The redesigned Aria Database has several new features to make it more powerful and easier to use. A few of the most dramatic changes are listed below.
Improved Search Engine
The most significant improvement of the redesigned Aria Database is the completely new search engine. Written from the ground up specifically for the Aria Database, this search engine allows for more powerful searches and more accurate results. Included in this new search engine are several new search forms designed to be both easy to use for everyday users and adaptable for advanced users. Ultimately, this new search engine is the first step in the goal of making the Aria Database the foremost academic database for operatic information on the Internet.
Although there has always been information in the Database about the operas which contain the arias that make up the bulk of the data, the Aria Database now contains a database of operas to match the databases of arias and operatic roles that have existed for many years. As this new opera database takes shape, it will include new information such as the first performance of the opera, the date it was written, libretti and/or translations for some operas, and opera synopses.
A research database is nothing without quality data. Included in the redesign of the Aria Database is a detailed re-examination of the data inside of it. The database itself has been completely restructured in order to make the data more consistent and easier to update. Many new fields have been added to fill "holes" in the database, including increased information about the arias, operas, and operatic roles inside it. This re-examination will continue for some time as aria descriptions are rewritten, existing aria ranges are checked and new ranges are added, and new information is added. Please be patient as we improve our data and, if you feel like you can help in this process, please offer your own knowledge.
The visual representation of ranges on actual musical staves allows for easier interpretation of ranges and tessituras. For me, that means no more trips to Wikipedia to recall exactly how to interpret the letters and numbers that make up the ranges of the old Aria Database. For you, I hope these improved ranges mean quicker interpretation of each aria entry.
Users may now create a "shopping cart" of arias to view later. You may mark each desired aria by clicking on the checkboxes next to the aria entry, continue searching and saving arias, and then view these arias later by clicking on the "View Saved Arias" link in the Results page.
The Aria Database now has the ability to sort results by several different fields, including aria title, composer, opera, and voice part. These sort options are easily accessed on the Results screen.
Multiple Data Views
In order to save you time, the results from the Aria Database can now be viewed in several different views, including a Summary View which allows for quick browsing of the data, a Full View which displays all of the data in each entry, and an Individual View which displays libretti and translations on the same screen as the rest of the aria entry. The Results page allows users to switch easily between these views.
Operatic Score Database
This ever-increasing collection of operatic scores and anthologies allows you to quickly find the music that you need to perform or fully enjoy the arias in the Database. Complete with publisher information and a table of contents, each entry also includes a direct link to purchasing information on both Amazon.com and Sheetmusicplus.com.