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Pittsburgh Opera Season 2012 - 2013

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, 1813-1901


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 6 other CD versions and 2 additional visual presentations of the opera!



Opera d'Oro, 2011 (1966).
Scotto, Pavarotti, Paskalis; Giulini, Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro comunale of Florence


Deutsche Grammophon, [1985?] (1980).
Cotrubas, Domingo, Cappuccilli; Giulini, Vienna State Opera Chorus and Vienna Philharmonic

Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto Story [videorecording]
(DVD) M1500.V48 R3 2005x

Mula, Alvarez, Servile; Wilson, The Arturo Toscanini Orchestra and Chorus (recorded outdoors in Siena, Italy)

(DVD) M1500.V48 R3 2004x

Cotrubas, Domingo, MacNeil; Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus




Seven Verdi Librettos
ML49.V45 O62 1977x

English translations by William Weaver; with the original Italian.
Libretto of Rigoletto by Francesco Maria Piave based on Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse.


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 Rigoletto 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 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 Rigoletto. Verdi described his own work as "revolutionary," and indeed some elements of form and orchestration are. Budden highlights the cabaletta and canzone forms that Verdi employs and the fabulous use of the orchestra in the Act 3 tempesta (storm).


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

Richards' 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. The characters of Rigoletto and his daughter, Gilda illustrate the ideas of patriarchal control, a daughter who violates the honor code to be with her lover and the jester who exacts vengeance upon the court society that he belongs to himself.


Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 3 other CD versions and 7 additional visual presentations of the opera!


Don Giovanni

Harmonia Mundi France, 2007.
Weisser, Regazzo, Pasichnyk, Pendatchanska, Tarver; Jacobs, RIAS Kammerchor, Freiburger Barockorchester

Don Giovanni

London, 1997.
Terfel, Pertusi, Fleming, Murray, Lippert; Solti, London Voices and London Philharmonic Orchestra

Don Giovanni
(DVD) M1500.M84 D5 2005cx

Decca, 2005 (1990).
Perry E., Perry H., Labelle, Hunt, Freeman; Smith, Arnold-Schönberg-Chor; Wiener Symphoniker

Don Giovanni [videorecording]: Dramma Giocoso
(DVD) M1500. M84 D5 2002x

Raimondi, van Dam, Moser, Te Kanawa, Riegel; Maazel, Orchestra and Chorus of the Paris Opera




Seven Mozart Librettos: A Verse Translation
ML49.M83 O64 2011

Libretto of Don Giovanni by Lorenzo da Ponte, inspired by a libretto by Giovanni Bertati, translation by J.D. McClatchy.


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 matures 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 Don Giovanni finds Mozart enjoying his success after the premiere of The Marriage of Figaro. A trip to Prague results in a commission which becomes Don Giovanni. The commission is for a comedy but instead the company receives a work rich in comedy and drama.

The Don Giovanni Moment: Essays on the Legacy of an Opera
ML410.M9 D63 2006

This collection of essays treats Don Giovanni as an artistic work that had great impact on nineteenth century philosophers, playwrights and composers from Goethe to Pushkin to Wagner among others. The various authors discuss how themes of romanticism in nineteenth century art were influenced by the characters and relationships that Mozart and da Ponte created in the previous century. An interesting read.


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.


W.A. Mozart: Don Giovanni
ML410.M9 R88

Rushton's work is part of the Cambridge Opera Handbooks series, an invaluable set of works for the opera "fan" and scholar. A synopsis of the opera and analyses of the libretto and musical themes are presented, but the other essays are quite intriguing and include discussions about the Don Juan character in literature before and after Mozart's opera and Don Giovanni as a philosophical idea.


Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) by Domenico Cimarosa, 1749-1801



Il Matrimonio Segreto

Deutsche Grammophon, [1994?] (1977).
Auger, Varady, Davies, Rinaldi; Barenboim, English Chamber Orchestra

Il Matrimonio Segreto

Nuova Era, 1992 (1990).
Mazzuccato, Baiano, Cosotti, De Simone; Cavallaro, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana

Il Matrimonio Segreto
(DVD) M1500. C57 M3 2009x

Dynamic, 2009.
Forte, Laplace, Caputo, Cassi; Antonini, Orchestra, Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège

Il Matrimonio Segreto
(DVD) M1500. C57 M3 2002x

Image Entertainment, 2002 (1986).
Resick, Daniels, Kübler, Nicolai; Griffiths, Orchestra of Drottningholm Court Theatre


**Special note about searching: In order to achieve the best results, use a title search in the original language: Matrimonio Segreto. You'll be sure not to miss any of our holdings!




All the recordings of Il Matrimonio Segreto in our collection contain the libretto by Giovanni Bertati, after the play by George Colman the Elder and David Garrick, in the program booklet.


For Further Reading


Italian Opera
ML1733 .K55 1991x

Kimbell's work describes the history of Italian opera from its origins through the early twentieth century. His discussion of opera seria, accompanied recitative and the parlante style mentions Cimarosa, especially as a first master of parlante (according to Rossini). Cimaraosa's operas are sprinkled throughout this work as one of the eighteenth century's successful opera composers.

The Grove Book of Operas
ML102.O6 N48 2006

Sadie's book lists operas from A to Z in an encyclopedic format. The entry about Il Matrimonio Segreto is a brief yet informative essay about the opera's premiere, plot and compositional style. This opera had a greater success on the Viennese stage than any of Mozart's operas and was commended for its rich orchestration and use of the parlando vocal style as a comic device. The author of the essay concludes that Cimarosa's piece paves the way for Rossini and Donizetti.


Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, 1858-1924


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 8 other CD versions and 3 additional visual presentations of the opera!


Madama Butterfly

EMI Classics, 2009 (2008).
Gheorghiu, Shkosa, Kaufmann, Capitanucci; Pappano, Orchestra and Chorus dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilla

Madama Butterfly

Decca, 1958 (1999).
Tebaldi, Cossotto, Bergonzi, Sordello; Serafin, Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus

Madama Butterfly
(DVD) M1500.P97 M17 2011x

Sony Music Entertainment, 2011 (2009).
Racette, Zifchak, Giordani, Croft; Summers, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Madama Butterfly
(DVD) M1500.P97 M17 2005x

Deutsche Grammophon, 1974 (2005).
Freni, Ludwig, Domingo, Kerns; Karajan, Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Choir




Puccini Librettos, in New English Translations by William Weaver. With the Original Italian.
ML49.P75 W42

Libretto of Madama Butterfly by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, from the play by David Belasco and short story by John Luther Long.
Includes side-by-side English and Italian and synopsis of the opera.


For Further Reading


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 Madama Butterfly, Budden describes the opera's creation, interprets the numerous musical motifs, and describes the storyline as one of "action that evolves steadily." The audience is drawn into a 3-year period of Butterfly's life, a span that begins with romance and ends in grief.


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 Madama Butterfly begins with an account of how the work was created and premiered. The middle section discusses the plot and characters, comparing Puccini's versions of the main characters and the opera's libretto to the source material of John Luther Long's story and David Belasco's play. Osborne believes that the opera vastly improves the source material- do you agree? The last section of his discussion outlines the work's musical motifs.


Madame Butterfly: Japonisme, Puccini, & the search for the real Cho-Cho-San
ML410.P89 R55 2001

The author discusses the origins of the opera's libretto, the real-life woman who inspired the character of Cho-Cho-San, and the influence of the Japanese aesthetic on turn of the twentieth century Western artists like Puccini.


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 Madama Butterfly is titled, "A frame without a canvas: Madama Butterfly and the superficial". The opera was a huge flop upon its premiere. Many critics believed that Puccini focused too much on style over substance. Wilson suggests that they were challenged by Puccini's modern score- an interesting argument.


La Cenerentola by Giacchino Rossini, 1792-1886


Are these items checked out? Not to worry, the Main Library-Oakland owns 3 additional visual presentations of the opera!


La Cenerentola

London, 1993.
Bartoli, Matteuzzi, Corbelli, Dara, Pertusi; Chailly, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

La Cenerentola

Philips, 1988.
Baltsa, Araiza, Raimondi, Alaimo, del Carlo; Marriner, Ambrosian Opera Chorus and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

La Cenerentola

Deutsche Grammophon, [1989?], (1972).
Berganza, Alva, Capecchi, Montarsolo, Trama; Abbado, Scottish Opera Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra

La Cenerentola
(DVD) M1500.R86 C3 2010x

Deutsche Grammophon, 2010 (2009).
Garanca, Brownlee, Alberghini, Corbelli, Relyea; Benini, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus

La Cenerentola
(DVD) M1500.R86 C3 2005x

Deutsche Grammophon, 2005 (1982).
Von Stade, Araiza, Desderi, Montarsolo, Plishka; Abbado, Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala


**Special note about searching: In order to achieve the best results, use a title search in the original language: Cenerentola. You'll be sure not to miss any of our holdings (or receive results with a certain Disney girl on the list)!




Italian Belcanto Opera Libretti
qML48.I83 2000, vol. 2

Includes the libretto of La Cenerentola by Jacopo Ferretti, based on Etienne's Cendrillon, translation by Nico Castel.


For Further Reading


The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini
     ML390.O82 1994

Osborne's overview gives the reader information about Rossini's treatment of this fairy tale. He outlines the musical elements of this work which premiered hot on the heels (one year later) of his most popular work, The Barber of Seville.


ML410.R8 O83 1986x

Osborne's biography has a chapter outlining Rossini's time in Rome in 1816-17, the time period of the creation and premiere of La Cenerentola. Later, Osborne explores the work in a short chapter, focusing on the ideas of buffo comedy and pathos intertwined in the opera. He discusses some musical ideas in the work, including Rossini borrowing from himself: Angelina's final aria uses material from the count's final aria in The Barber of Seville.


Life of Rossini.
ML410.R8 B513 1970

If there were such a term as "superfan" in the nineteenth century, Stendhal would have been a Rossini groupie. A harsh critic of Rossini's work at first, Stendhal became a fierce champion of his music and created the first biography of the composer. It should be noted, however, that Stendhal did not have great affection for La Cenerentola finding it vulgar and uninteresting. Reading a firsthand account of a performance during Rossini's lifetime is quite fascinating.


ML410.R8 S26 2003

Servadio's biography explores the life of this great composer from his grand triumphs to his battles with nervous illness. She interweaves his story through events of the Romantic era in Europe and paints a portrait of Rossini apart from his music. Rossini's previously unpublished letters contribute greatly to her sketch.

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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.