Mozart Libretti – Online Catalog


Project Description

The project Mozart Libretti - Online Catalog aims at listing all available text sources for the settings by Wolfgang Amadé Mozart up to the present and to make them searchable by means of a digital database.
The project is issued by the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg as part of the Digital Mozart Edition and is currently being developed in cooperation with the Packard Humanities Institute in Los Altos/California.
The selection of sources in the database is based on a broad understanding of the notion „Mozart Libretto“. These are assigned to four categories as follows:
  • Original Libretto: A text expressly created or printed for a setting by Mozart.
  • Later Edition: Later manuscript copy, print or translation of a text set to music by Mozart.
  • Model: Libretto or literary model for the text set to music by Mozart, e.g., direct models such as the Munich libretto for Il re pastore (1774), that was set to music by Mozart without significant changes, or sources of inspiration for a libretto like Beaumarchais’ Le mariage de Figaro for Le nozze di Figaro.
  • Same Topic: Text with the same dramatic subject without direct relationship to Mozart’s setting, e.g, Mattia Verazi’s arrangement of the original libretto Lucio Silla by De Gamerra for Johann Christian Bach.
In the online catalog, all available sources that fall under these categories are listed to the present.
In addition to a diplomatic transcription of the title page the database contains searchable information in library standard regarding the place and publisher, year, document type, extent, format, location / shelf mark, description of a reference exemplar, reproductions for each source as well as searchable information on language, contents, authors, performers, stage personnel, dedicatees and roles (cf. Editiorial Guidelines and Search Functions).

Places, persons, corporations and roles are associated with databases of their own. This allows to search both according to historical spellings and to standardized reference terms.

The online catalog also provides links to available digital reproductions of exemplars and to bibliographic data of facsimiles. These enable the user to access these sources immediately.
Current State
Data on librettos have been collected at the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg for more than 30 years. These pieces of information were converted into a database in March 2011 and have since carefully been checked. So far, sources until 1850, if available, have been incorporated. The data pool is, however, continually being expanded; e.g., some relevant editions issued after 1850 are already included, among them translations into less common languages such as Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Danish as well as critical editions.

Data on nearly 3,000 individual copies for 1,000 different libretto for Mozart's musical settings up to 1850 have been collected world wide with library information on holdings, location and shelf mark. Currently digital reproductions can already be retrieved for about 80 librettos. Data on almost 4,000 people have been entered into the database; these have been linked to more than 1,000 historical role names or can be related to authors, performers, stage personnel and dedicatees. Furthermore, data on more than 370 publishers and nearly 300 libraries and archives are available.
The online catalog of Mozart's opera libretti remains open for future expansion, be it through the discovery, evaluation and acquisition of new sources before or after 1850. Therefore, the next phase of the project will include the completion of the existing data and the systematic search for new sources before 1850. Also the data to sources from before 1850 and will be made available online step by step.
Corrections and additional pieces of information, particularly on exemplars listed as being still “unchecked”, are always welcomed at