Self-Borrowing in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera: A Reconsideration

The Lesson Scene in Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (chromolithograph, 1890 ca.)
Friday, November 30, 2018 - 09:30
Iontas Building, Maynooth University

Self-Borrowing in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera: A Reconsideration

The Department of Music at Maynooth University, in association with the Arts & Humanities Institute and the SMI, is pleased to host the international symposium Self-Borrowing in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera: A Reconsideration, 30 November 2018.

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Emanuele Senici (Università di Roma La Sapienza)
Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Prof. Francesco Izzo (University of Southampton); Prof. Roberta Montemorra Marvin (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Prof. Giorgio Sanguinetti (Università di Roma Tor Vergata)
Call for Papers (Now Closed)
Defined as the re-use of pre-existing music in a new work by the same author, self-borrowing has received significant attention from scholars of nineteenth-century Italian opera. Whereas in the past emphasis fell mostly on close readings of individual operas, recent research has addressed this practice from a wider perspective, showing how a thorough examination of self-borrowings can provide insight into composers’ creative processes, style, and the relation between words, music, and drama. The border between self-borrowing and originality has also been questioned, and the study of self-borrowing has reinforced the point that musical detail in this repertory is worthy of analytical investigation. Still, the broader contextual and conceptual implications of self-borrowing remain largely unexplored. The aim of this symposium is to consider the practice of self-borrowing not only as a compositional phenomenon, but also as an indicator of historical and socio-cultural transformations in the industry of nineteenth-century Italian opera.

The conference committee welcomes proposals exploring any aspect of self-borrowing. We particularly encourage contributions taking this practice as a vantage point from which to explore redefinitions of the mechanisms of production and circulation of nineteenth-century Italian opera; their repercussions on the idea of the operatic event; and the encounter of Italian opera with other European theatrical systems.  Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Print culture
  • Re-workings and translations
  • The emergence of the operatic canon
  • Censorship
  • Italian opera as an artwork
  • Reception
  • Genre

Submission guidelines
To be considered, please submit an abstract (300 words for individual papers and lecture/recitals; 400 for paired papers; 500 words for panels), and – in a separate document – a biography (100 words) to by September 21, 2018. Please do not include your name or any other identifying information in the abstract. Presenters will be notified by September 30, 2018 as to the status of their submission. For any other queries, please feel free to contact the conference organiser, Dr Candida Mantica, at
Possible presentation formats include, but are not limited to:

  • individual papers of 20 minutes
  • paired papers
  • panels (90 minutes for 3 papers, including QA)
  • lecture/recitals 

Conference languages: English, French, Italian

After the symposium, the organisers are planning for a publication of edited papers in a special issue of a refereed journal.

Conference Committee

Chair: Dr Candida Mantica (Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, Maynooth University)
Dr Antonio Cascelli (Maynooth University)
Prof. Francesco Izzo (University of Southampton)
Prof. Christopher Morris (Maynooth University)

Draft Programme available here

Conference fee: €20. Including two coffee/tea breaks, and one lunch. 
All presenters, apart from keynote and invited speakers, are required to register for the symposium. If you have not done so already, please visit here.

The conference hosts have reserved a selection of rooms at Maynooth University. These are exclusively held for the symposium delegates at a discounted conference rate. All rooms are on-campus and within a few minutes’ walk of the conference venues.
Please visit and use the promotional code SELFBORROWING-18 to access availability and the special rates or phone reception at 01 7086400 and quote reference 129362.
Please note that the rooms are reserved for a limited time. On 25 November 2018 any unbooked rooms will be released.