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Dresden Opera Archive

This archive includes original scores for operas, which were previously held in the Royal Saxon Court Opera’s archives. The library has acquired the collection (now called the Dresden Opera Archive) in stages over the years since the 1920s. All in all, there is source material in this archive, such as musical scores and vocal parts, from ca. 650 operas. The main focus of the archive are the Italian operas that were performed between 1765 and 1831, as well as the French, Italian, and German operas that belonged to the Court Opera’s repertoire. The list of authors reflects the status one of the leading opera houses in the German-speaking countries would be expected to enjoy: works by the most important Italian, French and German opera composers of their day can be found in this archive, e.g. Johann Gottlieb Naumann (who was Hofkapellmeister in Dresden), Ferdinando Paër, Francesco Morlacchi, Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner.

Funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) made it possible for the materials to be inventoried and indexed. Since 2002, the Dresden Opera Archive has been available for online research via RISM online.

Opera in Italy and Germany between 1770 and 1830  (German)
Database for the repertoire found in the Austrian National Library, the SLUB Dresden, the Berlin State Library, the Bavarian State Library, and the Thuringia State Musical Archives