January 30, 2014 "A Night at the Opera" Exhibition Travels to Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Raymond A. White (202) 707-1842; James E. Wintle (202) 707-2703

The Library of Congress exhibition “A Night at the Opera” will travel to Los Angeles, opening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Library of Congress Ira Gershwin Gallery on Saturday, March 1, 2014.

Free and open to the public, the exhibition runs through Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. The grandeur of opera—its unforgettable music, stellar performers and lavish scenery and costumes—has transfixed audiences for more than 400 years. The Library’s exhibition celebrates the majestic art form, focusing on German and Italian operas to commemorate the bicentennials of iconic composers Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, both born in 1813.

The 40-item display will feature manuscript and printed scores, librettos, photographs, correspondence and set designs, dating from the late 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century. Materials in the exhibition are drawn from the diverse and extensive opera collections in the Music Division at the Library of Congress.

Highlights include holograph manuscript scores (in the composer’s own handwriting) by Verdi and Wagner, as well as an early libretto of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” and a first-edition, piano-vocal score of Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” There will be a set design for "Don Giovanni" by Oliver Smith (1918-1994) and a colorful set design by Italian Art Nouveau artist Galileo Chini (1873-1956), created for the first production of Giacomo Puccini’s "Turandot" at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1926.

“A Night at the Opera” is made possible through the generous support of the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trust for the benefit of the Library of Congress. The exhibition curators from the Music Division are Raymond A. White and James E. Wintle. The exhibition director from the Library’s Interpretive Programs Office is Martha Hopkins.

The Music Division at the Library of Congress, with more than 21 million items, holds the world's largest music collection. Particular areas of strength include opera (scores and librettos), stage and screen musicals, chamber music, jazz and American popular song. The Music Division is home to approximately 600 archival collections, most of them the personal papers (including music scores as well as correspondence, photographs, legal and financial documents, programs, clippings and other materials) documenting the lives and careers of stellar composers and performers. As well, the Music Division holds a significant and growing body of materials documenting dance and theater. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/perform/rr/perform.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-015
ISSN 0731-3527