Center for Italian Opera Studies Receives Grant from Packard Humanities Institute

Press release from Beth Parker of CIAO


Five-year grant sustains The Works of Gioachino Rossini and OperaCat

(Chicago, IL – July 1, 2014) The Center for Italian Opera Studies (also known as CIAO) at the University of Chicago announces a five-year grant for $435,000 from the Packard Humanities Institute of Los Altos, California. Philip Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of Music directs the critical edition, Works of Gioachino Rossini, published in collaboration with Bärenreiter-Verlag in Germany. Gossett says, “This is the fourth and largest award we’ve received from our long-time supporters at the Packard Institute. We will be able to produce new Rossini volumes through 2019, along with a new web resource called OperaCat that should launch later this year.”

CIAO’s chief mission is to produce critical editions of Rossini in collaboration with Bärenreiter-Verlag in Germany. This grant supports the international team of editors that is now working on several volumes: the operas Le comte Ory, Maometto II, Moïse, and La cambiale di matrimonio; the Messa di Gloria; and volumes of songs and piano music. The new critical editions of Le comte Ory and Maometto II have already received performances on some of the world’s most prestigious stages: La Scala of Milan, the Opéra de Lyon, and Santa Fe Opera. More Rossini volumes (operas, chamber works, and didactic writings) are projected through 2021.

Gossett is enthusiastic about OperaCat, a new tool for research into the background of 19th and early 20th-century Italian opera. It’s an effort to track every manuscript (music, letters, sketches, and signed photographs) of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, or Puccini that has been sold either by a dealer or auction house. Gossett says, “Daniela Macchione, CIAO’s managing editor, created OperaCat and is directing the research and collating the data. She’s working with the University of Chicago Library on the website and expects that the site will be launched later in 2014.” The project has been ongoing since 2005, with significant cooperation by Chicago’s Newberry Library, as well as auction houses and archives in the US and Europe. Its searchable database will be a free resource for musicologists and the general public.