Fall may be the season for cooler weather and pumpkin spice everything, but it’s also the best time to immerse yourself in the wonders of opera and classical music. The Metropolitan Opera’s 2015-2016 season opens this week with Verdi’s Otello, and the Houston Grand Opera begins its season with Puccini’s Tosca next month. Houston is also home to many other exceptional performing arts groups including the Houston Symphony, Ars Lyrica, Opera in the Heights, Chamber Music Houston, Houston Masterworks Chorus, Bach Society Houston, and Mercury Houston, to name just a few. Countless other musicians will also perform recitals in venues throughout Houston. The Houston Music Card is a great way to keep track of many of these performances.
Your MY Link Library Card also connects you to several ways to access classical music. Whether you want to brush up on a particular piece of music before attending a performance or simply want to experience the beauty of a timeless piece, simply use your MY Link Library Card to access the resources listed below.
The Classical Music Library from Alexander Street Press is the world’s largest multi-label database of classical music recordings, including music written from the earliest times to the present. Repertoire ranges from vocal and choral music, to chamber, orchestral, solo instrumental, and opera. It's a fantastic resource for accessing beautiful music from home whenever you want. Classical Music in Video, the Classical Music Reference Library, and the Classical Scores Library are also available. Access these resources from the Databases and Resources page of the HPL website.
Hoopla is another great resource for classical music and opera. Browse for something new in the Classical, Easy Listening, Jazz, or World genres. You can also search for a favorite singer or composer.
The Houston Public Library also has an extensive selection of CDs available for check out. Browse the CLASS, JAZZ, MISC, OPERA, and SHOW call numbers or take a look at the New Titles in the catalog and place a hold on an exciting new release. Many recorded opera performances are also available on DVD for check out.
Of course, listening to all of the beautiful music may find you curious about the lives of the composers, musicians, and performers. Here are a few recommended titles to get you started.
Whether you enjoy soaring strings or marvelous voices (or both, of course!), the world of classical music and opera truly holds something for everyone. Do you have a favorite composer, performer, or piece of music? We'd love for you to share yours in the comments.
--Jeanette Sewell, Central