Publishing News | Research
Alexandra Wilson (Senior Lecturer in Musicology) can be seen on BBC4 this week, contributing to a documentary entitled "Opera's Fallen Women" to be broadcast on Friday 25 March at 8.30pm. The programme, presented by music director of the Royal Opera House Antonio Pappano, investigates the representation of 'fallen women' in operas by Bizet, Verdi, Puccini and others. It will be followed by the television premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's new opera "Anna Nicole", about the life of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith.
On Boxing Day – 26th December 2010 – at 6pm on BBC Oxford, Felicity Ford’s radio project Around the A4074 will be aired on local radio for the first time. The schedule listing is here. The radio project was one of Felicity’s major research projects, created as part of her practice-based PhD at Oxford Brookes, entitled ‘The Domestic Soundscape and beyond… Presenting everyday sounds to audiences.’ The radio show explores how the everyday context of the commute might be seen or explored differently, and features interviews with Joe Moran – writer of On Roads; Andy Letcher – lead singer of Oxfordshire band Telling the Bees; discussions with Ed and Will from A Walk around Britain; features on The Warborough and Shillingford Festival; theWoodcote Steam Rally; the Biker’s Cafe at Berinsfield; Brazier’s Park and much, much more. The show features music from local bands including The Keeling Curve, Band of Hope, BanjoCat and Telling the Bees, as well as a huge array of environmental, ambient sounds recorded by Felicity Ford herself, in her many on-foot forrays around the A4074.
You can read more about the background of the project here.
Senior Lecturer in Musicology Alexandra Wilson presents Rossini's rarely heard opera Otello on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 11 December at 6pm. Although Rossini's version has been overshadowed in recent years by Verdi's setting of Othello, it was a huge hit in its day and tells us much about the nineteenth-century European reception of Shakespeare. In this concert performance by the Lyon Opera, recorded last month in Paris, the title role is sung by American tenor John Osborn and Desdemona is sung by Anna Caterina Antonacci. More information can be found on the Radio 3 website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/
Senior Lecturer in Musicology Alexandra Wilson presents Bizet's opera Les Pecheurs de perles on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 30 October at 6pm. Les Pecheurs de perles tells the story of a rivalry between two men for the love of the same woman, but it is also an opera about friendship, celebrated in one of the most famous of all operatic duets. This production, from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, is conducted by Antonio Pappano and features soprano Nicole Cabell, baritone Gerald Finley and tenor John Osborn. Further details can be found on the Radio 3 website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/
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From 2nd-14th August 2010, Dr Christina Horvath attended a Summer School in Urban Photography, offered by Goldsmith College in London. This highly intensive two week-course developed in collaboration between Urban Encounters and the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), provided participants with practical and theoretical training in key aspects of urban photographic practice. Designed for artists and researchers who address notions of urban space and culture, the program explored how the practice of making urban images might inform the development of a reflexive and critical research perspective. The course was particularly relevant to the research and teaching of Dr Horvath who currently works on representations of Paris in contemporary French literature and cinema and offers modules on urban narratives. Funded by the Stuff Development Fund, this training opportunity enabled Dr Horvath to establish a link between her scholarly research in the field of urban theory and her photographic practice and helped her develop new inventive research methods with a strong orientation towards the cultural and the visual. Her pictures were shown at Goldsmith College along with other participants’ photographic work in an exhibition inaugurated on the 14th August 2010.
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During 2009-2010 members of the SARU from Fine Art and Music have been collaborating with International Visiting Fellow Jos Zwaanenberg on the creation of a series of new works. Efthymios Chatzigiannis, Paul Dibley and Paul Whitty from Music visited STEIM in Amsterdam in June to work with Jos Zwaanenberg on a performance of their new works. STEIM is a centre for the research and development of instruments & tools for performers in the electronic performance arts. Early Career Fellow in Sonic Art Stephen Cornford has also created a new work for Jos which will form part of a CD release featuring all of the works... watch this space for more news!
Senior Lecturer in Musicology Alexandra Wilson will be one of the speakers taking part in the BBC Proms Intro event on Sunday 18 July at the Royal College of Music. Together with fellow musicologist Roger Parker (King's College London) and Radio 3 presenter Louise Fryer, she will be discussing Verdi's 1881 opera Simon Boccanegra, exploring its music, historical contexts and performance history. The opera will be performed at that evening's Prom by the Royal Opera, conducted by Antonio Pappano, with a cast that includes Placido Domingo in the title role. The concert will be broadcast live on Radio 3, and highlights from the Proms Intro talk can be heard during the interval.
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Dr Christina Horvath Senior Lecturer in French has been awarded a £1500 travel grant by the British Council to visit Florida Atlantic University in early September 2010. The aim of the proposed visit is to initiate a new interdisciplinary research co-operation between researchers from Oxford Brookes University, UK, and Florida State University, US. The research expertise of Dr Christina Horvath and Dr Frederic Conrod lie in the field of suburban culture in contemporary France, a fast-growing and dynamic research area in French studies which demands to be explored from a variety of point of views combining approaches in comparative literature, film studies, urban sociology, cultural studies and architecture. Infamous for the riots in November 2005, the most serious civil unrest France experienced since the Algeria war, ‘banlieues’ are troubled suburban communities. Isolated from the centre, these huge housing projects built in the 1950’s and 1960’s to relieve housing shortage, have gradually become ghettos containing a dense concentration of minority ethnic populations. These disadvantaged neighbourhoods are suffering from high unemployment and crime rates and insufficient social services. Narrative works concerned with their representation are today a vibrant part of the rapidly growing field of post-colonial culture in France.
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Senior Lecturer in Musicology Alexandra Wilson's latest book, Opera: A Beginner's Guide (Oxford, Oneworld Publications), is published on 1 June. Based in large part upon the Opera and Politics module Alexandra teaches at Brookes, the book is aimed at a wide international audience of students and opera-goers. As well as introducing readers to operatic history and terminology, the book discusses how operas have been performed, filmed, received and politicised, and explores their place in the modern world. Rescuing opera from tired cliches, Alexandra shows how the art-form engages with concerns relevant to contemporary audiences such as gender, race, politics and media. Her book has already been praised by reviewers for being 'engaging', 'enlightening' and 'easily readable', and for making 'a huge contribution' to the popularisation of opera.
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New project from the Sonic Art Research Unit to be featured in the Sound and Music Cutting Edge Series on November 19th 2009.
This project brings together two opposing sound-worlds; the hard-edged amplified sound of [rout]; and Okeanos’ distinctive and subtle interleaving of Japanese and Western timbres. The Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University instigated the project and invited eight composers with Japanese or British roots to develop new works through a series of laboratories and work-in-progress sessions. Importantly composers have had the opportunity to spend time exploring the unique timbral possibilities presented by the Sho, Koto, Shakuhachi and Shamisen as they combine with Live Electronics, Signal Processing, Computer Applications including MaxMSP and PureData, the amplified instruments of [rout], and the Western Classical instruments of Okeanos. So if you ever wondered how a sho sounded when played through a Phase Shifter and combined with amplified double-bass played through a PureData patch; or how a bass-clarinet and sho sound when played together in unison – you’re going to find out. The first performance of the project outputs is part of the Sound and Music Cutting Edge Series and will take place at The Warehouse, London, on November 19th 2009.