Prof Christopher Morris


Professor of Music

Logic House
(01) 708 3733


Christopher Morris is a musicologist with research interests in opera, film music, music and mediatization, and in critical and interdisciplinary approaches to music and posthumanism. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BMus, MA) and the University of Leeds (PhD). He was Archivist of the Canadian Opera Company before joining University College Cork as Lecturer in Music in 1998. Christopher has been Professor of Music at Maynooth since 2013 and Head, Dept. of Music since 2014.


One strand of Christopher’s research focuses on the role of music in German culture in the early twentieth century. His book Reading Opera Between the Lines: Orchestral Interludes and Culture Meaning from Wagner to Berg (Cambridge University Press, 2002) draws on critical theory, psychoanalysis and scholarship on gender and sexuality to explore the ‘invisible theatre’ of the many extended orchestral passages in post-Wagnerian opera. Modernism and the Cult of Mountains: Music, Opera, Cinema, a title in Ashgate’s Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera series, was published in August 2012 (see review here). Investigating the fascination with mountains in Austro-German culture of the early twentieth century, the book shows that music played a critical role in representing and disseminating attitudes to sublime nature, not least because, at its most ideal, music was perceived to be as pure and remote as the Alpine peaks. 

Christopher is author of numerous articles, chapters, reviews and review essays on topics in musical modernism, the aesthetics of music, opera after Wagner and film music. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Musicological ResearchThe Musical QuarterlyThe Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 19th-Century Music and TDR: The Drama Review. He co-edited a special issue (‘Sound, Voice, Music’) of the peer-reviewed film studies journal Alphaville

Christopher’s current research has centred on the impact of contemporary media technology on the production and consumption of opera, including the live broadcast of opera to cinemas. Recent publications have also sought to question some of the cherished assumptions of musicological research, including linear understandings of history, the privileged place of the author/composer, the fetishisation of live performance and the confinement of agency in performance to human participants.   Christopher is Associate Editor of The Opera Quarterly.    

Research Interests

  • music and screen media (film, video, television)
  • opera (contemporary staging practices, mediatization of opera) 
  • music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (especially Austro-German modernism)
  • aesthetics, cultural theory, music and politics
  • music and posthumanism 
Christopher welcomes enquiries from potential students interested in undertaking MLittDoctoral or Postdoctoral projects in any of these research fields.

Post Doctoral Fellows / Research Team

Researcher Name Project Funding Body
15178 Disruptive Soundscapes: Music and Sound Design in French Post-War Cinema
12220 Engendering Monodrama


Year Publication
2023 Christopher Morris (2023) Screening the Operatic Stage: Television and Beyond. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2012 Christopher Morris (2012) Modernism and the Cult of Mountains: Music, Opera, Cinema . : Ashgate.
2002 Christopher Morris (2002) Reading Opera Between the Lines: Orchestral Interludes and Cultural Meaning form Wagner to Berg. : Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2021 Christopher Morris; Antonio Cascelli (2021) 'Re-envisaging Music: Listening in the Visual Age' In: Introduction. Lucca : Libreria Musicale Italiana.
2017 Christopher Morris (2017) 'Back from the Dead: Kubrick, Music and the Auteur' In: Music, Modern Culture, and the Critical Ear. New York : Routledge. [Link]
2018 Morris, Christopher (2018) 'The Deadness of Live Opera' In: Performing Arts in Transition: Moving between Media. Oxford and New York : Routledge. [Link]
2016 Christopher Morris and Alessandra Campana (2016) 'Puccini’s Things: Media and Materials in Il trittico' In: Puccini and His World. Princeton : Princeton University Press.
2015 Christopher Morris (2015) 'Die Operette und die Moderne' In: Bettina Brandl-Risi, Clemens Risi(Eds.). Kunst der Oberfläche - Operette zwischen Bravour und Banalität. Berlin : Henschel Verlag.
2012 Christopher Morris (2012) ''Too Much Music': The Media of Opera' In: Nicholas Till (Eds.). The Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
2008 Christopher Morris (2008) 'From Revolution to Mystic Mountains: Edmund Meisel and the Politics of Film' In: Phil Powrie and Robynn Stilwell(Eds.). Composing for the Screen in Germany and the USSR: Cultural Politics and Propaganda. Bloomington : Indiana University Press.
2006 Christopher Morris (2006) 'Opera' In: John M. Merriman and Jay Winter(Eds.). Encyclopedia of Modern Europe: Europe Since 1914. New York : Scribner.
2005 Christopher Morris (2005) 'Richard Wagner: Opera and Music Drama' In: Clayton Koelb and Eric Downing(Eds.). German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1830-1899. Rochester : Camden House.

Edited Book

Year Publication
2021 Christopher Morris; Antonio Cascelli (Ed.). (2021) Re-envisaging Music. Listening in the Visual Age. Lucca: Libreria Musicale Italiana,

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2019 Morris, Christopher (2019) 'Casting Metal: Opera Studies after Humanism'. Opera Quarterly, 35 (1):21-39. [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Morris C. (2015) 'The Mute Stones Sing: Rigoletto Live from Mantua'. TDR/The Drama Review, 59 (4):51-66. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 Christopher Morris (2014) 'Figaro Dances, Opera Dances: Response to Rebecca Schneider'. Opera Quarterly, 30 . [Full-Text]
2011 Christopher Morris (2011) 'Wagnervideo'. Opera Quarterly, 26 :235-255. [Full-Text]
2010 Christopher Morris (2010) 'Digital Diva: Opera on Video'. Opera Quarterly, 26 :96-119. [Full-Text]
2003 Christopher Morris (2003) 'Review Essay:'Songs of the Living Dead''. Nineteenth Century Music, 27 :74-93. [Full-Text]
2002 Christopher Morris (2002) ''Alienated From His Own Being': Nietzsche, Bayreuth and the Problem of Identity'. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 127 :85-116. [Full-Text]
2001 Christopher Morris (2001) ''Sympathy with Death': Narcissism and Nostalgia in the Post-Wagnerian Orchestra'. Musical Quarterly, 85 :85-116. [Full-Text]
1996 Christopher Morris (1996) 'What the Conductor Saw: Sex, Fantasy, and the Orchestra in Strauss's Feuersnot'. Journal of Musicological Research, 16 :83-109.

Book Review

Year Publication
2013 Christopher Morris (2013) Arne Stollberg, Ohr und Auge, Klang und Form: Facetten einer musikästhetischen Dichotomie bei Johann Gottfried Herder, Richard Wagner und Franz Schreker. BREV
2009 Christopher Morris (2009) Jacqueline Warwick, Steven Baur and Raymond Knapp, eds., Musicological Identities: Essays in Honour of Susan McClary. BREV
2008 Christopher Morris (2008) Victoria Johnson, Jane F. Fulcher, and Thomas Ertman, eds., Opera and Society in Italy and France from Monteverdi to Bourdieu. BREV
2007 Christopher Morris (2007) Roberta Montemorra Marvin and Downing A. Thomas, eds., Operatic Migrations: Transforming Works and Crossing Boundaries. BREV
2006 Christopher Morris (2006) Joachim Köhler, Richard Wagner: Last of the Titans. BREV
2006 Christopher Morris (2006) Lawrence Kramer, Opera and Modern Culture: Wagner and Strauss. BREV
2005 Christopher Morris (2005) Words on Music: Essays in Honor of Andrew Porter on the Occasion of his 75th Birthday. BREV
2004 Christopher Morris (2004) Emma Sutton, Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s. BREV

Guest Editor

Year Publication
2019 Morris, Christopher; Attard, Joseph (2019) Opera Quarterly: Opera at the Multiplex. Oxford, New York: GUESTE
2012 Christopher Morris (2012) Alphaville Journal: Sound Voice, Music. GUESTE
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Society for Musicology in Ireland Council Member 12/06/2015 - 08/06/2018


Committee Function From / To
Governing Authority Member 01/09/2015 - 30/08/2019