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Profiles of a selection of our postgraduate students:


Anna Koukoullis


Anna Koukoullis trained as a soprano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before working as a marketing intern for ENO. Her particular interest in operatic directing has led her to work on a number of projects as both an assistant director and director.

She is interested to explore how singers are trained as actors in order to meet the growing demands of the modern operatic stage. She aspires to a career as a drama teacher and operatic director. She received funding from the AHRC to support her MA studies at Brookes.

Harriet Nicholls

Photo 38Having completed my BA Hons in History of Art at Oxford Brookes this year and whilst being very keen to continue learning, I felt ready to explore my love of music, composers and their works and place them alongside my art historical knowledge. Being a violinist and enjoying concerts of every genre, the Nineteenth-century music and Opera modules on the MA course appealed to me as they would allow me to place the music which I have been playing and experiencing throughout my life in a historical context and further, to apply modern approaches in musicology to the way in which we view the musical canon today.

After attending the OBERTO conference Staging Operatic Anniversaries a week prior to beginning the course, I was given an insight into current debates surrounding opera and, more specifically, the way in which composers are celebrated in order to commemorate their work. This attempt at composer recognition in 2013 with the birthdays of Verdi, Wagner and Britten, ranged from the conventional performances of their greatest works to cities painting Wagner’s face all over their streets! It opened my eyes to the possibilities of research in this field and prepared me for some of the issues which are being discussed in my seminars. The small class groups accompanied by academic and informal discussion have allowed my knowledge to expand rapidly and with encouragement by the staff to explore my own ideas, I feel excited about writing a focused dissertation in the coming year and perhaps continuing to a PhD in the future.


Anna Maria Barry


Anna Maria Barry is a PhD student based in the OBERTO research unit. She is working on the representation and reception of male opera singers in nineteenth-century Britain under the supervision of Dr Alexandra Wilson. This is an interdisciplinary study, drawing on her background in Literature and Art History. Anna’s research is being funded by an Opera Studies scholarship from Oxford Brookes University. She is also the Web Manager for OBERTO.

Before joining Brookes, Anna completed a BA in English Literature at Roehampton University, where she explored her interests in Romantic and Victorian culture. She went on to complete an MA in Victorian Literature, Art and Culture from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her dissertation was on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Victorian restoration of Llandaff Cathedral.

Andrew Holden

AHAndrew is researching the representation of religion and religious belief in opera from around 1870 to the First World War, focusing primarily on the Italian repertory. Andrew‘s research is supported by an Oxford Brookes 150th Anniversary Scholarship and he is being supervised by Dr Barbara Eichner.

Elsewhere Andrew works as a consultant in business development and fundraising for arts and cultural organisations. Previously his postgraduate research in history led to the publication of a book, ‘Makers and Manners: politics and morality in post-war Britain’ (Politicos, 2004).


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