Cincinnati Opera Archive

Cincinnati Opera Archive

The Library is proud to be the new custodian of the Cincinnati Opera Archives, a responsibility we inherited in 2006 from the Cincinnati History Library and Archives. The Cincinnati Opera archives, which extend from 1883 to 1994, include a wealth of material chronicling the history of the Opera. It contains photographs of the many legendary stars and conductors who performed with the company along with historic programs, posters, scores, librettos, scrapbooks, newspaper articles and clippings, and other documents.

To see treasures from the archives, ask at the Genealogy and Local History Department service desk for The Cincinnati Opera, 1883-1994, a highly detailed catalog of the contents. In addition, the department maintains a card index to the Opera’s productions as well as bound programs from past productions.

About the Cincinnati Opera

The Cincinnati Opera Association was founded in 1920, although the Queen City had hosted opera production since the last quarter of the 19th century. The company is the second oldest in the United States. For much of its history, it was called Cincinnati Summer Opera, and still presents its season during the summer.

Until 1973, the many great singers who performed with the Summer Opera did so al fresco at the Cincinnati Zoo Pavilion. Cincinnati Opera then moved to the magnificent and newly renovated Music Hall, the fourth largest hall in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Many renowned singers, conductors, and corps de ballet dancers have been associated with the Opera over the years. Individuals of note include: Kathleen Battle, Beverly Sills, James Levine, Suzanne Farrell, Placido Domingo, Renata Scotto, Sherrill Milnes, Franco Corelli, Dorothy Kirsten, and Renata Tebaldi.

Related Resources


Opera with Significant Local Connections

Classic Opera Conductors and Directors

Notable Opera Performances


On the Web

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