Emma Sohlgren

PhD student at Department of Musicology

Email:
emma.sohlgren[AT-sign]musik.uu.se
Telephone:
+4618-471 7891
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H

Postal address:
Box 633
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I am a PhD student at the Department for Musicology. In my research I investigate how Italian opera arias were acquired, circulated and performed in Sweden in the Eighteenth Century.

Keywords: musicology music history eighteenth century opera

I did my undergraduate degree in Music at the University of Cambridge and graduated with a first class in 2012. After that, I studied Italian at Stockholm University and Università degli studi di Padova, and taught music and music theory at Lilla Akademiens Musikgymnasium in Stockholm. I did my master studies in Musicology at Uppsala University in 2018–2020 and in my master's thesis I studied performances and reworkings of Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice in London, Florence, and Naples in the early 1770s. I started my PhD studies in Uppsala in February 2021.

In my PhD research I am looking to gain a greater understanding for the ways in which Italian opera was introduced in Sweden in the mid eighteenth century and how that can be connected to the various claims to power that different individuals and groups had during the weak monarchy of the age of liberty. Who imported Italian opera to Sweden and why?

Queen Lovisa Ulrika's opera productions in the 1750s have been the object of previous research, but the existence of arias and operas in other social context, such as public concerts and plays or in private music collections, was likely of great importance for the broader diffusion of opera and lay the foundation for its development in Sweden during the latter part of the eighteenth century and the nineteenth century.

Through studying previously unexplored source material, we can gain a better understanding of the role of opera in Sweden during the Age of liberty and of how Italian opera might have been used both inside and outside the court in order to strengthen political interests or the status of certain individuals. This can provide new perspectives to the use of opera seria and contribute to the ongoing discussion of the social function of opera in Europe during this time, as well as shed light on the processes of cultural exchange and appropriation and the role of music as a marker of status and identity.

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Emma Sohlgren