I specialize in seventeenth-century Italian singers, singing culture, vocal music and early modern gender construction. My approach to research is interdisciplinary, employing methodologies from art history, critical theory, gender studies, and performance studies.
I studied voice and music education at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, USA where I received a Bachelor in Music Education, before completing a PhD at New York University, NY, USA in Musicology, under the supervision of Dr Suzanne Cusick.
I teach modules and give lectures on early modern music that focus on societal issues such as race, class, gender, identity, and musical issues such as the construction of the canon, reception, and performance practice. I also teach American folk, roots, and popular music courses that address similar issues.
I would be happy to hear from prospective postgraduate candidates wishing to pursue research on issues relating to early modern music as well as gender and sexuality, singers/singing culture, and performance studies.
My current research project involves the completion of a monograph on Roman female singers. The materials that inform this monograph encompass a wide variety of media: portraits and other paintings; written testimony by the singers themselves (theatrical pieces, poems, letters); and writings by others about their performances, characters, and financial situations (letters, poetic volumes, performance accounts, news-generating documents). The monograph will focus on the lives of female singers who performed and constructed their careers mainly in gatherings held by the upper echelons of the social elite in the satellite courts of Rome. In this study I will focus on the different roles these women played in elite society, the types of relationships they developed with elite men and women, and their active participation in the political happenings of the courts.
I also plan to turn my focus to wider concerns, including other singers and Roman castrati, and to begin exploring the dynamics of early modern vocal performance. Also informing this wider exploration of early modern singing culture will be anthropological theories on ritual and theatre, theories on performativity derived from performance studies, gender studies, and historical theories on kinaesthetic imagination. Serving as an invaluable source of knowledge for this project will be the preparation and performances of music sung originally by the castrati and female singers.
2008 ‘“Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto”: The Function of Portraits of Mid-Seventeenth -Century Virtuose in Rome,’ Italian Studies, 63, 1, 2008, pp. 17-40.
2001 Article written for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition (London: Macmillan, 2001): “Welser.”
2012 ‘Female singers and the construction of the cultural identity of elite Roman men in the seventeenth century,’ 19th International Musicological Society 2012 Congress.
2011 ‘Early Modern Virtuose: a comparison of the careers of Leonora Baroni and Nina Barcarolla,’ Symposium on Early Modern Women in the Arts at Westchester University, Pennsylvania.
2010 ‘“Essa è sempre stata la favorita del Papa”: the career of the virtuosa Leonora Baroni,’ Annual Congress of the American Musicological Society
2010 ‘Leonora Baroni cantatrice: the Roman virtuosa as courtier,’ Conference on Early Modern Rome, 1420-1667 in Rome, Italy.
2008 ‘Courtesans as Courtiers: Power Politics, Political Pawns, and the Flight of Cardinal Antonio Barberini,’ Annual Congress of the American Musicological Society.
2007 “Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto”: The Function of Portraits of Mid-Seventeenth Century Virtuose in Rome, Annual Meeting of the Society for Seventeenth Century Music.
2009 “Il suon, lo sguardo, il canto”: Virtuose of the Roman Conversazioni in the Mid-Seventeenth Century