Opera Rara is delighted to announce the transfer of The Opera Rara Music Library to a permanent home at The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD). This has been made possible by The Foyle Foundation, which has generously provided its biggest ever grant in Wales to enable the library currently based in London – soon to be called The Foyle Opera Rara Collection – to be transferred to RWCMD.
Comprising of more than five thousand volumes, The Foyle Opera Rara Collection ranks as one of the most impressive and comprehensive collections of first and early editions of 19th-century Italian opera scores in Europe. Amongst the works included are both the masterpieces and rarer works by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, in addition to those of less-known composers such as Mayr, Mercadante, Pacini, Ponchielli, Leoncavallo and Mascagni, to name but a few. Also of note are autograph manuscripts in the hands of Donizetti, Mercadante and Pacini.
Reflecting the specialist interests of Patric Schmid and Don White who founded Opera Rara fifty years ago, RWCMD will make this world class collection of unique operatic material publicly accessible for the first time. Of the new partnership with the College, Henry Little, Chief Executive of Opera Rara, said: “I am delighted that our unique and iconic collection will be going to the Royal Welsh College, where scholars, students, and the wider public can consult and enjoy this inspiring body of extraordinary 19th-century operatic material. Opera Rara is especially grateful to the Foyle Foundation, whose generosity has made this special partnership between us and the College possible.”