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About the FWF-project and the database

"The Operatic Library of Elector Maximilian Franz (1780-1794)was a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) from January 2013 to June 2017, based at the University of Vienna’s Department of Musicology. It focused on the music-dramatic works in the musical collection of the Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Franz of Habsburg (1756-1801), which are now preserved at the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria in Modena, Italy. The project’s central task was to identify and analyze the surviving scores and orchestral/vocal parts of the elector’s collection. By researching both the music-dramatic sources in Modena and further materials pertaining to the Bonn theatrical enterprise as well as to the elector himself, we hope to provide a well-rounded portrait of court opera at Bonn in the late 18th century. One specific area of interest was the relevance of this research in the context of Ludwig van Beethoven’s earliest musical experiences, since he was court musician in Bonn during those years.

The results of the project are presented in the following volume:

Elisabeth Reisinger, Juliane Riepe, John D. Wilson, in collaboration with Birgit Lodes, The Operatic Library of Elector Maximilian Franz: Reconstruction, Catalogue, Contexts (Schriften zur Beethoven-Forschung 30; Musik am Bonner kurfürstlichen Hof 1), Bonn: Verlag Beethoven-Haus, 2018.

For further information have a look at the project's website:

About the database
This database serves simultaneously as a source list and a performance database. It contains informations about operas which are applicable at least to one of the following criteria:
  • It was performed in Bonn between 1778 and 1793.
  • There exists a manuscript source in the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (I-MOe).
  • It is listed in the musical inventory of Elector Maximilian Franz (Cat. Gen. 53 [preserved in I-MOe under the shelf mark Ɛ.40.4.9-10]).
This provides a full-text search as well as a specific search within the contents "Biblioteca Estense Modena" (manuscript sources), "Person" (composers, librettists, performers), "Season" (performances in Bonn), "Troupe" (performing theater troupes in Bonn) and "Work" (basic information about each opera).
Within "Works" you find a list of all operas which are contained in the database. It covers information about composer, librettist, premiere, as well as about performances in Bonn and manuscript sources in the I-MOe. You'll also find an indication if the work is listed in the musical inventory of Elector Maximilian Franz.
This contains a playing schedule of the court theater in Bonn from 1778 to 1794. First, you can find a list of all seasons with detailed information about their duration. Within every season are listed all works which were performed, including information about sources, performance dates and performing troupes.
Here you find an alphabetic list of all persons in the database (composers, librettists, performers).
The entries were compiled by Elisabeth Reisinger, Juliane Riepe and John D. Wilson.
Please note that running corrections and updates will be made.