#1: An Interview with Sarah Hibberd

How did you stage an avalanche in a nineteenth century theatre? This week I’m with Professor Sarah Hibberd from the University of Bristol, to explore this question and more as we dive into the history of theatrical melodrama. We’re looking at how music would have been used in melodrama, and how it shaped the drama unfolding on stage.


SarahSarah Hibberd is Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music at the University of Bristol. She works on nineteenth-century French musical culture, including opera and other forms of music theatre such as melodrama and ballet, and is interested in staging practice and the links between theatre and early film. Her publications include French Grand Opera and the Historical Imagination (Cambridge, 2009), and edited volumes Melodramatic Voices (Farnham, 2011) and Art, Theatre and Opera in Paris, 1750–1850 (Farnham, 2014). More recently she has been exploring operatic culture in early nineteenth-century London and on the high seas.

Very little melodramatic music has been recorded, sadly! But the concert melodramas we discussed that have been recorded are:

Hector Berlioz, Lélio

Robert Schumann, Manfred

Richard Strauss, Enoch Arden

I am very grateful to Philip Cole for all his help editing this podcast! You can find out more about his work and hire his services from his website: Quietman.me

The theme tune is Dusty Rag by May Aufderheide, performed by Joanna Goldstein for Centaur. This podcast is licensed by PRS for Music (www.prsformusic.com).