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We've all got a number of web links that we feel we really couldn't do without. Here are mine.
The Aria Database
A searchable database of arias. Many provide links to translations, midi files etc. Can be searched by a variety of different terms including character, fach, range etc.
The Opera Critic
This is the best place I have found for monitoring opera reviews. It references reviews in online versions of newspapers and magazines. It's not ideal, and I have no clear impression of the extent of coverage, but it is a useful and interesting perspective. A bit like democracy ... It is now a subscription-based site, although the day-by-day news is still free.
Copac is an online catalog of libraries. It is the simplest possible way of searching academic library collections across the UK. It does not include the British Library, but does include many other major collections such as Leeds and Glasgow.
Opera scores available online
The University of Indiana is running an excellent trial project making complete opera scores available online. It is probably intended for students at the university to access via their network, but all the content is available externally. Scores are provided as GIF files for downloading a page at a time, so it unlikely ever to be a practical way of obtaining scores, but it is a very useful online reference.
The OperaGlass project at Stanford University provides an outstanding opera resource, both providing materials and also giving many links to other web sites related to opera. Use this site to locate libretti (original language) and much other operatic miscellanea.
British Library Manuscripts Catalogue
Simple and straightforward access to the wealth of the British Library's manuscripts. The entire manuscript collection appears to be covered including music. This proves a useful way of locating all the contents of given Mss. Of course, manuscripts can only be viewed in person at the British LIbrary and you'll need a reader's ticket.
British Library Public Catalogue
Only recently (2001) the British Library finally made a substantial portion of its catalogue available for the first time. I don't think the entire collection is searchable online, but it's a step in the right direction!
The RISM database is a very welcome online facility, providing consolidated accesss to multiple manuscript collections.
Run by Ian Gledhill. Ian has translated a large number of operas and Pavilion Music has links with a large number of other translators, so Ian's catalogue is well worth a look
Any search on the web for 'free sheet music' will provide you with enough links to keep you busy for months. In the classical music world the best I have found are:
GMD - Music Archive Sheet Music
Wide range of mostly baroque and classical pieces in a variety of formats
Choral Public Domain Library
Several thousand public domain choral items for free download from the site. Mostly renaissance and baroque, but some later.
IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project)
Includes a range of different types of score, ranging from some very useful scanned facsimile scores to single items, often sourced from other well-known sites.
Mundial Directory of free sheet music
A site listing locations of sheet music. Includes quite a lot of dross, but some good sources as well.
Olson's site [Ballad opera tunes folk stuff and
I became very interested in abc notation while researching ballad operas and ballad tunes. Olsen maintains an outstanding site the sources words and music for a large proportion of the ballad of the 16th and 17th centuries. Since Bruce Olsen's death, this site is now being hosted by The Mudcat Cafe. The original site can still be accessed via the Wayback Machine.
Classical MIDI Archives
This is probably the most complete collection of classical MIDI files on the web. Indexed by composer and searchable it is an invaluable resource.
of the Latin Quarter
Blue Monday [Gershwin]
Porgy and Bess
Turn of the Screw (Gutenberg text)