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Intersections: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Opera

Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge

21 May 2020

Postponed due to COVID19 pandemic situation

The specificity of contemporary research trends is leading to a necessary yet dangerous compartmentalisation of knowledge. Whereas discussing particular topics in specialised forums is nowadays more accessible and open than ever, fewer opportunities for interdisciplinary debate seem to be coming to light. However, opera – a genre in which music, words, theatre, dance, costumes, and technology have intersected since its origins – requires interdisciplinary approaches in order for it to be more fully understood.

Our study day aims to contribute to this necessary dialogue by bringing together scholars from various disciplines to discuss opera not only in terms of its various components and diachronic developments, but also, and more importantly, through the combination of historical, analytical, textual, performative, object-related, and computer-based approaches.

To that purpose, we encourage applicants to submit proposals for either individual 15-minute presentations or 45-minute group sessions in which opera would work as pretext for encounters between different fields. Specifically, we suggest focus on relationships between historical musicology, textual criticism, philosophy, performance studies, theatre studies, music theory, and computer science in the study of opera.

The study day will take place on 21 May 2020 at the Faculty of Music of the University of Cambridge. It will be organised by the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (Madrid), hosted by the University of Cambridge, and sponsored by the Institute of Musical Research (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Applications must be sent to by 1 February 2020, and will be evaluated by 1 March 2020. They should be submitted as Word files and must include:

  • Personal information
    • Name
    • Institutional affiliation, if applicable
    • Short CV (ca. 100 words)
  • Abstract (max. 300 words)
  • Technical requirements (video, audio, etc.)

This study day is mainly aimed at doctoral students and early-career (postdoctoral) scholars who believe in building bridges between recent approaches and more traditional disciplines, as well as in the benefits of learning from and contributing to interdisciplinary and shared knowledge.


Dr Ana Llorens, Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales

European Research Council Project ‘DIDONE: The Sources of Absolute Music’

Advisory Committee

Dr Stefano Castelvecchi

Dr David Trippett

Dr Nicola Usula

Dr Emilia Parada-Cabaleiro

Dr Ana Llorens


The Didone Project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC)
under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme,
Grant agreement No. 788986.