Background and activities
My research focuses on Italian opera, theatre and literature from a variety of musicological and interdisciplinary perspectives: from studies on genre, literature and dramaturgy, period acting and staging practices, to cultural history. I have explored the concept of ‘Italianità’ and ways in which Italian baroque opera could function as a medium of cultural transfer, a mediator of public perceptions of otherness, gender roles, and ideologies, with particular foucs on the context of opera in London, Venice and central Europe in the eighteenth century. In recent publications I explore the phenomenon of the castrato and singers’s agency in eighteenth century opera. Current research activity includes participation to a collaborative volume on Opera in Venice at the time of Antonio Vivaldi commissioned by the Istituto Antonio Vivaldi at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venice).
The interdisciplinary approach that characterises my research interests and approach stems from my educational background and undergraduate studies in Italy. I combined performance studies in pianoforte (Piano diploma from the Conservatorio G. Martucci, 1983) with studies in the Humanities at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ (Laurea di Dottore in Lettere, 1991), where I studied Music History and Ethnomusicology alongside History, Art History, Philology, Cultural Anthropology, Aesthetics, Linguistics, Italian and English literature. I obtained a PhD in Historical Musicology at King's College, University of London in 1998. I joined the Musikkinstitutt at NTNU in 2016 after (permanent, full time) Senior Lectureships in the music departments at Oxford Brookes University and City University London.
At NTNU, I teach BA and MA courses on music history and opera studies across the two programmes in musicology and performance. My courses are characterized by a critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of music in its historical, geographical and cultural context in order to enhance students' awareness of the many factors that influenced music’s creation, performance and reception, as well as our understanding of music of the past as a rich and living part of our present.
I have examined and supervised a number of doctoral students on a variety of research areas, within both the PhD and DMA programmes. Possible areas for doctoral supervision within Western Art Music traditions include: music history, opera studies, early music, music exoticism and gender studies; philosophy of music; music and literature; music and rhetoric, music and theatre (including commedia dell’arte, acting and staging practices); music and psychoanalysis; cultural studies of music; reception and social history of music.
Lars Henrik Johansen: '...chanter un discours'. The Eloquence of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Leçons de Ténebres