Title/Position: Associate Professor, MusicologyProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
Having my book, Opera Acts: Singers and Performance in the Late Nineteenth Century, published by Cambridge University Press.
Organizing an international conference on the operatic soprano’s relationship with technology, and having a collection of essays based on the conference accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press the collection will be titled–Technology and the Diva: Sopranos, Opera, and the Media from Romanticism to the Twenty-First Century.
Guest editing “The Divo and the Danseur,” a special issue of the Cambridge Opera Journal about the nineteenth-century male opera and ballet performer.
Receiving fellowships and awards to carry out my research from The British Academy, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
Advising six PhD dissertations and many MA and MMus theses.
What’s on your iPod?
Grace Bumbry’s and Jon Vickers’s Carmen, Roberto Alagna’s and Thomas Hampson’s Don Carlos, Birgit Nilsson’s and Wolfgang Windgassen’s Tristan und Isolde, Beyoncé, the Arctic Monkeys, the BBC.
How were you influenced by your teachers? What do you hope to pass on to your students?
My most important mentor, the opera scholar Roger Parker, taught me the importance of thinking broadly about music and yet also remaining engaged with the notes-on-the-page detail. I try to pass these values on to my students.
Finish the statement, “Music is…”
… wonderfully abstract and otherworldly, and wonderfully, messily human. It’s the combination of the two that is crucial.
Karen Henson is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century opera, singers and opera performance, and opera and technology. Professor Henson trained at the University of Oxford and in Paris, and her work has been supported by fellowships and awards from The British Academy, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Her writing has been published in the Cambridge Opera Journal, the Journal of the American Musicological Society, 19th-Century Music, and the edited volumes L’Opéra en France et en Italie and Le Spectaculaire dans les arts de la scène. She has also contributed articles to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia. Professor Henson recently completed her first book, Opera Acts: Singers and Performance in the Late Nineteenth Century, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2014 . She is now finishing an edited volume on the operatic soprano’s relationship with technology, which is also to be published by Cambridge and will be titled Technology and the Diva: Sopranos, Opera, and the Media from Romanticism to the Twenty-First Century. She is also working on a new book project, on opera and early sound recording. Professor Henson has been a regular guest speaker for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and the BBC.