This research project started in May 2009 under the title Italian Opera buffa on the Viennese Stage (1763-1773). It was initially based at Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts and later moved to the Institute of Musicology at the University of Vienna in Spring 2010. In Summer 2012 the FWF granted a prolongation of the project under the present title.

The subject of the research project consists of Opere buffe which were originally created and premiered at theatres in other cities (mostly Venice or Rome) and subsequently imported to Vienna between 1763 and 1782, where they were performed in modified versions.
Such operas were for the most part very successful, for example settings of Goldoni's librettos by Baldassarre Galuppi or Niccolò Piccinni as well as earlier comic operas by Giovanni Paisiello or Pasquale Anfossi. The persons responsible for the Viennese adaptations were primarily the local opera directors Florian Gassmann and later Antonio Salieri, many of whose insertion numbers can be found in Vienna libraries.
Special attention is devoted to the singers involved in the Viennese productions. Among these top performers such as Clementina Baglioni, Francesco Carattoli or Filippo Laschi, are especially taken into account, since they played a crucial role in the importation and diffusion of the works. Their careers and artistic skills are to be seen as interrelated with these individual performances.

The Department of Music of the Austrian National Library preserves numerous manuscript scores which reflect the 'Viennese versions' of the Opere buffe that are to be examined. They constitute - besides the libretti adapted for the stages of Vienna - the substantial basis of source material and have to be compared with sources connected with other performances: in a first step, the libretti of the premieres and, if available, the relevant autographs. In a further step, a comparison will be drawn with the performances that are supposedly or actually related to the Viennese productions, for example through a singer who participated in an earlier staging and was later engaged in Vienna.

The goal of the project consists of an accurate investigation of the Viennese versions and the analysis of the adaptations, which should be considered within a broader context. In this way, not only are the specific performance conditions on Viennese stages in the time of Maria Theresia and Joseph II. taken into account, but also the whole reception history of selected works and hence, the transformation processes Opera buffa underwent in the 18th century.