Operabase ( portmanteau of Opera and Database ) is an online available database with information on opera productions and performance will be, soloists and artistic contributors as well as opera houses and ensembles. Operabase was founded in 1996 and is operated by the English Operabase Ltd. operated in Luton . The basic version of the website can be used free of charge; for a fee, Operabase offers additional content and services for artists, their agents and those responsible for casting .
The central content of Operabase is a database that links opera productions and their participants with performance dates and locations around the world. These data are relationally linked so that the search can be carried out from all directions. For example, the following questions can be answered:
- Where and when does a certain soloist perform?
- Where and when are operas by a particular composer performed?
- What is the cast of a production in a certain season?
- Which opera performances take place in the vicinity of a place during a certain period of time?
Statistics on opera performances around the world have also been available since 2005. The free view of the data is limited for unregistered users to the last, current and upcoming season. In the professional version, all data has been available since 1996, as well as certain links, such as the link between soloist and role. Those responsible for casting can search for soloists who have recently sung a certain role and have an immediate insight into availability and scheduling conflicts via their performance calendar.
The database and website was started as a hobby by the English opera lover Mike Gibb in 1996, who initially took on the roles of "designer, programmer, typist and intern". In 1999, Gibb turned his project into full-time employment. The second employee is Muriel Denzler. The website is free of advertising, revenue is generated by the subscriptions to the professional version. In 2006, 96% of the 10,000 daily website visitors were using the free version.
In 2006 Operabase was referred to as the “most extensive online database on international music theater ” in the specialist magazine opernwelt . The idea is "impressive, its execution admirable". In that year, 160,000 performances were entered in the database, of which 30,000 were in the free time slot. In 2011 there were 270,000 performances in the database, which recorded productions with the participation of 35,000 artists at more than 600 theaters worldwide. Unchanged, 30,000 of these performances were in the time slot of the free area.
From the start, the website's user interface was multilingual in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. In 2006, surfaces for Danish (translated by the Royal Danish Theater), Estonian (translated by Rahvusooper Estonia ), Finnish (translated by Kansallisooppera ), Icelandic (translated by Íslenska Óperan ), Lithuanian (translated by Lietuvos Nacionalinis Operos ), Norwegian (translated by Den Norske Opera ) and Slovenian (translated by Festival Ljubljana). In 2006, almost half of the website visitors used the English version of the website, followed by 17% for German, 12% for Italian, 10% for French and 9% for Spanish. Between 2006 and 2012 further translations were made for Catalan, Czech, Greek, Latvian, Polish, Swedish, Maltese and Russian, so that Operabase is available in 22 languages as of 2012.
- Charlotte Higgins: Operabase.com . In: The Guardian, May 23, 2003.
- Mike Gibb, Muriel Denzler: Operabase marks its Tenth Anniversary with Three Ambitious Projects (PDF file; 1.21 MB). In: Newsletter of Opera Europa . No. 15 (Fall 2006), p. 6. ( Memento from April 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
- Albrecht Thiemann: Networked without borders: Ten years of Operabase . In: opera world . December 2006, p. 25.