Skip to Main Content

Music: Course Guides: The Opera

Featured books


   Boyden, Matthew.

  The rough guide to opera.

   London; New York: Rough Guides, 2007.

   Music 782.1 B78 r8

  Clark, Mark Ross.

  Guide to the aria repertoire.

  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.

  Music 016.7821143 C59 g9

  Knapp, J. Merrill.

  The magic of opera.

  New York: Da Capo Press, 1984.

   X 782.1 K67

 Marco, Guy A.

 Opera: a research and information guide.

 New York: Garland Pub, 2001.

 MuR 016.7821 M32

 Charlton, David.

 The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera.

 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, c2011.


 Till, Nicholas.

 The Cambridge companion to opera studies.

 New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012.


 DelDonna, Anthony R. &   Polzonetti, Pierpaolo.

 The Cambridge Companion to eighteenth-century opera.

 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, c2011.


 Cooke, Mervyn. 

 The Cambridge companion to   twentieth-century opera.

 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, c2011.




 Campana, Alessandra. 

 Opera and modern spectatorship   in late nineteenth-century Italy. 

 Cambidge : Cambridge University  Press, 2015.

 Music 782.1094509034 C18

 Castelvecchi, Stefano. 

 Sentimental opera: questions of   genre in the age of bourgeois   drama

 Cambridge, UK: Cambridge   University Press, 2013.

 Music 782.109033 C34

 Charlton, David. 

 Opera in the age of Rousseau:   music, confrontation, realism.

 Cambridge: Cambridge   University Press, 2012

 Music 782.1094409033 C481 o6  

Citron, Marcia J. 

When Opera meets film.

Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010.

 Music 791.436578 C581 w56  

Corse, Sandra. 

Operatic subjects: the evolution of self in modern opera

Madison [N.J.]: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2000.

 Music 782.1 C82 o6

Crittenden, Camille. 

Johann Strauss and Vienna: operetta and the politics of popular culture

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Music 782.12094361309034 C935 j

Foster, Daniel H. 

Wagner's Ring cycle and the Greeks.

Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Music 782.1 F75 w1

Fuhrmann, Christina. 

Foreign opera at the London playhouses: from Mozart to Bellini.

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015

Music 792.50942109034 F95

Gilliam, Bryan Randolph.

Rounding Wagner's mountain: Richard Strauss and modern German opera.

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Music 782.1092 S9 G4

Goehring, Edmund Joseph.

Three modes of perception in Mozart: the philosophical, pastoral, and comic in Così fan tutte.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

 Music 782.1 M93 c8 G5

Hallman, Diana R.

Opera, liberalism, and antisemitism in nineteenth-century France: the politics of Halévy's La juive.

Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Music 782.10944 H19

Henson, Karen.

Opera acts: singers and performance in the late nineteenth century.

Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Music 782.114309034 H52


Huebner, Steven & Michael Charles Tusa.

National traditions in nineteenth-century opera.

Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.

Music 782.109034 N27

Ingraham, Mary I., Joseph K. So, & Roy Moodley.

Opera in a multicultural world: coloniality, culture, performance.

New York : Routledge, 2016.

Music 782.1 O61 I5

Johnson, Victoria, Jane F. Fulcher, & Thomas Ertman.

Opera and society in Italy and France from Monteverdi to Bourdieu.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 

Music 782.10944 O61

Lindenberger, Herbert.

Situating opera: period, genre, reception.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Music 782.1 L74 s6

Polzonetti, Pierpaolo.

Italian opera in the age of the American Revolution.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,  2011. 

Music 782.109033 P78  

Rutherford, Susan.

The prima donna and opera, 1815-1930.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Music 782.1082 R97

Rice, John A.

Essays on opera, 1750-1800.

Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.

Music 782.109033 E78

Schoell, William.

The opera of the twentieth century: a passionate art in transition.

Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2006. 

Music 782.10904 S36

Senici, Emanuele.

Landscape and gender in Italian opera: the Alpine virgin from Bellini to Puccini.

New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Music 782.1094509034 S47

Thomas, Downing A.

Aesthetics of opera in the Ancien Régime, 1647-1785.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 

Music 782.1094409032 T45 a

Walton, Benjamin.

Rossini in restoration Paris: the sound of modern life.

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Music 782.1092 R83 W2

Warrack, John.

German opera: from the beginnings to Wagner.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Music 782.10943 W286 g

Weinberg, Robert.


London : Elliot and Thompson, 2015. 

Music 782.1 W423 o6 E

Wilson, Alexandra.

The Puccini problem: opera, nationalism and modernity.

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 

Music 782.1092 W746 p97


Opera Glass includes synopses and available translations in addition to libretti.

Opera Folio contains over 500 operas’ libretti in original languages and translations.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Online access  Music Library, Library Use Only


Grove Music Online comprises New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians (2001), New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992) and New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2002), which provide scholarly articles and biographies. These are considered the most authoritative reference materials for its full-text scholarly writings and bibliographies.


 New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians (2001)

 29 volumes

 Call number: MuR 780.3 G88

 Location: Reference Collection



 New Grove Dictionary of Opera (1992)

 4 volumes

 Call number: MuR 782.103 N53

 Location: Reference Collection 


MGG Online, an online platform enables full functionality on mobile & tablet devices and provides automatic translations from German into over 100 languages via Google Translate integration. It also provides cross references linking related content throughout MCC Online. 

Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG) is an authoritative encyclopedia of music, written in German. It offers in-depth articles on every aspect of music as well as many related areas such as literature, philosophy, and visual arts.

Call number: MuR 780.3 B6 

29 volumes

Location: Reference Collection



   A Dictionary of Opera Characters features operatic characters (e.g. Figaro in three different operas: 1. Rossini's// barbiere di Siviglia, 2. Mozart's Le
   nozze di Figaro and 3. Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles). Brief synopses are also included.








   The Grove Book of Opera Singers contains biographies of opera singers.







   The Grove Book of Operas features a full synopsis of the plot, a cast list and information on the origins of the work and its literary and social background.

   A print copy is also available @ Music Library

   Call number: MuR 782.103 N53 S2

   Location: Reference Collection   





    Journal of the American Musicological Society (JAMS) 
   ~ Print v.1 (1948)-v.54 (2001); v.56 (2003)-v.60 (2007)

   ~ Online via JSTOR v.1 (1948)-

                  via ProQuest v.54, no.3 (2001)-v.65, no.3 (2012)

                  via IIMP FullText Vol.1, no.1 (spring 1948)-v.48, no.3 (fall 1995); v.54, no.3 (fall 2001)-v.65, no.3 (fall 2012)



   Opera Quarterly

   ~ Print v.11 (1994)-v.19 (2003)

   ~ Online via ProQuest Vol.14, no.2 (winter 1997/1998)-vol.15, no.2 (spring, 1999)

                  via EBSCOhost EJS v.18 (2002)-v.19 (2003)

               via Oxford Journals v.1 (1983)-



   Cambridge Opera Journal

   ~ Print v.1 (1989)-v.2, no.3 (1990), v.3 (1991)-v.17 (2005); v.19 (2007)-v.20, no.3 (2008)

   ~ Online via EBSCOhost EJS v.13 (2001)-v.14 (2002)

                  via Cambridge Journals Online v.12, no.1 (Mar 2000)-

                  via JSTOR v.1 (1989) up to 5 years back from latest issue published-

                  via IIMP FullText Vol.13, no.1 (Mar. 2001)- Delay 12 months

                  via ProQuest Mar 2001-


Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (RIPM)        

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature Online (RILM)

Music Periodicals Database

Year Coverage 




Subject Coverage 

  • Opera
  • Musical Instruments
  • Composers and musicians 
  • Historical musicology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Popular music and jazz
  • Theory, analysis and composition
  • Sound sources
  • Performance practice and notation
  • Pedagogy
  • Reference and research materials
  • Music and other arts
  • Classical music and opera
  • Jazz and blues
  • Rock, soul and hip-hop
  • Folk music
  • Music business
  • Sound recording
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Music education
  • Music therapy
  • Instruments  


  • Music publications before 1967, i.e. reviews, magazines and journals
  • Languages include English and Europeans
  • Features citations, abstracts, scholarly articles, Festschriften, conference proceedings, and reviews.
  • Languages include English, European and others


  • You can also search a specific journal. Type a journal title in the box of Publication. All results related to the journal will be displayed in result pages.


  • Scholarly full-text articles
  • 1st choice, if looking for popular music or world music
  • You can search and browse the contents of a specific journal, e.g. The Journal of the American Musicological Society (1948- ).



Listening and Viewing Online

Music Online: Opera in Video features staged productions and interviews.

Online resources


- Current news and schedules of opera performances all over the world, including Hong Kong


The Metropolitan Opera

- Current news opera in New York and the world


MetOpera Database

- A place to look for previous productions of the Metropolitan Opera


Aria Database

- Searchable by name, opera, language, composer, voice type, range, keyword, and whether there is a sound file, translation, or text available. There are also annotated links and a list of opera houses and companies.



Theses & Dissertations

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I (since 1861) is the most comprehensive source of its kind. It offers abstracts, citations and 24-page previews of dissertations and theses.


Digital Dissertation Consortium (since 2001) provides abstracts, citations and full-text dissertations.


Do you know you need to cite sources in writing your academic papers? Otherwise, your readers would begin to doubt that you would have plagiarized. Academic honesty and academic excellence go hand in hand. You may watch the following videos to learn what constitutes plagiarism, how to cite sources using practical tools and how to check for originality with Turnitin. The videos are produced jointly by the HKU TELI and HKU Libraries.

What is Plagiarism?

Why Cite?

When to Cite

How to Cite Properly

Citation Styles 

Citation Tools

How to Check Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism? (a handbook)

Turnitin checks your work for potential plagiarism.

How to cite your sources

When you cite resources properly, readers can follow your thoughts and your meticulous research work is shown as well. There are some citation styles and you may wish to seek your professor’s preference before getting started. Once you have chosen a style, it is important to be consistent. 



   The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.

   Call number: MuR 808.0270973 C53

   For online version, the Quick Guide features two basic documentation systems: 1. notes & bibliography 2. author-date.


Other citation styles, e.g. APA, MLA

How to Cite Film, Video and Online Media (from UC Berkeley)

How to Cite Miscellaneous Sources: Music or Sound Recording (from the Yale Writing Center)