Home / About the Libraries / News Events Exhibits / News & Announcements / First-edition opera vocal score on display at Seattle Opera during Beatrice and Benedict

First-edition opera vocal score on display at Seattle Opera during Beatrice and Benedict

February 24, 2018
First-edition opera vocal score on display at Seattle Opera during Beatrice and Benedict

Beatrice and Benedict score title page

The University of Washington Libraries, in partnership with Seattle Opera, is pleased to display a first-edition copy of Hector Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict, during the Opera’s February 24 – March 10 run of Beatrice and Benedict.

Patrons must have a ticket to the opera to see the scores, located in the Grand Lobby at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street, along the North edge of Seattle Center.

On display are two pages from Hector Berlioz, Béatrice et Bénédict: Opéra en Deux Actes, Imité de Shakespeare. Paris: G. Brandus & S. Dufour, 1863, which are held as part of the Music Library’s William Crawford III Music Collection of early-edition rare vocal scores.

The title page of this first edition is dedicated to the impresario Edouard Bénazet, who funded and organized the opera’s 1862 premiere in Baden-Baden, Germany.

As was typical, a full score of the opera was not published until long after its premiere. A piano-vocal score such as this would have been more lucrative for both composer and publisher as they were popular for entertainment and study in the home. It is likely that Berlioz wrote the piano reduction for the piano-vocal score himself.

About the UW Libraries

The University of Washington Libraries is a network of 16 academic research libraries serving three campuses: Seattle, UW Bothell, and UW Tacoma, and is home to the largest library collection in the Pacific Northwest with over 9 million books, journals, and digital resources. The Libraries’ mission is to advance intellectual discovery and enrich the quality of life by connecting people with knowledge.

The UW Music Library Special Collections include the William Crawford III Music Collection of rare vocal scores, the Baltic Choral Music Collection, music manuscripts and other rare printed music scores, and collections highlighting the work of Northwest composers. The Library is also the home of the UW Ethnomusicology Archives, one of the only such archives for ethnographic music recordings in the country. It is also home to over 70,000 books and scores, 46,000 recordings, and current subscriptions to approximately 300 periodicals.

About Seattle Opera

Seattle Opera is a leading opera company, recognized both in the United States and around the world. The company is committed to advancing the cultural life in the Pacific Northwest with performances of the highest caliber, and through innovative education and community programs that take opera far beyond the McCaw Hall stage. Each year, more than 95,000 people attend Seattle Opera performances and the company’s programs serve more than 400,000 people of all ages (including school performances, radio broadcasts and community engagement initiatives). Seattle Opera is especially known for its acclaimed works in the Richard Wagner canon, and has created an “international attraction” in its presentation of Wagner’s epic Ring, according to The New York Times. Connect with Seattle Opera on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and through the Seattle Opera channel on Classical King FM. 98.1.

# # # # #

Press contacts: