The internet holds a great deal of information on individual works, composers, and artists, but there are relatively few useful sites for opera in its broadest sense. Of the ‘general’ opera websites, many are difficult to navigate, are out of date, and have many omissions and inaccuracies. A fair knowledge of the subject is necessary in order to judge which sections are really useful. The web links listed below may be few in number, but do offer some useful information. The major opera magazines give a flavour of what to expect with good samples to whet the appetite. All major opera houses and festivals worldwide have websites. It is usually simpler and more helpful to enter in your search engine the name of a work, an artist, a composer, an opera house, and follow its links to find what you are looking for.
Is a general opera website, with details for schedules, festivals, opera houses, artists, and cross-references.http://www.operabase.com/ http://www.operabase.com
Is quite useful, with access to synopses, librettos, creators, histories, but very many standard repertory operas are not included. http://www.operastanford.edu
Is American based with worldwide listings and reading suggestions. http://www.vocalimages.com
Music with Ease
Is reasonably easy to use and covers many composers (with pictures) and works, but is somewhat arbitrary in content with many omissions—no Britten, no Janáček. Particularly good for synopses. http://www.musicwithease.com
Magazine is the longest-standing British monthly magazine of high quality, with world-wide cover, articles, information, schedules, reviews of performances, CDs, and books. http://www.opera.co.uk
Includes good articles and information, is British, bimonthly, with world-wide coverage. http://www.rhinegold.co.uk
Is the monthly magazine of the NY Metropolitan Opera Guild. Its articles and information are mainly American-based, with some international coverage. http://www.metoperafamily.org
Opera lovers forum
Is a new website organized by people of repute in the opera world. Features, podcasts, reviews, interviews, listings, discussion opportunities. It is too soon to pass judgement on its accuracy and usefulness, but looks promising.http://www.operalovers.net
From A Dictionary of Opera Characters in Oxford Reference.