Mauro Calcagno

Associate Professor of Music
Undergraduate Chair in Music
Room 328 Music Building

As Undergraduate Chair, Prof. Calcagno directs the activities of the Music Department in support of undergraduate education, serving as the chief advocate for the educational needs of its undergraduate students, including current and prospective majors and minors, as well as non-majors from the College and from the other undergraduate schools at Penn. In this role, he also supervises the activities concerning performance, together with the Director of Performance and the Department Chair. 

Prof. Calcagno is a musicologist and cultural theorist. He received his Ph.D. in Music from Yale University in 2000, taught at Harvard until 2008 and at Stony Brook University until 2013. His work focuses on opera studies, 20th- and 21st-century theories and practices of dramaturgy and theatricality, performance studies, digital humanities, Italian Baroque musical theatre, and the madrigal.

His publications include From Madrigal to Opera: Monteverdi's Staging of the Self (University of California Press), an article on linguistic theories and musical theater published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and various contributions devoted to Italian opera and the madrigal. His essay on the aesthetics of voice in seventeenth-century music, published in the Journal of Musicology, received the Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society, which he served as President of the New England Chapter.

Prof. Calcagno’s edition of Cavalli's Eliogabalo (forthcoming for Baerenreiter) has been adopted for performances in various venues, including Bruxelles, Dortmund, Stony Brook, and New York City. In the occasion of this last production, The New York Times and The New Yorker featured articles that discussed his research. He is also the co-director of the Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE), which was funded by a three-year grant of the National Endowment for the Humanities; as part of this international collaborative project, he edited the volume Perspectives on Luca Marenzio's Secular Music. Calcagno is currently working on a book provisionally entitled Staging Baroque Opera Today.

At Harvard, Calcagno founded the Friday Lunch Talks in the Music Department and the Opera Seminar at the Humanities Center (2005-2016). At Stony Brook he jumpstarted the Friends of the Music Library.

At Penn, he is the director of the Center for Italian Studies, a member of the graduate group in Italian Studies (see his profile here), and a Faculty Fellow in Rodin College House, where he co-directs The Rodin Arts Collective. Since 2014, he has been the curator of three coordinated opera activities listed in the archival website Opera at Penn: the Opera Scenes (2014- ), the Opera Workshop (2014-17), and the collaboration with Opera Philadelphia (2014- ). He founded and now co-directs the concert series Music in the Pavilion in Kislak Library, now in its fourth year.

Prof. Calcagno has offered workshops for professional singers and instrumentalists on Baroque music and poetry at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, and at the Centre for Baroque Music in Versailles.

His recent doctoral seminars have covered topics such as performance studies (with CompLit), postdramatic stagings of opera, Monteverdi and Baroque opera, editing, Petrarchism and the Italian madrigal, and methodologies of musicological research. 

Courses Taught: 

Music 030, A Thousand Years of Listening

Music 033, History of Opera

Music 130, Introduction to Western Music

Music 604 (Ital and CompLit 602), Historiographies and Methodologies: Performance Studies

Music 730,  Staging Baroque Opera Today