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Roberta M. Marvin

Professor, Musicology

Professor Roberta M. Marvin

On Leave 2019-20

Professor Roberta Montemorra Marvin is an active researcher and scholar, a sought-after speaker at national and international conferences, and a productive author and editor.

She has published widely on Italian opera of the nineteenth century, especially the music of Verdi and Rossini. Her work touches more specifically on topics including the censorship of Verdi’s operas, operatic celebrity, performance practices, the dissemination and reception of foreign opera in Britain, Victorian operatic burlesques, performances of Handel’s music in nineteenth-century London, and Rossini’s sacred music. In addition, Marvin has written on the iconography of female singers in Victorian illustrated newspapers, nineteenth-century adaptations of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, the publication and performance history of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, and Toscanini's appropriation of Verdi's Inno delle nazioni during World War II. A new project focuses on images of Verdi and print culture in Victorian Britain.

Author of two monographs (The Politics of Verdi’s “Cantica” and Verdi the Student – Verdi the Teacher, the latter awarded the Premio Internazionale Giuseppe Verdi) and co-editor of seven books (the most recent being Music in World War II: Coping with Wartime in Europe and the United States), she is also sole editor of The Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia and of two volumes in the critical edition of Verdi’s works. Her edition of Verdi’s opera I masnadieri has been performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and in major theaters in Rome, Naples, Bologna, and Parma. In addition, Dr. Marvin is series editor for Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera and Associate General Editor for The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, the award-winning critical edition of the composer’s music. She has also served as editor-in-chief of the journal Verdi Forum and as series editor of Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies. Her miscellaneous publications include entries in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia.

A frequent speaker at international and national conferences, Marvin has been invited to present lectures and seminars at universities in the United Kingdom including Oxford, Cambridge, Royal Holloway, Leeds, Cardiff, and others; at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland; and at numerous U.S. institutions including Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, Northwestern University, Boston University, and others. She has also presented programs for the Teatro Massimo in Italy, the Chicago Opera Theatre, and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and has contributed essays to program books for major opera houses in London, Palermo, Parma, Brussels, Barcelona, and Tokyo.

Dr. Marvin’s research has been honored with several prestigious fellowships through international and national competition, including those from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Howard Foundation. She was previously on the faculty at the University of Iowa where she also served as Director of the Opera Studies Forum and as Associate Dean in International Programs, as well as at the University of Alabama.

Prof. Marvin has recently been appointed to the Comitato Scientifico of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani in Parma, Italy (the premiere international scholarly organization for the study of the composer’s works). She also serves on the editorial board of the Istituto’s journal, Studi verdiani and of Nineteenth-Century Music Review. She is on the organizing committee for the Verdi Festival Symposium to be held in Bilbao, Spain, in 2020 and a member of the Publications Committee of the American Musicological Society. She served as Chair of the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 2016 to 2019.

Research Areas

  • Italian opera of the nineteenth century, especially Verdi and Rossini
  • Text criticism
  • Music and culture in Victorian Britain
  • Nationalism and culture
  • Music and politics; music and World War II
  • Artistic censorship
  • Performance practices

Publications

BOOKS (AUTHORED)

The Politics of Verdi’s “Cantica”. Royal Musical Association Monographs. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014.

Verdi the Student–Verdi the Teacher. Parma: Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani, 2010. (Winner of the Premio Internazionale “Giuseppe Verdi”).

BOOKS (EDITED OR CO-EDITED)

Music in World War II: Coping with Wartime in Europe and the United States. Co-edited by Pamela Potter, Christina Baade, and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, in press, expected publication 2020.

Opera Outside the Box: Cultural Reflections and Notions of Opera in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain. Edited by Roberta Montemorra Marvin. London: Taylor & Francis, in progress.

The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World, 1800-1930. Edited by Christina Bashford and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Music in Society and Culture. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2016.

Music in Print and Beyond: Hildegard von Bingen to The Beatles. Edited by Craig A. Monson and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Eastman Studies in Music. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013.

The Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia. Edited by Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. (Classical Music Editor’s Choice Top Ten Book of 2014).

Fashions and Legacies of Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera. Edited by Roberta Montemorra Marvin and Hilary Poriss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Operatic Migrations: Transforming Works and Crossing Boundaries. Edited by Roberta Montemorra Marvin and Downing A. Thomas. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. (Short-listed for the American Musicological Society’s Ruth A. Solie Award)

Historical Musicology: Sources, Methods, Interpretations. Edited by Stephen A. Crist and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2004. (Paperback reissue, 2008.)

Verdi 2001: Atti del Convegno Internazionale / Proceedings of the International Conference, Parma-New York-New Haven, January-February 2001. Edited by Fabrizio Della Seta, Roberta Montemorra Marvin, and Marco Marica. 2 vols. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2003.

BOOKS / CRITICAL (MUSIC) EDITIONS

Giuseppe Verdi: Juvenilia, co-editor. 2 vols. The Works of Giuseppe Verdi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press / Milan: Ricordi, in preparation.

Giuseppe Verdi: Cantatas and Hymns: Inno delle nazioni and Suona la tromba (Inno popolare), sole editor of score and author of historical introduction and critical commentary. The Works of Giuseppe Verdi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press / Milan: Ricordi. Full score, 2007 / Vocal score, 2010.

Giuseppe Verdi: I masnadieri, sole editor of score and author of historical introduction and critical commentary. The Works of Giuseppe Verdi.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press / Milan: Ricordi. Full score, 2000 / Vocal score, 2004.

Giuseppe Verdi: Sinfonia in D Major, sole editor of full score and author of historical introduction and critical commentary. Parma: Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani / Milan: Teatro della Scala, 2000.

SELECTED ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS

“Self-Borrowing in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera: Reconsidering What, How, and Why.” The Opera Quarterly, in preparation.

 “Notions of Verdi in Victorian London.”  In Opera Outside the Box: Cultural Reflections and Notions of Opera in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain. Edited by Roberta Montemorra Marvin. London: Taylor & Francis, in preparation.

“Selling a ‘False Verdi’ in Victorian London.” In The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World, 1800-1930, pp. 223-247. Edited by Christina Bashford and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Music in Society and Culture. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2016.

“Verdi’s ‘Music of the Future’.” In Music in Print and Beyond: Hildegard von Bingen to The Beatles, pp. 158-179. Edited by Craig A. Monson and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Eastman Studies in Music. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013.

“Verdi, Conservatory Reform, and the Italian Musical Tradition.” In L’insegnamento dei conservatori, la composizione e la vita musicale nell’Europa dell’Ottocento, pp. 3-30. Edited by Licia Sirch, et al. Milan: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 2012.

“Idealizing the Prima Donna in Mid-Victorian London.” The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century, Ch. 2, pp. 21-41. Edited by Rachel Cowgill and Hilary Poriss. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

“The Victorian Violetta: The Social Messages of Verdi’s La traviata.” Art and Ideology in European Opera, Ch. 10, pp. 224-240. Edited by Rachel Cowgill, Clive Brown, and David Cooper. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2010.

“Verdian Opera in the Victorian Parlor.” Fashions and Legacies of Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera, Ch. 4, pp. 53-75. Edited by Roberta Montemorra Marvin and Hilary Poriss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

“Verdi Learns to Compose: The Writings of Bonifazio Asioli.” Studi musicali 36/2 (2007): 469-490.

“Handel’s Acis and Galatea: A Victorian View.” Europe, Empire, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century British Music, pp. 249-264. Edited by Julian Rushton and Rachel Cowgill. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006.

“Commercial Intrigue, National Identity, and the Italian Premiere of Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle.” Nineteenth-Century Studies 18 (2004 [2005]): 117-138.

“Verdi’s Non-Operatic Works.” Cambridge Companion to Verdi, pp. 169-181 and (notes) pp. 296-299.  Edited by Scott Balthazar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

“Andrea Maffei’s ‘Ugly Sin’: The Libretto for Verdi’s I masnadieri” and “Scholarly Inquiry in Historical Musicology.” Historical Musicology: Sources, Methods, Interpretations, pp. 280-301 and pp. 1-7. Edited by Stephen A. Crist and Roberta Montemorra Marvin. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2004 / paperback reissue, 2008.

“Verdian Opera Burlesqued: A Glimpse into Mid-Victorian Theatrical Culture.” Cambridge Opera Journal 15/1 (2003): 33-66; publisher’s errata, 15/2 (2003): 209-211. Reprinted in National Traditions in Nineteenth-Century Opera, Volume 1: Italy, France, England and the Americas, pp. 183-218. Edited by Steven Huebner. Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.

“La Messa solenne di Rossini: La sua prima esecuzione in Italia” (“Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle: Its Premiere in Italy”). Bollettino del Centro rossiniano di studi 2001 [2002]: 37-82.

“The Censorship of Verdi’s Operas in Victorian London.” Music & Letters 82/4 (2001): 582-610.

“Music at Court During the Reign of Maria Luigia, Duchess of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla: A Partial Survey.” The Musical Quarterly 83/1 (2000): 475-496.

“Verdi, Nationalism, and Cultivation of the Folk Idiom: His Stornelli of the 1860s.” Verdi Forum 26-27 (1999-2000 [2003]): 33-38.

“Aspects of Tempo in Verdi’s Early and Middle Period Italian Operas.” Verdi’s Middle Period: Source Studies, Analysis, and Performance Practice, pp. 393-411. Edited by Martin Chusid. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

“Verdi’s Unwritten Operas.” The Maynooth International Musicological Conference 1995: Selected Proceedings, II, pp. 191-204. Edited by Patrick F. Devine and Harry White. 2 vols. Irish Musical Studies, 6. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1996.

“Shakespeare and Primo Ottocento Italian Opera: The Case of Rossini’s Otello.” The Opera and Shakespeare, pp.71-96. Edited by Holger Klein and Christopher Smith. Shakespeare Yearbook, vol.4. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1994.

“Verdi’s Tempo Assignments in I masnadieri.” Actas del XV Congreso de la Sociedad Internacional de Musicologa “Culturas musicales del Mediterraneo y sus ramificaciones,” Madrid 1992. Revista de musicologa 16/6 (1993[1997]): 3179-3195.

“A Verdi Autograph and the Problem of Authenticity.” Studi Verdiani 9 (1993[1995]): 33-51.

“Verdi and the Metronome.” Verdi Newsletter 20 (1992): 4-8.

“Artistic Concerns and Practical Considerations in the Composition of I masnadieri.” Studi Verdiani 7 (1991[1992]): 79-110.

“Il libretto di Berio per l’Otello di Rossini.” Bollettino del Centro Rossiniano di Studi 31(1991): 55-76.

“Verdi’s Composition of I masnadieri: A Newly-Discovered Version of Francesco’s Cabaletta, ‘Tremate, o miseri’.” The Opera Journal 24/1 (1991): 19-43.

Awards and Accolades

2019-2021: National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant (received as part of the editorial team for The Works of Giuseppe Verdi)

2012: Visiting International Research Fellowship, Oxford Brookes University (UK)

2010: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend

2010: Visiting Research Fellow, University of London Institute for Musical Research (UK)

2009-2010: Leverhulme Foundation Research Fellowship (UK) (declined for personal reasons)

2009: Music & Letters Trust Research Grant (UK)

2007: American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant

2004-2005: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Professors

2003-2004: Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Liguria Center for the Arts and Humanities (Italy)

2003: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend

2002-2003: Howard Foundation Fellowship

1993-1994: Fulbright (Council for International Exchange of Scholars) Research Scholar Fellowship (Italy)

1993: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend

1993: National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections Grant

1992: American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant

1991: Premio Internazionale “Giuseppe Verdi.” Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani (Italy)

1988-1989: Fulbright (Institute for International Education) Grant for Research (Italy)