MOSSCentre for Music on Stage and Screen

Research activities

Research in the Centre for Music on Stage and Screen (MOSS) includes large collaborative projects and a number of individual research projects.

Collaborative projects

The Centre has organised large collaborative projects, including the AHRC-funded research workshop Music and the Melodramatic Aesthetic.  MOSS is also associated with the AHRC-funded Research Network 'The Sounds of Early Cinema in Britain' (Royal Holloway) and the 'British Silent Film Festival'.

Moving Experience: the production and consumption of pervasive entertainment

Since 2010, the 'Moving Experience' project has sought to explore how audiences engage with narrative forms across a range of spaces and technologies. For further details, please visit Moving Experience. 

Individual projects

Robert Adlington (Department of Music)

has written extensively on contemporary opera and music theatre – notably in his monograph The Music of Harrison Birtwistle (CUP, 2000), and in articles on Birtwistle’s Gawain, Louis Andriessen’s setting of Brecht’s Die Massnahme, and music theatre after 1960.

His current research focuses on music and politics in Amsterdam in the 1960s and 1970s. As part of this project he has published an article in Cambridge Opera Journal on the collective music-theatre piece Reconstructie (1969), and is working on Peter Schat's situationist-inspired Labyrint (1964).



Mervyn Cooke (Department of Music)

has published widely on the operas and ballets of Benjamin Britten and is also engaged in film music research – he has given talks for BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 on both subjects.

He is the author of Britten and the Far East (1998) - a study of Asian influences on the ballet The Prince of the Pagodas, the Church Parables and Death in Venice – and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Britten (1999). He has also co-edited (with Philip Reed) an Opera Handbook on Billy Budd (CUP, 1993) and works for The Britten─Pears Foundation as co-editor of the ongoing edition of Britten’s correspondence. 

He edited The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera (2005), to which he contributed a chapter on opera and film, and is the author of the New Grove article on film music. He has also written book chapters on the film music of Bernard Herrmann and Duke Ellington. His History of Film Music was published by CUP in 2008, and he is currently editing a Hollywood Film Music Reader for OUP.

As a composer he has worked in the theatre, having written and directed incidental and chorus music for productions of Sophocles' Trachiniae and Euripides' Bacchae, staged in the original Greek at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge in the 1980s, and recently for Gilbert Murray’s celebrated English translation of Euripides' Hippolytus (New College Oxford, 2008).



Sarah Hibberd (Department of Music)

works primarily on French musical culture, nineteenth century opera, and other forms of music theatre including melodrama, pantomime and ballet. She has contributed articles on French and Italian opera and theatre to musicological and interdisciplinary publications including the Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera, Music & Letters, the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and the Cambridge Opera Journal.

She is the author of French Grand Opera and the Historical Imagination (Cambridge, 2009), and editor of a volume of collected essays entitled Melodramatic Voices forthcoming from Ashgate. She is currently working on a new monograph entitled French Opera and the Revolutionary Sublime, which analyses the cataclysmic denouements of works performed in Paris between 1789 and 1852. After co-organising a conference at the National Gallery in March 2010, she has been developing her interests in staging issues in a project that explores the relationship between opera, theatre and painting in July Monarchy Paris. Other interests include the role of music in pre-cinema and in early sound film.

Sarah was founder of the Centre for Music on Stage and Screen (MOSS), and is on the steering committee of the AHRC-funded Research Network 'The Sounds of Early Cinema in Britain'. She has also collaborated with Opera North, organising workshops and study days, given pre-performance talks, and contributed articles to programmes for the Royal Opera.



Nanette Nielsen (Department of Music, Director of MOSS)

works primarily on German music, culture, and critical thought during the first half of the twentieth century. She is currently writing a book on Paul Bekker (1882-1937), an influential critic, theorist, and opera producer in Weimar Germany. She is co-author, with Marcel Cobussen, of a second book, entitled Musical Moments, Ethical Encounters, and a contributor to the volume Melodramatic Voices: Understanding Music Drama, Sarah Hibberd, ed. (Ashgate, 2011). Other current and future projects include an article on Ernst Krenek's Jonny spielt auf, and a book on modernism and morality in twentieth-century operas based on the tales of Hans Christian Andersen. In the Summer of 2010, she gave pre-performance talks at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival for Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel.



Jo Robinson (School of English Studies)

is currently working on a major research project on Victorian theatre and entertainment in Nottingham and the East Midlands. The 'Mapping Performance Culture: Nottingham 1857-1867' project investigates the performance and entertainment culture of the regional town of Nottingham in the mid-nineteenth-century. In a collaboration with Dr Gary Priestnall from the School of Geography, which has been supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we have developed an interactive map of Nottingham which will enable the user to find out about the kinds of performances and entertainments that happened in the town, and about the audiences who might have attended. Working in partnership with local archives, museums and libraries, the site enables digital access to a large amount of material on entertainment and social culture which has been previously difficult to access, collected from newspapers, diaries, playbills and other sources.

The map of Nottingham which forms the centrepiece of this website is designed to make the data collected accessible to both local historians and academic researchers in a context which stresses the interconnectedness of sites of entertainment - and the performances themselves - within the boundaries of the nineteenth century town. In doing so, it will enable us to bring new methodologies to researching the interrelationships of both repertoire and spectatorship in theatre history. For more information, visit the Mapping the Moment website.   



Julie Sanders (School of English Studies)

is an early modern scholar who also has research interests in adaptation studies, with particular reference to Shakespeare. In 2007 she published Shakespeare and Music: Afterlives and Borrowings (Cambridge: Polity Press) and has an essay forthcoming on Shakespeare and Classical Music in the Edinburgh University Press volume A Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts in 2011 as well as an essay on Shakespeare and Music in the nineteenth century in a collection to be edited by Gail Marshall for Cambridge University Press.

She has given public talks for Opera North in relation to their 2008 Shakespeare Resounding series and delivered papers on Shakespeare and opera in China and the UK in 2008/09 and recently edited a 1629 Richard Brome play, The Northern Lass, which makes great use of song and the affective power of music (available online at The Complete Works of Richard Brome Online).



Richard Wrigley (Art History)

works on French art across the 18th and early 19th centuries; areas of particular interest are art criticism, the visual culture of the French Revolution, dress/fashion, travel (primarily to Italy, and more specifically Rome). His current project is on the origins of the Parisian flâneur, and its international migrations.



Elizabeth Evans (Department of Culture, Film and Media)

is a lecturer in the Department of Culture, Film and Media. Her research is focused around film and television audiences and in particular in how engagement shifts across different media platforms. Her book Transmedia Television: New Media, Audiences and Daily Life explores audience responses to the expansion of television texts onto the internet and mobile phone. She is currently conducting research with cinema audience across the East Midlands as well as her research concerning audience engagement with pervasive drama as part of the Moving Experience project.



Catherine Johnson (Department of Culture, Film and Media)

is a lecturer in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at The University of Nottingham. Her research is characterized by an interest in the production cultures of the media industries (specifically television) and how they affect the cultural artefacts produced. Her current book project (Branding Television, Routledge, 2011) examines the adoption of branding by the US and UK television industries as a response to the emergence of digital media in the 1990s. This builds on her previous research on the US and UK television industries, which included co-editing the first academic book on the history of ITV (with Rob Turnock) and examining the industrial contexts within which innovation in television production has taken place (Telefantasy, BFI, 2005).



James Mansell (Culture, Film and Media)

works on the cultural and intellectual history of music in early twentieth-century Britain. He has published on the composer John Foulds and on the musical commemoration of the First World War. He has research interests in the music and soundscapes of the British documentary film movement, and is co-editing The GPO Film Unit Reader to be published by BFI Books in 2011. His first monograph, Sound and Selfhood in Early Twentieth-Century Britain will also be published in 2011.



Rik Lander

makes pervasive media - media across multiple platforms like TV, web, iPhone, live events and social media. He began as half of the renowned scratch video makers the Duvet Brother. He went on to direct music clips and commercials and became a writer, producer and director for TV – making low rent entertainment and high class documentaries. He's been playing (and working) with interactive media since the mid-1990's. He made magic-tree an early web drama and Wannabes, the BBC's first interactive soap. He works through the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol and recently made a pervasive drama called The Memory Dealer for the Towards Pervasive Media Group at The University of Nottingham.

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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