Skip to main content

Opera, Operetta, and Musical Theater

How to research the history, performance, and criticism of western opera (e.g., opera buffa, opera seria), operetta, and musicals.

Core Journals

Peer-Reviewed* journals provide a plethora of analytical and/or critical discourse on a composer and his/her works. Key periodicals for researching Opera, Operetta and Musical Theater include:

*What does peer-reviewed mean?: Peer-reviewed indicates that an author's work has been reviewed by a panel of his/her appointed subject-area colleagues and deemed viable. 

Histories and Biographies

Histories and biographies focus on a specific composer (or artist) and his/her works, or specific styles of a genre. Locating monographs or articles in these areas is most successful with detailed keyword or subject searches.

It is important that you limit your searches by by the type of material you are looking for (e.g., books, visual), so that you get the best results. An example search is below.

Keyword Search Secondary Sources

Some examples include the following...

Secondary Sources

Whether you wish to know more about the political impact of Verdi's operas or the history of Rogers and Hammerstein, you will more than likely need to research within secondary sources. This section provides key search methodologies and examples of secondary sources (e.g., histories) that will assist you in successful research.

From Calisphere/UCLA Digital Collections

Grand Opera House

(Click on each photo for a direct link to the holding.)