Prof Christopher Morris

Music

Professor of Music

Logic House
137
(01) 708 3733

Biography

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.

Publications

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 Role Funding Body
Laura Anderson Disruptive Soundscapes: Music and Sound Design in French Post-War Cinema Collaborator Irish Research Council (IRC)
Francesca Placanica Engendering Monodrama Collaborator

Books

  Year Publication
2012 Modernism and the Cult of Mountains: Music, Opera, Cinema .
Christopher Morris (2012) Modernism and the Cult of Mountains: Music, Opera, Cinema . : Ashgate. [Details]
2002 Reading Opera Between the Lines: Orchestral Interludes and Cultural Meaning form Wagner to Berg.
Christopher Morris (2002) Reading Opera Between the Lines: Orchestral Interludes and Cultural Meaning form Wagner to Berg. : Cambridge University Press. [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2017 'Back from the Dead: Kubrick, Music and the Auteur'
Christopher Morris (2017) 'Back from the Dead: Kubrick, Music and the Auteur' In: Nicholas Attfield and Ben Winters (eds). Music, Modern Culture, and the Critical Ear. New York: Routledge. [Details]
2018 'The Deadness of Live Opera'
Morris, Christopher (2018) 'The Deadness of Live Opera' In: Susanne Foellmer, Maria Katharina Schmidt, Cornelia Schmitz (eds). Performing Arts in Transition: Moving between Media. Oxford and New York: Routledge. [Details]
2016 'Puccini’s Things: Media and Materials in Il trittico'
Christopher Morris and Alessandra Campana (2016) 'Puccini’s Things: Media and Materials in Il trittico' In: Arman Schwartz and Emanuele Senici (eds). Puccini and His World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [Details]
2015 'Die Operette und die Moderne'
Christopher Morris (2015) 'Die Operette und die Moderne' In: Kunst der Oberfläche - Operette zwischen Bravour und Banalität. Berlin: Henschel Verlag. [Details]
2012 ''Too Much Music': The Media of Opera'
Christopher Morris (2012) ''Too Much Music': The Media of Opera' In: The Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]
2008 'From Revolution to Mystic Mountains: Edmund Meisel and the Politics of Film'
Christopher Morris (2008) 'From Revolution to Mystic Mountains: Edmund Meisel and the Politics of Film' In: Composing for the Screen in Germany and the USSR: Cultural Politics and Propaganda. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [Details]
2006 'Opera'
Christopher Morris (2006) 'Opera' In: Encyclopedia of Modern Europe: Europe Since 1914. New York: Scribner. [Details]
2005 'Richard Wagner: Opera and Music Drama'
Christopher Morris (2005) 'Richard Wagner: Opera and Music Drama' In: German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1830-1899. Rochester: Camden House. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

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

Book Review

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

Guest Editor

  Year Publication
2019 Opera Quarterly: Opera at the Multiplex.
Morris, Christopher; Attard, Joseph (2019) Opera Quarterly: Opera at the Multiplex. Oxford, New York: Guest Editor [DOI] [Details]
2012 Alphaville Journal: Sound Voice, Music.
Christopher Morris (2012) Alphaville Journal: Sound Voice, Music. Guest Editor [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Society for Musicology in Ireland Council Member 12-JUN-15 / 08-JUN-18

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Governing Authority Member 2015 / 2019

Reviews

  Journal Role
Opera Quarterly Editor

External Collaborators

  Name Role / Description Country
Alessandra Campana Co-author U.S.A.