We’re reviewing the opera Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel by Iain Bell (composer) and Emma Jenkins (librettist). The opera sets out to tell the stories of the five women murdered by Jack the Ripper, in a bid to get away from what Jenkins describes as ‘patriarchal’ opera narratives told ‘from a male perspective’. We’re looking at how successful we think the opera was at managing this, and the problems and possibilities of writing ‘feminist’ opera.Read More #7: Short(ish) notes on Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel
In this episode I’m with Professor Alexandra Wilson from Oxford Brookes University. We’re talking about her new book Opera in the Jazz Age, exploring opera’s “elitism” label and how opera’s depicted in film.
Alexandra Wilson is Professor of Music and Cultural History at Oxford Brookes University and the current recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. She is the author of three books: The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Opera: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld, 2010), and Opera in the Jazz Age: Cultural Politics in 1920s Britain (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Professor Wilson has a high profile as a public musicologist. She has presented numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 (including Opera on 3, Building a Library and Proms concerts), and was recently called ‘a real ambassador for opera’ on Radio 4’s PM programme. She regularly writes programme essays, gives talks, and/or contributes to podcasts for opera companies including the Royal Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, ENO, Wexford Festival Opera and English Touring Opera. She has written for Opera magazine and BBC Music Magazine.Read More #6: An Interview with Alexandra Wilson