Ph.D. Position in Musicology

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 01 Feb 2022

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About the position

Applications are invited for one fully funded three-year Ph.D. fellowship in Musicology, based in the Music Department (IMU), Faculty of Humanities (HF), at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The Ph.D. position is affiliated with the research project ‘Women, Opera and the Public Stage in Eighteenth-Century Venice’ (WoVen). The project is funded by Norwegian Research Council and is led by Prof. Melania Bucciarelli (IMU). The Ph.D. fellow will work primarily within the area of performance studies (singing/vocal performance) and/or opera production.

The WoVen project explores the role of operatic women in the construction, representation and reception of models for women in the eighteenth-century through their activities as performers, composers, authors, theatre managers, patrons and audience members. The project contextualizes these activities and assesses their engagement with wider contemporary critical discourses about women’s education and place in society.

The project is organized in four work packages. These explore roles and images of femininity on the Venetian Stage, individual performers, patrons and authors, staging practices and the mechanisms of celebrity in the interaction between stage role and public persona, as well as singer and audience.

The Ph.D. candidate will be a central member of the project team and a core contributor to WP 4: ‘Performing Eighteenth-Century Operatic Women: A Practice-based Approach’. Through historical research in dialogue with other team members, especially those working in WP1 (Women’s roles and images of femininity on the Venetian stage) and WP2 (Performing celebrity on the Venetian stage), practical workshops, and ongoing professional engagements outside academia, the Ph.D. candidate is expected to study the body and/or the voice in performance, and investigate 1) how musico-dramatic acts of performance can convey gender and sexuality in eighteenth-century opera, and 2) how these operas, in their combined text-music-performance dimension, can be understood and performed today.

While the research proposal can focus on any area of the Venetian operatic repertory during the long eighteenth century, the following questions are pertinent to the project as a whole and may be addressed in the project proposal:

  • How did women perform on stage?
  • Which gestures and acting techniques did they use to perform gender and sexuality and what was their level of professionality?
  • What was the role of ornamentation in defining a singer’s identity?
  • To what extent did singers’ professional profile, public persona and celebrity status impact the construction and meaning of operatic representations?
  • How can musico-dramatic acts of performance convey gender and sexuality?
  • How did the voice, in particular, participate in the performance of gender?
  • How can operas produced in Venice in the eighteenth century, in their combined text-music-performance dimension, be understood and staged today?


Candidates are encouraged to contact Prof. Bucciarelli ( ) for more information about the WoVen project and WP4.



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