MOSSCentre for Music on Stage and Screen
Opera singer during a performance

An interdisciplinary approach to multi-media performance genres

The Centre for Music on Stage and Screen (MOSS) promotes the interaction of history, theory and practice in the study of opera, ballet, melodrama, film, video and other multi-media performance genres. Based in the Department of Music, it encourages multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration through a developing programme of academic and practical research activities.  

Key areas of expertise

Our members are interested in themes of

  • identity
  • cultural geography
  • community
  • mobility
  • technology

Recent projects

  • Everyday Fascism (Dr Harriet Boyd-Bennett), funded by the British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award
  • Multimedia Composer Biography (Dr Joanne Cormac)
  • The Metalization of a Dream (Duncan MacLeod), in collaboration with artist and film maker Claire Orme (with support from the Arts Council of England, Britten Pears Arts, RVW Trust, and PRS Foundation)
  • Caretakers (Duncan MacLeod - choreographed by Nicola Conibere) premiered at Sadler’s Wells in October 2021 with support from the Arts Council of England
  • Amplified Diva, Magnified Celebrity: Geraldine Farrar’s Transition from Opera to Silent Screen (Elizabeth Kelly and Sarah Hibberd), funded by British Acadeny and Leverhulme Small Research Grant, 2018-2019

Recent events

  • Blue Planet 2, screening clips from BBC One 'Blue Planet II' with live performance of new film scores by UoN students and staff by UoN Film Orchestra conducted by Mervyn Cooke, March 2020 (Elizabeth Kelly)
  • Resurrecting the Diva: Utilizing Interactive Technologies to Empower Opera Audiences as Fans, three-day workshop, University of Nottingham, February 2019 (Elizabeth Kelly)
  • Elizabeth Kelly’s opera, Losing Her Voice (April, 2019)
  • Professor Pierpaolo Polzonetti (University of California, Davis) visit to campus (2019): Professor Polzonetti gave a seminar for students on the ‘Revolutionary Opera’ module and a special guest colloquium entitled ‘How to Diagnose Embodiment in Opera: Gastromusicological Tests on Iro, Papageno, Don Giovanni and Other Similar Cases’
  • Cultural Broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific Region, Conference held at University of Nottingham, 2018
  • From Stage to Screen: Voice, Gesture and Acting in the Transition from Opera to Silent Film, Workshop held at University of Nottingham and Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, November 2018 (Elizabeth Kelly)
  • Soundstage Festival - Scoring the Silents: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, March 2017. 
  • Re-composing the city: New scores for silent films, University of Nottingham, May 2016 (Elizabeth Kelly).  

Recent outputs

Harriet Boyd-Bennett
  • Opera in Postwar Venice: Cultural Politics and the Avant-Garde (Cambridge University Press, 2018) *Winner of the Kurt Weill Prize 2019.
  • ‘Media Opera/ Opera’s Media: Elizabeth Kelly’s Losing Her Voice’, Opera Quarterly 35/3 (2019), 236-44.

Joanne Cormac
  • Article on opera burlesque: ‘From Satirical Piece to Commercial Product: the Mid-Victorian Opera Burlesque and its Bourgeois Audience’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 142, 1 (2017), 69-108.
Mervyn Cooke
  • 2018. 'Baroque à la Hitchcock: the music of Dangerous Liaisons', in: James Cook, Alexander Kolassa, Adam Whittaker, eds., Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen (London: Routledge, 2018), 32-50.
  • 'Symphonic Visions: Silent Film Music by Ed Hughes', article to accompany DVD release of Brighton: Symphony of a City and other films (Métier MSVDX 103, 2018).
  • 'A New Symphonism for a New Hollywood: The Musical Language of John Williams's Film Scores', in Emilio Audissino, ed., John Williams: Music for Films, Television, and the Concert Stage (Brepols, 2018), pp. 3—26.
  • 'Britten and his librettists: the composer as auteur', in Kate Kennedy, ed., Literary Britten (Boydell Press, 2018), 10—30. 
Lonán Ó Briain
  • Sound Communities in the Asia Pacific: Music, Media, and Technology (Edited with Min Yen Ong. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2021)
  • Made in Ireland: Studies in Popular Music (Edited with Áine Mangaoang and John O’Flynn. New York: Routledge, 2021)
Nick Baragwanath
  • The Solfeggio Tradition (Nick Baragwanath), 2020, Oxford University Press 

Elizabeth Kelly
  • Co-authored on ‘Crafting Trajectories of Smart Phone Use at the Opera’ with the MR research team, which was submitted to ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
  • Losing Her Voice: 
    • Presentation at Technology in Music Performance (TiMP) symposium at Birmingham Conservatoire with Adrian Hazzard (Computer Science), Dec 2019
    • Talk at Supporting and Creating: arts practice and research- a study day for arts curators and researchers at Broadway Cinema sponsored by the ‘Creative and Digital’ Research Priority Area, May 2019
    • Presentation at the Live Cinema III Festival of Research and Innovation with Adrian Hazzard (Computer Science), Sept 2020.
  • Co-authored an article on ‘Crafting Trajectories of Smart Phone Use at the Opera’ with the MR research team, which they have submitted to ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction.



MOSS members

Research students  

  • Maria Grazia Aurora Campisi: ‘Italian Opera after Puccini: The Case of Giorgio Federico Ghedini’
  • Daniel Boucher: ‘Expressionist Opera in the Aftermath of the First World War and the Weimar Republic’
  • Mohamad Fitri Bin Mohamad Haris, 'Making Islamic Popular Music in Malaysia, 1996-2016'
  • Susannah Self, PhD, 2020 
  • Tom Kay, MRes 2021
  • Jamie Elless, MRes 2021
  • Rebecca Sarginson, MRes 2020
  • Peter Auker, PhD 2020

Centre for Music on Stage and Screen

Department of Music
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 4755
fax: +44 (0)115 951 4756