Roger Parker

Last updated

Roger Parker (born London United Kingdom, 2 August 1951) is an English musicologist and, since January 2007, has been Thurston Dart Professor of Music at King's College London. [1] His work has centred on opera. Between 2006 and 2010, while Professor of Music at Gresham College, London, Parker presented four series of free public lectures, one example being "Verdi and Milan" in 2007 which is available on video. [2]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Robert Thurston ("Bob") Dart, was an English musicologist, conductor and keyboard player. From 1964 until his death he was Professor of Music at King's College London.


In addition to teaching, Parker has been active as joint editor in the preparation of critical editions of the work of 19th-century Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti for the Milan publishing house Ricordi. [3] He also acts as Repertory Consultant [4] to the UK's specialised recording company, Opera Rara, which has commissioned performances and recordings of rare Donizetti operas such as Belisario in 2012 and Les Martyrs in 2014. [5] Additionally, Parker has presented talks on UK radio on aspects of opera, including his talk "Verdi 200: Viva Verdi" [6] on BBC radio 3 on 6 January and 13 October 2013.

A critical edition of an opera has been defined by American musicologist Philip Gossett as "an edition that bases itself wherever possible on the very finest and most accurate sources for an opera. That means that it must study the entire performance history of a work."

Gaetano Donizetti 19th-century Italian opera composer

Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Donizetti's close association with the bel canto style was undoubtedly an influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi.

Casa Ricordi music publishing company

Casa Ricordi is a publisher of primarily classical music and opera. Its classical repertoire represents one of the important sources in the world through its publishing of the work of the major 19th-century Italian composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, and, later in the century, Giacomo Puccini, composers with whom one or another of the Ricordi family came into close contact.

Education and academic work

He studied at the University of London, first at Goldsmiths' College, and then at King's College London from which he obtained his PhD in 1981. In 1982, he moved to Cornell University in upstate New York, where he was assistant professor and then associate professor. Returning to England to become a lecturer in music (later professor) and fellow of St Hugh's College, Oxford, in 1999 he became professor of music at Cambridge University, where he was a fellow of St John's College. Between 2005 and 2006, he was the chair of the School of Arts and Humanities. Parker became the Visiting Ernest Bloch Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and, in 2007, he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. [5]

University of London federal public university in London, United Kingdom

The University of London is a collegiate federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes. The university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom.

Kings College London public research university located in London, United Kingdom

King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding constituent college of the federal University of London. King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter, and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England. In 1836, King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In the late 20th century, King's grew through a series of mergers, including with Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology, the Institute of Psychiatry, the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Cornell University private university in Ithaca (New York, US)

Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

Preparation of critical editions of operas

Roger Parker's focus has been in the area of Italian opera of the nineteenth century. For ten years he was founding co-editor (with Arthur Groos) of the Cambridge Opera Journal, and he continues as General Editor of The Critical Edition of the Operas of Gaetano Donizetti published it Italy by Casa Ricordi of Milan and in the United States by the University of Chicago Press under the auspices of the Fondazione Donizetti. His co-editor is Gabriele Dotto, who led Ricordi's editorial department from 1992 to 2001. [3] [7]

Editing process of selecting and preparing media to convey information

Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, organization, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete work.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan area has a population of 3,243,115. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Other critical editions of Donizetti's operas on which Parker has worked include Linda di Chamounix in 2007 [8] as well as those titles which appear on the Donizetti Society's list of works completed by Parker alone, such as Lucrezia Borgia (1998) and Adelia . Additionally, along with Dotto, he has co-authored the critical edition of Lucia di Lammermoor which was presented at the Royal Opera House, London in 2003. [9] Roger Parker is also credited as editor of the critical edition of Puccini's opera, Manon Lescaut published by Ricordi in 2013.

<i>Linda di Chamounix</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti and Gaetano Rossi

Linda di Chamounix is an operatic melodramma semiserio in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Gaetano Rossi. It premiered in Vienna, at the Kärntnertortheater, on 19 May 1842.

Lucrezia Borgia Italian noblewoman

Lucrezia Borgia was a Spanish-Italian noblewoman of the House of Borgia who was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. She reigned as the Governor of Spoleto, a position usually held by cardinals, in her own right.

<i>Adelia</i> genus of plants

Adelia is a genus of flowering plants in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, subfamily Acalyphoideae. It is native to Latin America and the Caribbean, with one species extending northward into the southernmost part of Texas.

A major revival [10] of a never-completed Donizetti opera, Le duc d'Albe , was given in 2012 by the Vlaamse Opera from a critical edition prepared by Parker. [11] He has written about the work involved in its preparation. [12]

<i>Le duc dAlbe</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Le duc d'Albe or Il duca d'Alba is an opera in three acts originally composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1839 to a French language libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier. Its title, which translates as The Duke of Alba, refers to its protagonist Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. The work was intended for performance at the Paris Opéra. However, William Ashbrook notes that "Rosine Stoltz, the director's mistress, disliked her intended role of Hélène and Donizetti put the work aside when it was half completed".

Vlaamse Opera former opera company running the opera houses of Antwerpen and Ghent, Belgium

The Vlaamse Opera is an opera company in Belgium directed by Aviel Cahn which operates in two different opera houses in two Flemish cities, the Vlaamse Opera Antwerpen at Van Ertbornstraat 8 and the Vlaamse Opera Ghent at Schouwburgstraat 3. However, the company shares one orchestra, choir, technical team, etc. The organization is mainly financed by the Flemish government and the city councils of Antwerp and Ghent.

Involvement with performances

For the preparation, recording, and presentation of the Opera Rara recording of Donizetti's Belisario in 2012, it has been noted that the opera was "performed in the edition by Sir Mark Elder, Roger Parker and Jürgen Selk, based on the 2010 edition by Ottavio Sbragia." [13] For that event, Parker coordinated and presented an afternoon-long public symposium on the opera. In a similar fashion, when Donizetti's Les Martyrs was presented by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London in November 2014, Roger Parker was part of an introductory panel which also included Dr Flora Willson (who prepared the critical edition) and author and Donizetti biographer Jonathan Keates. [14]

Awards and appointments

He received the "Premio Giuseppe Verdi" in 1986, was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1986–87, and in 1991 was awarded the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association. 2008 saw his election as Fellow of the British Academy, [5] while, in 2014, he was appointed member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Recent publications

Personal life

Married to concert cellist Lynden Cranham, and has three children.

See also

Musicologist Philip Gossett (General Editor of critical editions of Giuseppe Verdi and Gioachino Rossini's operas.)

Related Research Articles

<i>Belisario</i> opera seria in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti

Belisario (Belisarius) is a tragedia lirica in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto after Luigi Marchionni's adaptation of Eduard von Schenk's play, Belisarius, first staged in Munich in 1820 and then in Naples in 1826. The plot is loosely based on the life of the famous general Belisarius of the 6th century Byzantine Empire.

Hariclea Darclée Romanian singer

Hariclea Darclée was a celebrated Romanian operatic soprano of Greek origin who had a three-decade-long career.

Salvadore Cammarano Italian librettist and playwright

Salvadore Cammarano was a prolific Italian librettist and playwright perhaps best known for writing the text of Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) for Gaetano Donizetti.

<i>Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali, also known as Viva la mamma, is a dramma giocoso, or opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Domenico Gilardoni, adapted from Antonio Simeone Sografi's plays Le convenienze teatrali (1794) and Le inconvenienze teatrali (1800).

<i>Dom Sébastien</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Dom Sébastien, Roi de Portugal is a French grand opera in five acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The libretto was written by Eugène Scribe, based on Paul Foucher's play Don Sébastien de Portugal which premiered at the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin on 9 November 1838 It is a historic-fiction about King Sebastian of Portugal (1554-1578) and his ill-fated 1578 expedition to Morocco. The opera premiered on 13 November 1843 at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opéra. This was the last opera that Donizetti completed before going insane as a result of syphilis.

<i>Ugo, conte di Parigi</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Ugo, conte di Parigi is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis's Blanche d'Aquitaine. It premiered on 13 March 1832 at La Scala, Milan.

<i>Maria Padilla</i> opera by Gaetano Donitetti

Maria Padilla is a melodramma, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Gaetano Rossi and the composer wrote the Italian libretto after François Ancelot's play. It premiered on 26 December 1841 at La Scala, Milan. The plot is loosely based on the historical figure María de Padilla, the mistress of Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile.

<i>Rita</i> (opera) opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Rita, ou Le mari battu is an opéra comique in one act, composed by Gaetano Donizetti to a French libretto by Gustave Vaëz. The opera, a domestic comedy consisting of eight musical numbers connected by spoken dialogue, was completed in 1841 under its original title Deux hommes et une femme. Never performed in Donizetti's lifetime, Rita premiered posthumously at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 7 May 1860.

Opera Rara is a British non-profit recording company, founded in the early 1970s by American Patric Schmid and Englishman Don White to promote concerts of rare and/or forgotten operas by bel canto era composers such as Italian composers Gaetano Donizetti, Giovanni Pacini, Saverio Mercadante, and Federico Ricci, as well as French composers of the 1830s forward such as Giacomo Meyerbeer.

Peter Forbes Robinson was a British bass, born in Macclesfield, best known for his performances in works by Mozart, Verdi, and Britten.

Giuseppe Taddei Italian opera singer

Giuseppe Taddei was an Italian lyric baritone, who performed mostly the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi.

Giuseppe Cremonini Italian opera singer

Giuseppe Cremonini was an Italian operatic tenor who had a prominent opera career in Europe and the United States during the last decade of the nineteenth century.

Giuseppe Borgatti Italian opera singer

Giuseppe Borgatti was an Italian dramatic tenor with an outstanding voice. The creator of the title role in Umberto Giordano's verismo opera Andrea Chénier, he subsequently earned renown for his performances of the music of Richard Wagner, becoming in 1904 the first Italian tenor to appear at the Bayreuth Festival. He sang a variety of leading roles at La Scala, Milan, from 1896 until 1914, but deteriorating eyesight caused by glaucoma put a premature end to his stage career, after which he turned successfully to teaching.

Philip Gossett American musicologist

Philip Gossett was an American musicologist and historian, and Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor of Music at the University of Chicago. His lifelong interest in 19th-century Italian opera began with listening to Metropolitan Opera broadcasts in his youth. Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera, a major work on the subject, won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society as best book on music of 2006.

Gaetano Bavagnoli (1879–1933) was an Italian conductor who was particularly known for his work within the field of opera. He was mainly active within Italy's major opera houses during the first third of the 20th century; although he did conduct at important international stages like the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Royal Opera House in London as well. He also worked as a voice teacher and was notably the instructor of opera singers Emanuel Kopecky, Lina Pagliughi, and Aureliano Pertile.

Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell, née Kuzmick, is an American musicologist and organist. Amongst her publications are pioneering research on the role of dance in 18th century opera and critical editions of opera scores by Mozart, Rossini, and Verdi.



  2. "Verdi and Milan".
  3. 1 2
  4. "Charles Alexander - Chairman".
  5. 1 2 3 "King's College London - Professor Roger Parker".
  6. "BBC Radio 3 - Sunday Feature, Verdi 200: Viva Verdi". BBC.
  7. "Fondazione Donizetti Bergamo - Fondazione Donizetti Bergamo". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21.
  9. "Donizetti Society Scores and Librettos Page".
  11. "King's College London - Finishing the job: King's academic completes Donizetti opera".
  12. "Donizetti Society Article - Le Duc d'Albe".
  13. "Donizetti's Belisario – BBCSO/Mark Elder and Opera Rara [Nicola Alaimo, Joyce El-Khoury, Russell Thomas & Camilla Roberts]".
  14. "Programme for Les Maryrs" (PDF).
  15. "Verdi the revolutionary? Let's separate fact from fiction". the Guardian.
  16. Critical edition of Manon Lescaut [ permanent dead link ]