Institute of Musical Research, Senate House (London)
Saturday 18th March 2017
Conference organisers: Alexandra Wilson and Anna Maria Barry
(OBERTO opera research unit, Oxford Brookes University)
While historians and literary scholars have become increasingly interested in material culture over recent decades, musicology has been slower in responding to this broader ‘material turn’. As a visual and dramatic art-form, opera is a branch of music in which physical objects have a particular significance.
This conference will explore both the interface between material culture and performance practice and the rich potential objects offer to scholars researching mechanisms of life writing. It will consider how physical objects acquire ‘meaning’ in an operatic context and how such meanings may change across time.
10.00 Welcome and coffee
SESSION 1: Instruments and Puppets
10.20-10.40 Lewis Jones (London Metropolitan University): ‘The Alien and his Instruments: Giuseppe Naldi on Stage, at Home, and in Death’
10.40-11.00 Hayley Fenn (Harvard University): ‘Voice-Objects: Marionette Opera, Sound Technologies, and the Poetics of Synchronization’
SESSION 2: Personal Possessions
11.20-11.40 Anna Maria Barry (Oxford Brookes University): ‘Locating Singers in the Archive: Interpreting Personal Possessions’
11.40-12.00 Clair Rowden (University of Cardiff): ‘Glitter and be Gay: A Singer’s Jewels’
12.20-13.30 Lunch (own arrangements)
SESSION 3: Notes and Memories
13.30-13.50 Carrie Churnside (Birmingham Conservatoire): ‘“Memorie per la mia pastorale”: Personal Accounts of Opera, c. 1700’
13.50-14.10 Michael Burden (New College, Oxford): ‘Ruling the Roost: Louisa Pyne’s ‘Rules and Regulations’ for running an opera company’
14.10-14.30 Henrike Rost (Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar Detmold/Paderborn, Universität Paderborn): ‘Autograph Albums as Operatic Objects’
14.45-15.15 Tea break
SESSION 4: Paraphernalia and Place
15.20-15.40 Matteo Paoletti (Genoa) ‘A Collection to be Saved: Pipein Gamba, Master of the Italian Belle Époque’
15.40-16.00 Mark Tatlow (University of Stockholm): ‘The 18th century Theatre of Drottningholm as 21st century Operatic Object’
16.15-16.30 Closing comments
The conference will be free to attend. However, delegates are asked to book because we need firm numbers for catering and room capacity reasons. To book a place please email conference assistant Hannah Snelling (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday 3rd March. We will provide coffee and tea, but delegates are asked to make their own lunch arrangements.
The OBERTO opera research unit at Oxford Brookes Unirences and study days in London. For further information about OBERTO, visit https://obertobroversity organises an annual conference in Oxford each September as well as additional confeokes.com/ or follow us on Twitter @ObertoBrookes.
We are grateful to the Royal Musical Association for their generous support of this conference.
(The image above is of a scrapbook from the collection of nineteenth-century baritone Sir Charles Santley. It is held at Liverpool Record Office.)