About us

A remarkable success story

Opera Rara’s mission is to rediscover, restore, record and perform the lost operatic heritage of the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Opera Rara is a unique combination of opera company, recording label and live operatic archaeologist. We search for neglected operatic masterpieces and restore them to life for contemporary audiences to enjoy. Working with the best singers, conductors, orchestras and musicologists, we are at the cutting edge of the opera world, leading the expansion of the repertoire and encouraging other opera companies to explore new and unknown operatic jewels.


2020 will be Opera Rara’s 50th anniversary and marks half-a-century of ground-breaking work. Our artistic success
has been publicly recognised through major awards, notably at the International Opera Awards (Best Opera Recording) for Rossini’s Semiramide (2019), Donizetti’s Les Martyrs (2016) and Offenbach’s Fantasio (2015), Classical Music Award (Best Opera) for Semiramide, Opus Klassik (Best Recording) for Semiramide (2019) and at the OPER! Awards (Best Recording) for Donizetti’s L’Ange de NisidaOpera Rara’s studio recording, the original version of Puccini’s first opera, Le Willis, with Ermonela Jaho and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder, was released in September 2019 to wide critical acclaim and was nominated for a BBC Music Awards for Best Recording. In June 2020, Opera Rara will present another forgotten Donizetti gem, Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo. This will be Carlo Rizzi’s first project as our Artistic Director and will renew our partnership with Britten Sinfonia with a concert at the Barbican Centre.


The Opera Rara catalogue comprises over 100 titles, including 60 complete opera recordings. Our work has led to a fundamental revaluation of the reputation of Donizetti, Pacini, Offenbach and Mercadante, changing the way in which these composers are perceived internationally. Following our world premiere concerts in July 2018,  Donizetti’s L’Ange de Nisida received its first professional staging in Bergamo in November 2019 and Offenbach’s Fantasio has received several stagings throughout Europe since our recording in 2015, including at this summer’s Garsington Festival.