Department of Music

Opera as Spectacle Workshop/Symposium

Staging practices in French and Italian opera during the nineteenth century

Institute of Musical Research, Russell Square, London
Monday 25 June — Tuesday 26 June 2012

Recent trends in opera studies have included voice and multi-media developments, but relatively little attention has been paid to historical staging practice and its relation to opera's evolving aesthetic during the nineteenth century. Given French opera's emphasis on visual spectacle, there has been some interest in publishing staging manuals, but the light such documents shed on individual works and conventions is only just beginning to be interpreted. The information that Italian disposizioni sceniche offer about individual works has been examined more extensively, but the exchanges between different European traditions (e.g. the visits made by French set designers to Italian theatres; and the consequences of Verdi's time spent in Paris), and the wider influence of French spectacle are less well understood.

This workshop seeks to advance our understanding of the musico-visual aesthetic of nineteenth-century opera, paying particular attention to staging, and to put French practices in dynamic contrast with Italian practices of the period. We would like to: 

  • Share information about the availability of primary sources and establish what sorts of evidence they provide
  • Interrogate practices in France and Italy through individual case studies, and identify examples of influence and difference
  • Consider how we incorporate staging into opera studies

Please see the programmePDF file icon for your information. 

Nick Baragwanath
Alessandra Campana
Mark Everist
Céline Frigau
Diana Hallmann
Sarah Hibberd
Francesco Izzo
Arnold Jacobshagen
Gundula Kreutzer
Cormac Newark
Roger Parker
Mark Pottinger
David Rosen
Mary Ann Smart
Flora Willson

The fee for attending will be £25 per day, including lunch and tea/coffee. In order to register, please contact Sarah Hibberd by 1 June 2012. There will be a limited number of places.

Co-organisers: Prof David Rosen (Cornell University) and Dr Sarah Hibberd (University of Nottingham)

Sponsored by the British Academy, the Music & Letters Trust, and the University of Nottingham

Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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