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Research Guides

Resources for Singers: Opera

Call Numbers for Operas and Arias

M1500 Operas - full score
M1503 Operas - vocal scores
M1507 Anthologies of arias

Call Numbers for Libretti

ML48 Collections of libretti
ML49 Single-composer libretti collections
ML50 Individual libretti

General Resources

Types of Scores

Full score

A score that contains the entire opera, including the overture and any instrumental sections, with all the orchestra parts notated.

Vocal score

A score that contains all the vocal parts with a piano reduction of the orchestra part. Vocal scores usually also include piano reductions for the overture and instrumental sections.

Opera vocal scores in the Music Library - over 800 piano-vocal scores, alphabetic by composer. 


A collection of arias from different operas. Anthologies typically gather arias for a particular vocal range, but may also be organized around a particular era or genre.

Finding Scores for Arias

Search on the title of the aria, plus the composer's last name.

Example: Sempre libera Verdi


Putting longer titles in quotes can be helpful.

Example, "Voi che sapete" Mozart.


If you are not getting any results, try searching for the opera the aria comes from. Often, even when an aria does not appear in an anthology or stand-alone edition, we will have a  score for the entire opera.


If you are still having trouble finding a score for an aria, consult the music librarian.

Librettos, Translations, and IPA

Librettos can be found by searching on the title of the opera and the word libretto, e.g., Don Giovanni libretto. You can also check recordings for liner notes, as many of them will include a libretto with translations.

Some key resources for librettos, aria texts, translations, and pronunciations are:

German Miscellaneous Opera Libretti, by Nico Castel
ML48 .G45 2005

Includes translations and IPA pronunciation.

French Opera Libretti (3 vols), by Nico Castel
ML48 .F875 1999

Includes translations and IPA pronunciation.

Italian belcanto opera libretti (3 vols), by Nico Castel
ML48 .I882 2000

Includes translations and IPA pronunciation.

Libretti in the Music Library - a browseable list of the over 230 librettos in the Music Library. Most include translations.

Plots and Characters

Your Librarian

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Carol Lubkowski
Office: Music Library, Jewett Art Center
Phone: 781-283-2076
Subjects: Music