The Library of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala owns specialised texts, sheet music, libretti and audio-visual materials relevant to the artistic and technical professions operating in the field of staged musical performances.   The subject matter of the works reflects the areas that are of interest to the Accademia Teatro alla Scala: Music, Dance, Stage-Laboratories, Management, Cultural Cooperation, Education and Dissemination and Career Orientation.



The Library in via Santa Marta holds approximately 4.000 texts, among which, in particular, there are a series of reference aids that include:

  • Dictionaries, such as the Grande Dizionario della Lingua Italiana (il “Battaglia”) [The Great Dictionary of the Italian language], il Grande Dizionario Italiano dei Sinonimi e Contrari [The Great Italian Dictionary of Synonyms and Opposites], il Grande Dizionario Analogico della Lingua Italiana [The Great Thesaurus of the Italian Language] e il Grande Dizionario Italiano dell’Uso [The Great Dictionary of Contemporary Italian]
  • Specialised dictionaries, including the Dizionario enciclopedico universale della musica e dei musicisti (DEUMM) [The Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians], the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, il Dizionario Bompiani delle opere e dei personaggi [The Bompiani Dictonary of Works and Characters] and the Dizionario d’ortografia e di pronunzia (DOP) [The Dictionary of Spelling and Pronunciation]
  • Facsimiles of manuscripts, among which valuable reproductions of such works as: St Matthew’s Passion by Bach, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, as well as Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, The Barber of Seville, Norma, Parisina, in addition to which also reproductions of the manuscripts of Verdi kept in the Teatro alla Scala’s Opera Museum and, of particular interest, the working copy of the libretto for Tosca    
  • Collections of letters (among which ones by Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Puccini, Ravel etc.)
  • Biographies of composers, choreographers, ballet dancers and singers
  • Bibliographies with bibliographic repertoires of orchestral, vocal and chamber music and of instruments, such as the piano, the viola, the flute, the oboe, the clarinet, the bassoon and the French horn
  • Diaries, memoires and critiques
  • Manuals, treatises and essays
  • Book and CD catalogues
  • Glossaries and lexicons, including the Terminorum musicae index septem linguis redactus, the Praktisches Wörterbuch der Musik and the polyglot glossary of theatrical terms in eight languages (New Theatre Words)
  • Theatre programmes (with Teatro alla Scala’s programmes for the most recent years)
  • Librettos
  • Illustrated books (with books on ballet, on theatre costumes and hairstyles and on set designs by artists who have worked at the Teatro alla Scala etc.)
  • Books and other materials for educational music activities from all over the world
  • Books on the conception, planning and management of performing arts events
  • Directories, among which the Annuario Musicale Italiano [The Italian Music Yearbook] by CIDIM [The Italian National Music Council] and the international directory of musical performances, the Performing Arts Yearbook (PAY).

In the music books section – containing about 1.000 works- there are:

  • Music scores for Opera and instrumental music
  • Orchestra materials
  • Musical scores for chamber music
  • Vocal and piano scores
  • Collections of orchestral passages

The largest collection of scores for instrumental music in the Library is a donation from the heirs of the judge, Renato Caccamo.

Further, there is a collection of audio-visual materials, including DVDs and CDs of operas and instrumental and vocal music, the main part of which constitutes a legacy from Gilberto Melzi di Cusano and his sister Marina Melzi di Cusano, who generously donated sound systems and over 2,500 CDs, so as to foster cultural awareness among the upcoming generation and to nourish it with an appreciation for the performing arts and a love of music.

The Library is named after the soprano Leyla Gencer (Istanbul, 1928 – Milano, 2008) who founded with Riccardo Muti back in 1997 the Academy of Lyric Opera. 



In the Library of the Ballet School (about 1.000 volumes), in via Campo Lodigiano, there are bibliographic tools concerning dance and ballet, including:

  • dictionaries
  • biographies of choreographers and dancers
  • manuals and essays
  • didactic works
  • manuals for accompanying pianists
  • stories of dance and ballet
  • works of anatomy
  • illustrated books
  • hall librettos concerning ballets performed at the Teatro alla Scala in the last twenty years.