OBERTO 2017: Opéra sans frontières: Musicians and migration in a globalised world

Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 12 September 2017

This conference will reflect on the transnational nature of the opera profession through presentations, round tables and free-ranging discussions. As with previous OBERTO conferences, we aim to bring together in fruitful debate academics, performers, conductors, directors, agents, opera company managers, journalists and any other stakeholders in the opera industry.

Provisional programme

9.00: Registration

9.45: Welcome

1: Singers and suitcases

10.00: Flora Willson (King’s College London): ‘Celebrity migrations: Nellie Melba, bel canto and the borders of the operatic canon’

10.30: Mirijam Beier (Universität Salzburg): ‘The Pirker correspondence as a source for the mobility of operisti in the eighteenth century’

11.00: Tea / coffee break

2A: Writing about crossing borders

11.30: Charlotte Bentley (University of Cambridge): ‘Translating nineteenth-century New Orleans: the operatic travel writing of Charles Jobey’

12.00: Eric Schneeman (University of the Incarnate World): ‘Transgressing the German “Border”: Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Italian Career and the German Press of the Nineteenth Century’

12.30: Chenyin Tang (University of Southampton): ‘Making opera – making Empire? Western opera in Maritime East Asia (1842-1941)’

2B: Exiles and Emigrés

11.30: Nils Grosch (Universität Salzburg): ‘Alfred Einstein’s View on Music Theatre and Cultural Mobility’

12.00: Malcolm Noble (University of Leicester): ‘Rudolf Bing and the establishment of the Edinburgh Festival in civic, national and international perspective’

12.30: Norbert Meyn (Royal College of Music): ‘Singing a song in a foreign land: challenges and opportunities’

1.00: Lunch break

3: Protectionism

2.15: Gwen D’Amico (City University of New York): ‘The Trading with the Enemy Act: the fate of German singers stranded in New York during World War I’

2.45: Russell Burdekin (independent scholar): ‘Rodwell’s Letter to the Musicians of Great Britain: an attempt to build a bastion for English opera’

3.15: Alexandra Wilson (Oxford Brookes University): ‘Citizens of nowhere? Opera singers and cultural protectionism in 1920s Britain’

3.45: Tea / coffee break

4.15: Panel discussion: (speakers will include singers, a dramaturg and a critic – names to be confirmed shortly.)

5.45: Finish

The conference will take place at Oxford Brookes University, Headington Hill Campus, Headington Hill Hall. For directions and transport links please see here. Participation is free, but please register with barbara.eichner@brookes.ac.uk by 4 September.

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