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Grant awarded to develop performance map of Bizet’s Carmen

28 March 2019

Illustrated map of Paris monuments

Dr Clair Rowden of the School of Music has been awarded a £10,000 BA/Leverhulme Grant to continue research into global performances of Bizet’s Carmen.

The grant will be used to further develop, an online platform which offers a global view of performances of Bizet’s iconic opera over a seventy year period, from its Parisian premiere in 1875 to 1945. It currently features information from nearly 600 productions, from Tokyo to Rio de Janiero, Helsinki to Melbourne, Bordeaux to New Orleans. was originally born from a conference held in Cardiff in June 2017, where over 20 international scholars pooled their research data to reveal the ways in which Carmen travelled across the globe. The complementary forthcoming publication, Carmen Abroad, co-edited by Clair Rowden and Richard Langham Smith will analyse the different ways in which Carmen was locally grounded, adopted or used (both in performance and reception) to create and negotiate specific local meanings and contexts.

The BA/Leverhulme Grant will also be used to hold an international Musical Mapping Study Day in Cardiff on 18 June 2019 which will bring together academics to investigate what the mapping of performances, performers and performing spaces across cities, countries and the globe, in both historical and contemporary contexts, can reveal about the ways in which musical culture is created, disseminated and consumed. The map will be at the heart of these debates.

Speaking of the grant, Dr Rowden said: “This grant will allow us to build on and expand and create new functions which will create a modern and user-friendly experience for the public, scholars and opera aficionados, which is also a tool for musicological understanding.

“In recent years musicology has turned to mapping projects as a way of using research data to ‘tell stories’, as a means for analysis, organisation and presentation of research, in order to visualise and analyse complicated trends across time and place.”

The call for papers for the conference is open until 30 April 2019. Enquiries to Dr Clair Rowden.

Cardiff University Operatic Society will perform Carmen between 5 and 7 April at the YMCA Theatre, The Walk, Cardiff in the arrangement of the score by Stephen McNeff, published by Edition Peters.

Tickets £5-£12

The production has been supported by Dr Clair Rowden, the School of Music, Ty Cerdd, Arts Council of Wales, National Lottery and the Welsh Government.

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