Italian Baroque Opera Libretti

In April 1931 the Florence-based antiquarian bookseller Leo S. Olschki offered a collection of Baroque Italian libretti to the Warburg Library. A libretto is a booklet containing the text of an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical, sometimes even ballet. It is sometimes the only written source for lost plays. Libretti are re-tellings of legends or stories written by professional writers, Librettists, and set to music by composers.

The collection, purchased by the Institute in 1931, comprises of 45 libretti from the late 17th and early 18th centuries from Italy. It includes works by: Bonaventura Aliotti, Aurelio Aureli, Giovanni Battista Bassani, Francesco Berni, Carlo Bosi, Lorenzo Cattani, Fortunato Chelleri, Vicenzo Legrenzio Ciampi, Domenico Gabrielli, Pietro Antonio Galerini, Baldassare Galuppi, Francesco Gasparini, Giulio Cesare Grazzini, Giovanni Legrenzi, Carlo Ambrogio Lonati, Paolo Magni, Andrea Mattioli, Giuseppe Maria Orlandini, Carlo Pallavicino, Giacomo Antonio Perti, Carlo Francesco Pollarolo, Giovanni Maria Ruggieri, Giuseppe Domenico Totis, Belisario Valeriani and Marc’Antonio Ziani.