Reflecting the interests of Patric Schmid and Don White who founded Opera Rara in the early 1970s, the collection focuses on the great Italian bel canto tradition and includes an extensive archive of operatic manuscripts – many handwritten by the composers themselves, first and early editions of nineteenth-century opera scores, letters written by composers and singers, and a large array of other opera-related archival resources such as pictures, postcards, programmes, playbills, costume designs, and press cuttings.
The Foyle Opera Rara Collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 3489 003
- Dates of Creation1800 - 2000
- Language of MaterialItalian French English
- Physical DescriptionOver 4000 scores
- Digital Materials
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Opera Rara is a British non-profit recording company, founded in the early 1970s by American Patric Schmid and Englishman Don White to promote concerts and recordings of rare and/or forgotten operas by bel canto era composers such as Italian composers Gaetano Donizetti, Giovanni Pacini, Saverio Mercadante, and Federico Ricci, as well as French composers of the 1830s forward such as Giacomo Meyerbeer. The company's activities were later expanded to include the "Verdi Originals" series, performing earlier editions of Verdi operas. The collection was largely amassed by Patric Schmid and Don White, the founders of Opera Rara, and continued to be in the possession of Opera Rara until 2018.
The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama was able to acquire this collection following a major grant from the Foyle Foundation.
Access is available by prior appointment, during 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama was able to acquire the collection following a major grant from the Foyle Foundation in 2018.
The Collection was amassed by Patric Schmid and Don White. It was owned by Opera Rara until 2018.