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Copy of In Her Own Hand: Operas Composed by Women 1625 to 1913

Backup copy for April

Bibliography & Suggestions for Further Research

My exhibit and this LibGuide are far from comprehensive. How could it be? I am only one person, and there are so many composers from over a span of nearly 300 years. It is meant to be a starting point for your further research into this area, enterprising young scholar!

This LibGuide, like my exhibit, barely touches on the role of women librettists, yet this is also vastly unexplored territory. Many of the German princesses wrote poetry, and some wrote opera libretti. Prussia's Sophie Charlotte is one of these.

Another major theme to explore is how opera moved from Italy into France, and why Francophone Europe seemed to be relatively accepting of women composing for the stage. The librettist Sopie Gay, for example, is connected not only to composer Sophie Gail, but to other composers such as Ferdinando Paër. Listings in WorldCat show that she was a librettist with whom he often worked. A question that is still under-researched is: to what extent was there a "feminist awareness" among composers in Francophone Europe in the 19th century that allowed operas composed by women to be staged in greater numbers than in other European countries?