Opera Rara and Casa Ricordi have signed a worldwide distribution agreement for the Opera Rara editorial catalogue. Through the Ricordi sales network, it will now be possible to rent material for the performance of all 35 works published by Opera Rara, including the performing edition of Donizetti’s L’ange de Nisida of which Opera Rara gave the world premiere at the Royal Opera House, London in July 2018 and the live recording of which won the 2019 Oper! Award for best opera recording. Performing editions will be available through online platforms like Zinfonia and Nkoda, as well as through the offices of Universal Music Publishing Classical, a group of which Ricordi is a part, and through all Ricordi agencies internationally.

The brain-child of Patric Schmid and Don White, Opera Rara has been in the business of bringing back forgotten operatic repertoire since its conception in 1969, with the bel canto repertory as a particular focus. Under Sir Mark Elder’s eight-year tenure as Artistic Director, Opera Rara expanded its repertoire to include French grand opera, French operetta and Italian verismo works. In September 2019, Opera Rara announced Carlo Rizzi as its new Artistic Director who will mark the beginning of his tenure with the June 2020 recording and Barbican concert performance in London of another Donizetti rarity, Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo. In their 50th year, the company will also release Donizetti’s Il Paria and Ermonela Jaho’s debut recital disc featuring music championed by the Italian soprano Rosina Storchio, the creator of Cio-Cio San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in 1904. Both recordings will be distributed internationally by Warner Classics. The new editions of Il Paria and Il furioso will be the two newest titles in the Opera Rara editorial catalogue to be distributed by Casa Ricordi.

Founded in 1808, Casa Ricordi is the oldest and biggest Italian classical music publisher. The story of Casa Ricordi is inseparable from the history of the last two centuries of Italian music, and in particular, Italian opera, with a catalogue featuring composers like Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi.

Of the new partnership with Casa Ricordi, Henry Little, CEO of Opera Rara, said “I am delighted to be starting this new partnership with Casa Ricordi. There is a natural affinity between Opera Rara’s world leading and award winning work to rediscover, restore, record and perform the forgotten Italian operatic heritage of the 19th and early 20th century, and Ricordi’s role as the preeminent publisher of this repertoire. In our 50th anniversary year, we look forward to working with Ricordi to ensure that these wonderful pieces receive as many performances as possible, reaching audiences worldwide and consolidating their places in the current repertory.”

Cristiano Ostinelli, General Manager of Casa Ricordi, said that “the Opera Rara catalogue is an incredible addition to Ricordi’s opera catalogue. The works in the Opera Rara catalogue not only supplement Ricordi’s bel canto catalogue with numerous operas by Donizetti that have been rarely performed, but in some cases complete Ricordi’s Italian opera collection with new additions from composers like Mercadante, Paer and Pacini. Ricordi’s collaboration with Opera Rara will extend into the future as we continue to present musical gems that have been unfairly forgotten.” (Quelle Opera Rara)

  1. david raymond harrison

    it is precisely the contemporaries of Donizetti who are now being ignored by Opera-Rara. I am delighted that Mercadante’s Il Proscritto is being recorded but it is a long time to wait since the last recording from a contemporary of Donizetti has been recorded and what about Rossi, Coccia and numerpus others who merely gather dust?