Opera Studies Forum: Our Purpose

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Forum (OSF) was established in 1999 to provide opportunities to explore opera (broadly construed) and related genres from interdisciplinary perspectives. The Forum’s purpose is to bring together scholars, practitioners, and members of the public who have special expertise or interest in opera-related matters to share their views on various issues associated with research and performance of operatic works. We are not a music group but rather one focused on multidisciplinary study of opera writ large. Our goal is to stimulate intellectual activity and to educate members and participants about contemporary and historical issues associated with the intersections of opera and various branches of knowledge.

From its inception, the OSF has drawn faculty and advanced graduate students from several University of Iowa departments including French and Italian, Classics, German, Comparative Literature, Theater Arts, Cinematic Arts, History, Religion, Cinematic Arts, American Studies, Women’s Studies, Art History, English, Musicology, Music Theory and Composition, and others; units within International Programs (IP) such as the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the European Studies Group, the South Asian Studies Program, and the former Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies; as well as participants from other Iowa institutions (including Cornell College, Drake University, University of Northern Iowa, Grinnell College) and the community.

The activities of the OSF have included both informal and formal gatherings addressing a myriad of topics ranging from aesthetics to performance practices and from literature to religion. Many of our on-campus members share their recent research with the group through discussions and presentations of new and exciting work in progress. Graduate students have had opportunities to present their ongoing work to a wide group of scholars for feedback. We also sponsor talks by guest speakers from throughout the United States.

We invite everyone to join us for these events.