Operatic Geographies, Urban Identities Conference

Operatic Geographies, Urban Identities
18-19 September 2014
Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Convenor: Professor Suzanne Aspden

We have long recognised opera’s role in shaping identities, from the personal to the national.  But, despite opera’s obvious dramatisation of its cultural and physical environments, the way in which its cultural work intersects with the urban geography it usually inhabits has been given less attention.  Indeed, given opera’s inherent association with the growth – and growing importance – of urban life, developing an understanding of the genre through the lens of cultural geography seems vital work.

This conference will examine the genre’s interaction with its cultural and (largely urban) physical environment over the 400 years of its existence in Europe, and its expansion across the globe, considering in particular how changes in genre and environment have intersected.  In the process, it will explore the links between strictly spatial questions, matters of performance aesthetics, and the expression of power in local, national and international terms.


  • Suzanne Aspden
  • Jérôme Brillaud
  • Michael Burden
  • Margaret Butler
  • Katharine Ellis
  • Peter Franklin
  • Sarah Hibberd
  • Jonathan Hicks
  • Christopher Morris
  • Kerry Murphy
  • Susan Rutherford
  • Emanuele Senici
  • Arman Schwartz
  • Downing Thomas
  • Klaus ven den Berg
  • Ben Walton
  • Gavin Williams
  • Flora Willson

Download the Timetable

Papers will be pre-circulated; to be included in that circulation, or for further information, please email: ogui@music.ox.ac.uk