Self-Borrowing in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera: A Reconsideration

The Department of Music at Maynooth University is pleased to host the international symposium Self-Borrowing in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera: A Reconsideration.

Date: 30 November 2018

Submission deadline: 21 September 2018

Conference website:

Venue: Department of Music, Logic House, Maynooth University


Keynote Speaker: Prof. Emanuele Senici (Università di Roma La Sapienza)

Confirmed Invited Speakers: Prof. Francesco Izzo (University of Southampton); Prof. Giorgio Sanguinetti (Università di Roma Tor Vergata)

Call for Papers

Defined as the re-use of pre-existing music in a new work by the same author, self-borrowing has received significant attention from scholars of nineteenth-century Italian opera. Whereas in the past emphasis fell mostly on close readings of individual operas, recent research has addressed this practice from a wider perspective, showing how a thorough examination of self-borrowings can provide insight into composers’ creative processes, style, and the relation between words, music, and drama. The border between self-borrowing and originality has also been questioned, and the study of self-borrowing has reinforced the point that musical detail in this repertory is worthy of analytical investigation. Still, the broader contextual and conceptual implications of self-borrowing remain largely unexplored. The aim of this symposium is to consider the practice of self-borrowing not only as a compositional phenomenon, but also as an indicator of historical and socio-cultural transformations in the industry of nineteenth-century Italian opera.

The conference committee welcomes proposals exploring any aspect of self-borrowing. We particularly encourage contributions taking this practice as a vantage point from which to explore redefinitions of the mechanisms of production and circulation of nineteenth-century Italian opera; their repercussions on the idea of the operatic event; and the encounter of Italian opera with other European theatrical systems.  Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Print culture
  • Re-workings and translations
  • The emergence of the operatic canon
  • Censorship
  • Italian opera as an artwork
  • Reception
  • Genre

Submission guidelines

To be considered, please submit an abstract (300 words for individual papers and lecture/recitals; 400 for paired papers; 500 words for panels), and – in a separate document – a biography (100 words) to by September 21, 2018. Please do not include your name or any other identifying information in the abstract. Presenters will be notified by September 30, 2018 as to the status of their submission. For any other queries, please feel free to contact the conference organiser, Dr Candida Mantica, at

Possible presentation formats include, but are not limited to:

  • individual papers of 20 minutes
  • paired papers
  • panels (90 minutes for 3 papers, including QA)
  • lecture/recitals

Conference languages: English, French, Italian

Conference Committee

Chair: Dr Candida Mantica (Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, Maynooth University)

Dr Antonio Cascelli (Maynooth University)

Prof. Francesco Izzo (University of Southampton)

Prof. Christopher Morris (Maynooth University)