The Italian Opera Aria
on the London Stage 1705-1801

Mrs Billington, 'A bravura Air'

Favourite songs in Zamira e Azore

The Italian Opera Aria on the London Stage 1705-1801

Welcome to the digital edition of the Italian Opera Aria on the London Stage 1705-1801. The project is based on the surviving libretti, both printed and manuscript, for operas in Italian performed in London. It provides a mechanism by which aria texts can be traced through different libretti, as they were moved from one opera to another by impresarios, conductors, and singers. In one such history, Metastasio's 1729 opera text, Alessandro nell'Indie, was revised for Handel by Samuel Humphreys; he gave it a new title, Poro, and a number of new interpolations. Metastasio's libretto was subsequently altered for London for settings by Lampugnani, Corri, Cocchi, and Anfossi; by the end of the century, when Badini revised the libretto for Tarchi's setting in 1789, few of Metastasio's original aria texts remained.

We emphasise that this is a project about the libretti, not about what arias texts, or which settings of those texts, may have been used in performance. Those new to the database are encouraged to refer to the Introduction to the Resource, and to the section Searching the Site, and what can be expected from the results you will receive. We encourage you to use the "oops" button to let us know of any errors, or extra information, or, most particularly, extra sources which you may locate. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions on the resource feel free to send them to us at

The project is headed by Michael Burden as the principal investigator, and Christopher Chowrimootoo as Co-researcher. It began in 2007.