is a fascinating read.

The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet, 1838-1875


Special note about searching: In order to achieve the best results, you may wish to use a title search in the original language: Pêcheurs de perles. You'll be sure not to miss any of our holdings!

The Pearl Fishers

EMI, 1989.
Hendricks, Aler, Quilico, Courtis; Plasson, Chœurs et orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse


The Pearl Fishers
Coming soon on CD to CLP Main Library-Oakland!

Dynamic, 2004.
Massis, Nakajima, Grassi, De Donato; Viotti, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro la Fenice di Venezia


The Pearl Fishers

EMI Classics, 2010 (1961).
Micheau, Gedda, Blanc, Mars; Dervaux, Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra Comique


Les pêcheurs de perles
(DVD) M1500.B629 P4 2004x

Dynamic, 2004.
Massis, Nakajima, Grassi, De Donato; Viotti, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro la Fenice di Venezia



The Pearl Fishers
ML50.B625 P32 1908x

Libretto by E. Cormon and Michel Carré; English version by Charles A. Byrne.


For further reading

Bizet and his world
ML410.B62 C87

Curtiss' biography appears to be the most complete biographical sketch of Bizet, even after the first appearance of this work over 50 years ago. With the help of Bizet's family and friends, including the son of Ludovic Halévy, one of the librettists for Carmen, Curtiss uses personal remembrances, Bizet's letters and other archival material to create her portrait. The tenth chapter of the book discusses the composition of The Pearl Fishers.


Georges Bizet, his life and work
780.92 B49de

This biography is a revision of Dean's 1948 work. Acknowledging Curtiss' book, he rewrote many sections of his earlier edition. Dean talks about The Pearl Fishers' initial failure with audiences; the original production only had 18 performances. The author also discusses the musical ideas in the piece, specifically those with exotic elements. Bizet would continue to explore those elements in his later opera, Djamileh.


The keys to French opera in the nineteenth century
ML1727.4.L3513 2001

Lacombe details the operatic landscape of nineteenth-century France including the works of Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Massenet and others. The author describes The Pearl Fishers as the model of French opera that combined traditional and innovative elements. Bizet and his contemporaries were especially drawn to the new element of exoticism. The Pearl Fishers illustrates the composer's ability to create a world quite different from his homeland.

Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck, 1854-1921

CD, DVD, Video

Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 4 other CD versions and 4 additional visual presentations of the opera!

Special note about searching: In order to achieve the best results, you may wish to use a title search in the original language: Hansel und Gretel. You'll be sure not to miss any of our holdings!

Hänsel und Gretel

London, 1988 (1978).
Fassbaender, Popp, Hamari, Berry; Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker


Hansel and Gretel

Teldec, 1994.
Larmore, Ziesak, Behrens, Weikl; Runnicles, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks


Hansel and Gretel
(DVD) M1500.H946 H3 2008x

EMI Classics, 2008. (sung in English)
Coote, Schäfer, Plowright, Held; Jurowski, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Hansel and Gretel [videorecording] : a fairy tale opera
(DVD) M1500.H946 H3 2006x

Kultur, 2006 (1999).
Nikiteanu, Hartelius, Lechner, Muff; Welser-Möst, Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House




For further reading

The uses of enchantment : the meaning and importance of fairy tales
GR550.B47 1991x

Bettelheim, a Freud scholar, analyzes classic fairy tales according to Freud's methods. The author believes that fairy tales, even the scary ones, can teach children about the struggles in life and provide models for behavior. Hansel and Gretel is a fine story for Bettelheim's theories with its plot line of children being cast into the forest by their angry mother, getting lost in the forest and fighting against an evil witch. Scary indeed!

Grimm's fairy tales
GR166.K53213 1949x

"This edition ... is based on the selection made by Marion Edwardes, first published by Dent in 1901... omissions from the Edwardes edition [include six tales] ... several tales have been revised to render more exactly the German original, and entirely new translations by A.A. Dent are substituted for eleven stories"--Publishers' note. The collection includes Hansel and Gretel, and other classics like Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.


Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, 1858-1924


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 15 other CD versions and 8 additional visual presentations of the opera!


EMI Classics, 2004 (1953).
Callas, di Stefano, Gobbi; de Sabata, Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano



Decca, 1986 (1976).
Caballé, Carreras, Wixell; Davis, Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


(DVD) M1500.P97 T54 2005bx

Deutsche Grammophon, 2005 (1976).
Kabaivanska, Domingo, Milnes; Bartoletti, Ambrosian Singers, New Philharmonia Orchestra (filmed on location in Rome at sites described in the opera)


(DVD) M1500.P97 T54 2010x

Virgin Classics, 2010 (2009).
Mattila, Álvarez, Gagnidze; Colaneri, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus



Puccini librettos in new English translations by William Weaver
ML49.P75 W42

Libretto of Tosca by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Includes side-by-side English and Italian and synopsis of the opera.


For further reading

The romantic world of Puccini : a new critical appraisal of the operas
ML410.P89 A66 2009

Arnesen's book, an intriguing work, brings a fresh view of Puccini to the table. She draws comparisons between Puccini and Wagner, even calling Puccini's operas a Rose Cycle contrasting with Wagner's Ring. She also argues that Puccini's works evolved from the romance genre of 12th century France, full of strong heroines. Tosca definitely fits the bill!


Puccini : his life and works
ML410.P89 B83 2002

Budden, most known for his treatment of the operas of Verdi, seems equally at home with Verdi's fellow countryman. A brief biography gives way to in-depth analyses of all of Puccini's operas. In the chapter on Tosca, Budden describes the opera's creation, interprets the numerous musical motifs, and discusses the work as an "opera of action." The romance of La Bohème seems to be gone, and in its place is a love story that packs an emotional wallop.


The complete operas of Puccini: a critical guide
ML410.P89 O8 1982x

Osborne is the "go-to" man if you want detailed treatments of opera composers. He has also written books about the works of Mozart, Richard Strauss, Verdi and Wagner. Osborne's discussion of Tosca begins with an account of how the work was created and premiered; excerpts from Puccini's letters highlight the process. The middle section discusses the plot and characters, comparing Puccini's versions of the main characters to those in Victorien Sardou's original play, La Tosca. Did you know that La Tosca was written as a vehicle for Sarah Bernhardt? The last section of this informative work outlines the opera's musical motifs.


The Puccini problem: opera, nationalism and modernity
ML410.P89 W53 2007

Wilson explores the debates about Puccini as a composer. Was he an Italian nationalist or an international artist? Did he modernize opera or did he continue its traditions? The chapter about Tosca is titled, "Tosca: truth and lies". Wilson describes Puccini's work as a story "set in real places, at real times" but one that is structured around insincerity as its theme. Lies and deceit drive the characters' actions. Some critics believe Tosca is more about the drama than the music. What do you think?

The Abduction from the Seraglio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 4 other CD versions and 2 additional visual presentations of the opera!

Special note about searching: In order to achieve the best results, you may wish to use a title search in the original language: Entführung aus dem Serail. You'll be sure not to miss any of our holdings!

The Abduction from the Seraglio

Erato, 1999 (recorded on authentic instruments)
Schäfer, Petibon, Bostridge, Paton, Ewing; Christie, Les Arts florissants


The Abduction from the Seraglio

EMI, 1989 (1966)
Rothenberger, Popp, Gedda, Unger, Frick; Krips, Chor der Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Philharmoniker


Die Entführung aus dem Serail
(DVD) M1500.M84 E6 2005x

Deutsche Grammophon, 2005 (1980).
Gruberova, Grist, Araiza, Orth, Talvela; Böhm, Bavarian State Opera Chorus and Orchestra


The Abduction from the Seraglio
(DVD) M1500.M84 E6 2003x

TDK Mediactive, 2003 (2002).
Mei, Ciofi, Trost, Montazeri, Rydl; Mehta, Orchester und Chor des Maggio musicale fiorentino



Mozart's librettos, translated by Robert Pack and Marjorie Lelash
ML49.M83 P22

Libretto of The Abduction from the Seraglio by Gottlieb Stephanie, after Christoph Friedrich Bretzner


For further reading

Mozart and his operas
ML410.M9 C253 2006

Cairns' unique biography traces Mozart's life and creative output through his operas. Cairns discusses how Mozart matured as an artist with each opera and writes about how his strength as a composer of great theater influences his instrumental works as well, particularly his piano concertos and string quartets. The chapter that highlights The Abduction from the Seraglio describes Mozart's new life in Vienna. Mozart had written a successful stage work in his native language and his personal life was also fulfilling: he married his beloved Constanze.


Mozart's women : his family, his friends, his music
ML410.M9 G645 2004

Mozart scholar and conductor Glover takes us into the lives of the women Mozart loved: his mother, his sister, his wife, her sisters, female patrons, lovers and singers. They were his inspiration for the strong women found throughout his operas. Sometimes his real life and music life merged; his wife's sisters, Aloysia and Josefa, sang many of his vocal works. No greater tribute exists, however, than his wife's namesake, Constanze, the female lead in The Abduction from the Seraglio. The love story of Mozart and his wife is reflected in that of Constanze and Belmonte.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : a biography
ML410.M9 M4313 2007

Written during the 250th anniversary year of Mozart's death, Melograni's biography is a wonderful addition to the many volumes written about the composer. Avoiding in-depth musical analyses, Melograni instead weaves the texts of Mozart's letters throughout his narrative to create a thoroughly enjoyable account of the artist's life. This biography is a great read for the music lover or novice.


Mozart on the stage
ML410.M9 R538 2009

Rice talks about Mozart and his place in the operatic culture of the eighteenth century. The author focuses on the relationships between the composer and his librettists, singers, stage designers, orchestra and audiences. The chapter about theaters and stage design is especially interesting and includes artistic renderings of costumes and sets.

Explore more about opera online

Oxford Music Online

This resource combines the content of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music in one place. A valid Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card is required.
This link will get you there:

This website allows you to search opera performance details of several international opera companies, including upcoming schedules. You can also find information on past performances of over 35,000 operas (from August 2010 and onward), biographies of specific singers and websites of international opera houses.

A great resource for plot synopses of operas, libretti, discographies and performance histories. Links to other opera websites are also listed.

Though YouTube is not a specific site for opera research, it really does have everything and anything as far as video and sound clips. If you use the titles of any of this season's operas in a search, you will find several archived performances from stage productions, concerts and more.