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Profiles of a selection of our postgraduate students:


Hannah Snelling

Hannah Snelling

Follow Hannah on Twitter: @hsnelling94

After completing an undergraduate degree in Music and Japanese Studies at Oxford Brookes, Hannah Snelling was keen to continue her studies with our Music MA course. With a background as an operatic and classical soprano, the Opera Studies pathway was a natural choice for Hannah. This interdisciplinary course has enabled her to draw upon her background in Japanese Studies; she has worked on a range of projects concerning both orientalism and nineteenth-century opera.

As part of the Professional Experience module, Hannah is undertaking a work placement with OBERTO. She has been working as both a conference and research assistant, and is leading a project to complement OBERTO’s recent ‘Operatic Objects’ conference. This involves creating a database of operatic archives. Hannah hopes that this will aid further research for opera scholars and enthusiasts.

Taking a step away from her previous work, Hannah plans to write her dissertation on Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Poisoned Kiss. This ‘forgotten opera’ (which Hannah has previously performed in) has been consigned to the back shelves of the English operatic repertoire. Using a range of primary sources, Hannah seeks to investigate the genesis and reception of this opera in an attempt to understand why it has been overlooked. She is particularly interested in Williams’ collaboration with the opera’s librettist, Evelyn Sharp – a writer and suffragette.



Anna Maria Barry

Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMariaB87

Anna’s thesis is entitled The Dream of a Madman: Constructing the Male Opera Singer in Nineteenth-Century Britain. This interdisciplinary study focuses on male opera singers of the nineteenth century, and examines their status as important cultural figures of the period. Anna is supervised by Dr Alexandra Wilson.

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 at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her dissertation was on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Victorian restoration of Llandaff Cathedral.

Anna is currently working as a Lecturer in Musicology at Broookes, where she teaches various modules on the Music MA course. She also works as a freelance journalist, and has written about her research for a wide range of magazines including BBC Music Magazine, BBC History Magazine, Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine and Opera Magazine. Ann has also curated two operatic exhibitions. The first, Sir Charles Santley: A Victorian Celebrity was held at Liverpool Central Library in Spring 2016. The second, Opera in the East End, was shown at Queen Mary, University of London in March 2017. For further information, please see Anna’s website: www.annamariabarry.com


Andrew Holden

Follow Andrew on Twitter: @orlandowalden

Andrew 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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