The topic of my PhD (Royal Holloway, University of London, 2002) was the reception of Puccini’s operas in Italy at the turn of the 20th century. I subsequently developed this work into my first book, The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity.
Since then, I have written on topics including: 19th-century Italian music criticism; Amelita Galli-Curci’s British concert tour of 1924; constructions of masculinity in the opera propaganda of Sir Thomas Beecham; the phenomenon of updating Italian comic operas to the 1950s; and postmodern responses to opera via other artforms.
I am currently working on a new, large-scale interdisciplinary research project supported by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. I am investigating opera’s relationship to changing notions of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture in inter-war Britain and examining interactions between opera and ‘popular culture’.
In 2013 I co-edited (with Professor Roberta Montemorra Marvin) a special issue of Cambridge Opera Journal on new approaches to reception in opera studies.
A list of my journal articles and book chapters may be found below. For information about my books, please see the separate tab.
- ‘Golden-Age Thinking: Recent Productions of Gianni Schicchi and the Popular Historical Imagination’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 25/2 (2013), 185-201.
- ‘Music, Letters and National Identity: Reading the 1890s Italian Music Press’, 19th-Century Music Review, 7/2 (2010), 99-116.
- ‘Defining Italianness: The Opera that made Puccini’, The Opera Quarterly, 24/1-2 (2008), 82-92.
- ‘Killing Time: Contemporary Representations of Opera in British Culture’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 19/3 (2007), 249-270.
- ‘Prima Donnas or Working Girls? Opera Singers as Female Role Models in Britain, 1900-1925’, Women’s History Magazine, 55 (2007), 4-12.
- ‘Modernism and the Machine Woman in Puccini’s Turandot’, Music & Letters, 86/3 (2005), 432-451.
- ‘Torrefranca vs. Puccini: Embodying a Decadent Italy’, Cambridge Opera Journal, 13/1 (2001), 29-53.
Chapters in edited collections
- ‘Gender’ in Helen Greenwald (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Opera (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
- ‘Galli-Curci Comes to Town: The Prima Donna’s Presence in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, in Rachel Cowgill and Hilary Poriss (eds.), The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 328-348.
- ‘A Frame Without a Canvas: New Perspectives on the Reception of Madama Butterfly’, in Arthur Groos and Virgilio Bernardoni (eds.), Madama Butterfly: l’orientalismo di fine secolo, l’approccio pucciniano, la ricezione (Florence: Olschki, 2008), 349-73.
- Entries on ‘Muzio’, ‘Reyer’, ‘Casa di riposo’, ‘England’, ‘London’ in The Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia, ed. Roberta Marvin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
- Entries on ‘Music: Performance and Patronage’ and ‘Choral Music’, in The Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850, ed. C. J. Murray (NY and London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004).
I have also acted as a reviewer of books, CDs and DVDs for Music & Letters, 19th-Century Music Review, The Opera Quarterly and Opera magazine.