A scholar of nineteenth-century music, my research focuses on the place of opera in the lives of nineteenth-century Italians, in particular. My first book, Theatrical Enclosures: Material Dimensions of the Modern Italian Opera House will show that the collective experiential force of the materials within the teatro all’italiana—the horseshoe structure that was the architectural model for thousands of opera houses across the nineteenth century, and hundreds within Italy—should be considered foundational to our histories of operatic life. With a focus on the Italian context, the book makes a case for the teatro all’italiana as a medium, an environment, that to an unacknowledged extent determined what it meant to compose, to see, to listen. Starting with the walls themselves as the shell of the theater, the book works inwards to examine material innovations in the late nineteenth century which shaped architectural acoustics and visual possibilities—the introduction of a sole baton conductor and reconstitution of the orchestra, the construction of a chamber beneath the stalls to house the orchestra, the introduction of electric illumination and concomitant darkening of the auditorium, and the standardization of a red and gold color scheme. So standard now as to seem unremarkable, these features were once new, unfamiliar and their fate uncertain. To examine what was at stake in each of these innovations is to understand how the wildly popular genre of opera was as much a product of science, industry, and materials as it was of creators, performers, and audiences.
I have broad teaching interests and am always pleased to hear from doctoral students who would like to work with me. Students are also encouraged to work with me in one of the several courses I offer. Recent seminars have included Sound Studies, Current Trends in Musicology, and Technologies in the Concert Hall and Opera House.
I am the recipient of a 2018 Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award and recently held a position as Visiting Assistant Professor in Musicology at the University of Pennsylvania (2019).
PhD in Music History and Literature, University of California, Berkeley (2014)
MPhil in Musicology and BA Hons in Music, University of Cambridge
I initially trained as a flautist under the tutelage of Raffaele Trevisani in Milan.
Journal Articles and Reviews
“Garibaldi,” “Cavour,” “Mazzini,” “Maria Luigia” and “VIVA V.E.R.D.I,” in Montemorra Marvin ed., The Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia (Cambridge University Press, 2013).