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.