Dr Clair Rowden PhD MA BMus (Hons) FHEA

Dr Clair Rowden PhD MA BMus (Hons) FHEA

Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School

+44 (0)29 2087 0462
1.02, 33 Corbett Road

I am a graduate of Goldsmith's College, University of London, and gained my PhD at City University, London in 2002. 

My research deals mainly with opera and nineteenth-century France, and I have published widely on the critical reception and cultural history of opera, stage production, dance, iconography and press caricature. 

I am co-director of CIRO (Cardiff Interdisciplinary Research in Opera and Drama) which works in close collaboration with Welsh National Opera and other performing and professional institutions, and I regularly write programme notes for major opera houses and festivals in Europe. 

I have held visiting fellowships in France, Brazil and Mexico.

Previous academic positions

  • Visiting lecturer at City University
  • Visiting lecturer at Université de Rouen
  • Visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London

Speaking engagements

I regularly give conference papers and invited lectures, as well as participating in conference programme committees and chairing conference sessions. In 2015, I have given or will have given the following papers: 

  • 'Deferent Daisies: The battle of the Marguerites at the Paris Opéra, Spring 1869', University of Nottingham
  • 'The Second Swedish Nightingale: Christine Nilsson, a very Nordic talent', OBERTO conference, Oxford Brookes University
  • 'Parodying Tannhäuser on the Parisian popular stage, 1861’, The théâtre musical léger in Europe: From the Operetta to the Music-hall, Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca, Italy 
  • 'C’est la fille d’un roi…'. Caroline Miolan-Carvalho and Christine Nilsson: Parisian princesses?', American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, Louisville, USA 
  • 'Du grand au petit: Faust on Parisian stages in 1869', Opera, Politics, and Parody in Nineteenth-Century France, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA. 

Other recent papers and addresses include ‘Salome/Trouhanowa: Her Multiple Dances of Death’, Stages of Death: Men, Women and Suffering in Opera and Ballet, part of ‘Before I die: A festival for the living about dying’, Cardiff University (2013), and 'Jules Massenet: pour l’amour de l’opéra’, Célébration Jules Massenet, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris (2012).

I'm happy to supervise PhDs on all areas of opera studies, both musicological and practice-based research, as well as French music and music in France during the long nineteenth century, and gender studies. 

At undergraduate level, I teach modules on French and Italian opera in the nineteenth century, the business of opera, musical theatre, and music in Paris 1850-1900. 

I also run the third-year dissertation module, supervising a wide range of topics.

My research focuses on nineteenth-century opera and France, with activities ranging from music editing and archival study to microhistory and reception studies, and including operatic staging and dance, iconography and gender. 

I am a steering group member of the AHRC network 'Francophone Music Criticism 1789-1914', and have been responsible for the preparation of on-line editions of various corpora of nineteenth-century French music criticism made available as part of the FMC's creation of a valuable web resource for researchers. 

Current research entails chapters and a book on opera and parody in France during the second half of the nineteenth century, as well as an article about the singers Caroline Miolan-Carvalho and Christine Nilsson. 

I am the Music Book Placement Editor for H-France.