Thursday, May 01, 2008

Royal Opera House Collections Online

This website provides access to the Royal Opera House collections' catalogue and performance database. The Performance Database is a catalogue of every performance at the Royal Opera House from 1732 to the present day. It is divided into three levels: work (creators and premieres); production (director and design team); and performance (dancers, singers, and music staff). Currently online are all the works performed by the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet (and their earlier names) since 1946, as well as all new productions and first night casts of each production. Similar data for the Birmingham Royal Ballet will be available shortly, and nightly performance records will be added on a regular basis. The database can be searched by title, person, company, character, and date. Records are linked to items in the Collections Catalogue, such as costumes worn in a certain production, and therefore searches can be undertaken across both sets of information.

In addition, the website offers interactive 'Highlights from the Collections', allowing users to focus in detail on certain items, through magnifying images, brief textual explanations, and audio clips. The website launched with three highlights: the costume for Turandot worn by Amy Shuard and Birgit Nilsson, designed by Cecil Beaton in 1963; Constant Lambert's score for Frederick Ashton's ballet Dante Sonata (1940); and an architectural detail of the theatre.
Access: Free