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Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Ethel Smyth’s (feminist?) opera, The Boatswain’s Mate at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 27 February 2017, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

The Boatswain’s Mate was the fourth of six operas composed by Smyth (who suffered from distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life), and was the most popular and most frequently performed during her own lifetime. It was recently released in its first complete modern recording by Retrospect Opera (of which Dr Wiley is a part).

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley provided an outline of the circumstances of the composition of The Boatswain’s Mate, its plot, and interesting features of the music. He also discussed the extent to which the work constitutes a ‘feminist opera’, as has previously been suggested.

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has addressed Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group, having delivered a presentation on Smyth’s life and works two years ago in January 2015. Dr Wiley has also recently given talks on Smyth at The Guildford Institute and at the composer’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

Dr Christopher Wiley contributes essay to CD booklet for newly released Ethel Smyth recording

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The Boatswain's Mate - CD front coverRetrospect Opera’s newly released CD of Ethel Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate, the first complete modern recording of the work, includes an essay by Dr Christopher Wiley in the accompanying booklet.

The recording appears in the centenary year of Smyth’s comic opera, which premiered on 28 January 1916 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London. It features singers Nadine Benjamin, Edward Lee, and Jeremy Huw Williams in the principal roles, accompanied by the Lontano Ensemble conducted by pioneering Smyth interpreter Odaline de la Martinez.

Dr Wiley is acknowledged as an academic expert on Ethel Smyth, with recent research activity including publication of a major journal article, a score preface, and promoting Smyth’s music in concert, in addition to giving several public lectures on the composer. His essay The Boatswain’s Mate in the context of Smyth’s life and works’ appears in the CD booklet alongside contributions by Odaline de la Martinez and Retrospect Opera’s Professor David Chandler.

The CD is available direct from Retrospect Opera at the following link: http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/CD_Sales.html

It may also be ordered through Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boatswains-Mate-Ethel-Smyth/dp/B01HIJX83Q/

Dr Christopher Wiley writes preface for new publication of Ethel Smyth study score

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Smyth, Variations on Bonny Sweet RobinDr Christopher Wiley has contributed a preface to a republication of an Ethel Smyth work – the Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin (Ophelia’s Song) for flute, oboe, and piano – as a study score.

The republication was one of the new releases for November 2015 by the publisher Musikproduktion Hoeflich. The score and parts are available to purchase for €16 from the publisher’s website here: https://repertoire-explorer.musikmph.de/product/smyth-ethel-3/

The complete text of Dr Wiley’s preface may be read in both English and in German translation (by Anke Westermann) here: https://repertoire-explorer.musikmph.de/wp-content/uploads/vorworte_prefaces/1724.html

Dr Wiley, who is recognised as a leading researcher on Ethel Smyth, has also promoted her music as a performer, including the Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin which featured as part of a commemorative recital of Smyth’s music on the 70th anniversary of her death in May 2014.

Dr Christopher Wiley writes on ‘Les Misérables at 30’ for The Conversation

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Les MisérablesDr Christopher Wiley has contributed an article to The Conversation on the enduring popularity of Les Misérables, the world’s most successful musical, ahead of the 30th anniversary of its London production on 8 October 2015.

Dr Wiley’s article, ‘Les Misérables at 30: breaking hearts and records’, discussed aspects of the show’s plot and musical score, the role played by writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and by producer Cameron Mackintosh, as well as more recent developments such as Tom Hooper’s 2012 film adaptation.

The full article may be read here: https://theconversation.com/les-miserables-at-30-breaking-hearts-and-records-48535

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has written for The Conversation, the first being a scholarly response to Stephen Fry, which has received 4,000 hits to date.

Founded in Australia in 2011 and launched in the UK in 2013, The Conversation is an independent global news website featuring stories and opinions sourced from the scholarly community. The University of Surrey is one of its founding UK partners.

Update: Dr Wiley’s Les Misérables article received over 1,300 hits by the end of 8 October (UK time), with readers fairly evenly distributed between the UK, US, Australia, and Continental Europe.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper in the Music Research Colloquia series at the University of Oxford

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Dr Christopher Wiley presented his paper ‘National Trends in Musical Biography’ in the Music Research Colloquia series at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford on 16 June 2015, to close the series for the 2014–15 academic year.

Speaking to some 25 academics and postgraduate students in the Faculty’s Denis Arnold Hall, Dr Wiley explored the relationship between musical biography and nationality with reference to case studies illustrating distinctive elements of musical biography at particular times and places as well as the development of the genre over time.

The weekly colloquia are organized by graduate students and feature musicological research presented by a range of leading academics and younger researchers from universities around the world.

Details of Dr Wiley’s Research Colloquium may be found here: http://www.music.ox.ac.uk/event/research-colloquium-chris-wiley/

Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured on the Turning Technologies website and Surrey Research Insight blog

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EVS as a Springboard for Student EngagementDr Christopher Wiley has recently been profiled in an interview on the Surrey Research Insight blog as well as a case study written by Turning Technologies.

Turning Technologies’ feature on Dr Wiley’s pioneering use of electronic voting systems (EVS) in arts and humanities teaching, ‘TurningPoint in the Arts: Electronic Voting Systems as a Springboard for Student Engagement’, was published on their website on 14 April 2015. It discussed various aspects of Dr Wiley’s use of EVS in higher education teaching including multiple-choice questions that test deep-level understanding, game-based learning employed alongside flipped classroom techniques, and the technology’s moment to moment and demographic comparison features.

Surrey Research Insight (SRI), which manages the open access repository of academic publications for the University of Surrey, interviewed Dr Wiley in a blog post entitled ‘SRI talks to Dr Christopher Wiley’, which appeared on 1 May 2015. Dr Wiley spoke about his published work on Michael Jackson (which is available on open access), his interests in musical theatre and film music, and his current research on literature and music and on student evaluation of teaching.

The full texts may be viewed at the following links:

Surrey Research Insight: https://surreyresearchinsight.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/sri-talks-to-dr-christopher-wiley/

Turning Technologies: http://www.turningtechnologies.com/pdf/content/INTLCaseStudy-UniSurrey-DrWiley.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes and delivers paper at international conference on musical biography at the Institute of Musical Research, London

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Institute of Musical Research logoDr Christopher Wiley and Dr Paul Watt (Monash University, Melbourne) have co-organized a two-day international conference on musical biography held at the Institute of Musical Research, University of London, on 9-10 April 2015.

The conference, entitled ‘Musical Biography: National Ideology, Narrative Technique, and the Nature of Myth’, brought together a broad range of some 50 interdisciplinary scholars from the UK, US, Australia, and Continental Europe.

In addition to several panel sessions, the conference incorporated two invited roundtable discussions, whose speakers included Professors Simon Keefe (University of Sheffield), Mark Evan Bonds (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Jonathan Cross (University of Oxford), and Rosamund Bartlett (Oxford).

In the course of the conference, Dr Wiley also presented his paper ‘Myth-making and the Politics of Nationality in Narratives of J.S. Bach’s 1717 Contest with Louis Marchand’, and chaired three of the panel sessions.

The schedule for the event may be viewed at the conference website: http://events.sas.ac.uk/imr/events/view/17765/Music+Biography+Conference

The full conference programme may be downloaded here.

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