Archived Events


Special Event

April 22, roundtable on “Editing Early Opera” featuring visiting scholars  from the USA and the UK. Roberta Montemorra Marvin, OSF Director, will moderate a roundtable including the following participants: Jennifer William Brown (Grinnell College), Donald Burrows (The Open University, UK), Wendy Heller (Princeton University), Graham Sadler (University of Hull, UK), Shirley Thompson (Birmingham Conservatoire, UK)

OSF Discussion Group

February 11, Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa, International Studies), “Selling a ‘False Verdi’ in Victorian London”

March 11, Pierpaolo Polzonetti (University of Notre Dame), “Five Functions of Food [in Opera]: Traviata and The Callas Diet”

September 30, Robert Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics): “Inventing Antiquity, Creating Modernity in Late 18th-century Opera”

 Metropolitan Opera in Iowa Series

January 14: Waltraud Maierhofer (German), on Lehar’s The Merry Widow

January 28: Anna Barker (Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures), Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta  /  Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle

October 7:  Roberta Montemorra Marvin (International Programs): Verdi’s Otello

November 18: Matthew Arndt (School of Music): Berg’s Lulu


OSF Discussion Group

September 9, Downing Thomas (University of Iowa, International Programs and French), on his work on cultural geographies of opera in the 18th-century novel

October 22, Nathan Platte (University of Iowa, Musicology), a discussion about opera on film

November 18, Robert Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics), on his work for a new book on early opera and the Ottoman Empire

Metropolitan Opera in Iowa Series

January 22: Milan Sonka (University of Iowa, Electrical & Computer Engineering,  Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), on Dvorak’s Rusalka

February 5: Anna Barker (University of Iowa, Comparative Literature), on Borodin’s Prince Igor

February 27: Katherine Eberle (University of Iowa, Music), on Massenet’s Werther

April 14: Wayne Wyman (University of Iowa, Music), on Mozart’s Così fan tutte

September 30: Miriam Gilbert (University of Iowa, Emeritus, English), on Verdi’s Macbeth

October 28: Katherine Eberle (University of Iowa, Music), on Bizet’s Carmen

December 4: Glenn Ehrstine (University of Iowa, German), on Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg:


April 16: Bill Theisen (University of Iowa, Music), on the Opera Theater’s spring production of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus


 Metropolitan Opera in Iowa Series

January 3: Robert C. Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics) and Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa, International Programs), on Berlioz’s Les Troyens

January 14: Katherine Eberle (University of Iowa, Music), on Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda

February 13: Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa, International Programs), on Verdi’s Rigoletto

April 24: Michael Eckert (University of Iowa, Music), on Handel’s Giulio Cesare

October 2: Anna Barker (University of Iowa, Comparative Literature) and Nathan Platte (Musicology) on Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin

December 5: Miriam Gilbert (University of Iowa, English, Emeritus) on Verdi’s Falstaff


Metropolitan Opera in Iowa Series

February 15: Miriam Gilbert (University of Iowa, English), on Verdi’s Ernani

April 9: Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa, International Programs), on Verdi’s La traviata

October 10: Miriam Gilbert (University of Iowa, English), on Verdi’s Otello

November 28: Robert C. Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics), on Mozart’s La clemenza di tito


General Lecture Series

February 17: Francesco Dalla Vecchia (University of Iowa, Musicology), “At the Origins of the Love Duet: Monteverdi’s and Cavalli’s Shared Strophic Arias”

April 21: Philip Gossett (University of Chicago), “Giuseppe Verdi and the Italian Risorgimento”

May 6: John A. Rice (Rochester,Minnesota),“Opera at the Court of Frederick the Great: Montezuma as Royal Biography”

October 27: Wendy Heller (Princeton University, Musicology) on Jacopo Peri’s Euridice, in conjunction with the Classics Department’s International Conference “Re-Creation: Musical Reception of Classical Antiquity,” in advance of the UI Martha Ellen Tye Opera Theater’s production of the opera

Metropolitan Opera in Iowa Series

February 21: Robert C. Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics), on Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride

October 12: Katherine Eberle (University of Iowa, School of Music), on Donizetti’s Anna Bolena

October 20: Shari Rhoads (University of Iowa, School of Music), on Mozart’s Don Giovanni

November 16: Paul Greenough (University of Iowa, History), on Glass’s Satyagraha

November 30: Michael Eckert (University of Iowa, School of Music), on Handel’s Rodelinda


Metropolitan Opera in Iowa Series

September 9: James Martin (Cornell College, Music), on Wagner’s Das Rheingold

October 28: Katherine Eberle (University of Iowa, School of Music), on Donizetti’s Don Pasquale

November 30: Miriam Gilbert (University of Iowa, English), on Verdi’s Don Carlo

December 15: Kim Marra (University of Iowa, Theater Arts), on Puccini’s La fanciulla del West

General Lecture Series

Nicholas Vazsonyi (University of South Carolina, German), “Richard Wagner: Self-Promotion and the Making of a Brand?” In collaboration with the International Programs Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Colloquium.

William Gibbons (University of Iowa, Musicology): “Gluck, Wagner, and Symbolism: Staging Orphée in 1896 Paris”

Jennifer Brown (Grinnell College): “Cavalli, Faustini, and the Cave of Eternity: Producing La Calisto in the Seventeenth Century”


 General Lecture Series

Joy Calico (Vanderbilt University): “Regieoper or Eurotrash? The Legacy of East German Theater Directors on the Opera Stage”

Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa): “‘Veiled beneath the simplest guise’: Idealizing the prima donna in Mid-Nineteenth-Century London” (collaboration with the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Interdisciplinary Colloquium)

Jennifer Fleeger (University of Iowa): “Opera Cut Short: From the Castrato to the Film Fragment” (collaboration with the Sound Research Seminar)

Alessandra Campana (Tufts University):  “Mascagni and ‘The New Cinema-Lyric Art’: Rapsodia satanica (1914- 17)” (collaboration with the Sound Research Seminar)

Nathan Link (Centre College): “Charmed: Song and Enchantment in Handel’s Rinaldo


Masahiko Shimada (Hosei University ): Screening of Jr. Butterfly and Discussion with the Opera’s Librettist (collaboration with the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies)

Jeanine Blackwell (University of Kentucky, Germanic Studies):

  • “Borrowed Magic: Fairy Tale Operas in European Context”
  • “Wonder and Bewilderment: The Fairy Tale Milieu of ‘The Magic Flute’”(in conjunction with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute)

America and The Operatic Tradition Lecture Series

Michael Pisani (Vassar College): “Tunes for Damsels, Villains, and Heroes: Music as Medium and Message in Nineteenth-Century British and American Theatre”

Eric Saylor (Drake University) “‘I don’t believe in realism’: Imagining the African-American in Frederick Delius’s Koanga” (collaboration with the School of Music Musicology and Theory Colloquium)

Pierpaolo Polzonetti (University of Notre Dame) “Quakers and Cowboys: Americans in Italian Opera from Piccinni to Puccini” (collaboration with the Department of French and Italian)


Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor Lecture Series Herbert Lindenberger (Avalon Foundation Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Stanford University)

  • “Opera and the Novel: Antithetical or Complementary?”
  • “Arts in the Brain: Or What Might Neuroscience Tell Us?”
  • “Toward a Characterization of Modernist Opera”

 General Lecture Series

Robert C. Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics): “Oedipus in Venice: Italian Opera Meets Greek Tragedy”( collaboration with the Classics Department Colloquium Series)

Downing A. Thomas (University of Iowa, French and Italian / International Programs): “Operatic Heroes”

Robert C. Ketterer (University of Iowa, Classics): “The Clemencies of Titus: Backgrounds to Mozart’s Last Opera”

William Theisen (University of Iowa, Martha Ellen Tye Opera Theater): “Reinventing La Bohème: Taking a Fresh Look at the World’s Most Popular Opera”

Larry Hamberlin (Middlebury College, Musicology):

  • “Poor Butterfly: Cho Cho San’s Journey from Opera to Popular Song”
  • “Rosina’s Travels” (in conjunction with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia)


Jeongwon Jo (University of Cincinnati, Musicology): “Sight and Sound of the Operatic Voice in Film” (collaboration with the Sound Research Seminar)

David B. Rosen (Cornell University, Musicology): “‘Fat and Lazy Gods’: Religion in Puccini’s Operas”

Valorie Goodall (Rutgers University, Music): “Hands On: Bringing The Tender Land to the Stage” (collaboration with the UI Opera Theater)

Opera in America Series

Gary Race (University of Iowa, Opera Theater): “The Crucible: Then, Now, and Right Now”

Robert Ward (composer of The Crucible): “The Crucible: The Role of the Stage Director in Modern Opera Productions” (collaboration with the Center for New Music)

Denise Gallo (Library of Congress): “Whitman and Opera: A Paradoxical Pairing”


The Music of Richard Wagner Series

Judith Aikin (University of Iowa, German): “The Libretto of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde

James Martin (Cornell College, Music): “Wagner’s Götterdämmerung and Themes of Contamination”

Rosamund Bartlett (University of Cambridge, Musicology): “Wagner and Russian Cultural Identity”

Nicholas Vazsonyi (University of South Carolina, German): “Wagner Marketing Wagner”

From Mozart to Rossini Series

Rachel Cowgill (University of Leeds, Musicology), on Mozart in London

Ed Goehring (University of Notre Dame, Interdisciplinary Studies), on the operas of Mozart

Jesse Rosenberg (Northwestern University), on Rossini through the eyes of Abramo Basevi


Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professors Lecture Series “Viewing Opera Through a Humanistic Lens” Co-sponsors: Office of the Provost, International Programs, Opera Studies Forum, ENCIC, Cardiovascular Division in the Department of Internal Medicine at Carver College of Medicine; CLAS Departments of History, French & Italian, Cinema & Comparative Literature; Aging Studies, Division of Interdisciplinary Programs, School of Music

Linda Hutcheon (University of Toronto, English) and Michael Hutcheon (University of Toronto, Medicine):

  • “Culture and Sensitivity: An Operoscopic Biopsy” (in conjunction with the Medicine in Society Program)
  • “The Young History of Age: Creativity and the Human Life Course”
  • “Death, the Holocaust, and the Human Spirit”
  • “Orientalist India: Empire and Opera in a Post-Colonial World” (collaboration with the South Asian Studies Program and the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Interdisciplinary Colloquium)

Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference (The OSF co-sponsored a keynote speaker and organized a paper session)

  • Keynote speaker: Derek Scott (University of Salford), on music and the Victorian parlor
  • Francesco Izzo (New York University, Musicology): “The Legacy of Figaro in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Italy”
  • Hilary Poriss (University of Cincinnati, Musicology): “Malibran, Romeo and a Tale of Suicide: Aria Substitution in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi
  • Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Iowa, International Programs): “The ‘Real Thing’? Verdi’s Operas in the Victorian Parlor”
  • Christina Fuhrmann (Ashland University, Musicology): “Scott Repatriated? La Dame blanche Crosses the Channel”
  • Laura Tunbridge (University of Reading, Musicology): “Byron and Bishop Burlesqued: Gilbert a Beckett’s Man-Fred

General Lecture Series

Gary Race and Margaret Wenk (University of Iowa, Opera Theater): “Concepts and Conflicts in Carmen: A Conversation”

Sander Gilman (University of Illinois at Chicago): “Verdi’s Healthy Falstaff: On Opera, Medicine, and the Culture of Obesity”

Martha Feldman (University of Chicago, Musicology): “Opera, Festivity, and Time”

Kelly Harness (University of Minnesota, Musicology), on women and opera in seventeenth-century Italy


 General Lecture Series

Andrew Simpson (Catholic University of America, Music Composition) and Sarah Brown Ferrario (Princeton University, Classics): “Agamemnon and the Oresteia Project: New American Operas on Greek Tragedy”

Linda Kerber (University of Iowa, History): “Whatever Happened to Butterfly’s Baby? Citizenship and Art in the Twentieth Century”

Olga Haldey (University of Missouri, Musicology): “Savva Mamontov, Serge Diaghilev, and the Transition to Modernism on the Russian Operatic Stage”