Literary Sources of Opera Libretti

As often as not opera libretti are original, written specifically for an individual  operatic endeavor.  Other libretti are frequently based on many different forms of literary provenance.  There are novels, narrative epics, poems, plays, historical dramas, biographical theses and many other sources of literary inspiration.  Another adjunct collection within the grander scope of The Durbeck Archive is the accumulation of many of these literary sources of opera libretti.  Most of these sources are in printed book form but many have been read onto LPs and recorded as complete plays.  Shown here are a few of the complete plays and readings of great literary works.  In the Archive there are many more books and recordings of those literary sources which have inspired the art song and oratorio as well as the opera. 

Gounod, Boito, Berlioz, Busoni et al  all

set portions of this play into operatic form

Paisiello (1782) & Rossini (1816)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1786)

still one of the most recorded operas ever

Verdi did both Italian and French versions

Orlandini,Napoli,Haug,Szönyi,Wolpert  +

Puccini (1916) and Busoni (1917)

Heitor Villa-Lobos: YERMA (1971)

Dobos (1989), Ránki (1970)

Verdi (1847), revised (1865)

Benda (1765), Gounod (1867), Zandonai (1922)+

Richard Strauss (1911)

Arthur Honegger & Jacques Ibert (1937)

(read in English)  Francis Poulenc (1959)

(read in French)  Francis Poulenc (1959)

Robeson (1953) and Olivier (1964)

Rossini (1816) and Verdi (1887)

This program is inserted into SL 153
shown above

Autographed by Paul Robeson

Autographed by José Ferrer, Uta Hagen
and James Monks

Cherubini (1797), Rossini (1813), Pacini (1843)

Alfano (1936), Tamberg (1976), Karaev (1973)

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