Karen Henson

Headshot Photo of Karen Henson
  • Associate Professor, Music

Research Interests

  • 19th-century opera
  • Singers and music-theatrical performance
  • Opera and technology

Education

  • M.A., D.Phil, University of Oxford

Contact

Affiliated Campus(es)

  • Queens College
  • CUNY Graduate Center

Karen Henson is a musicologist specializing in nineteenth-century opera, singers and music-theatrical performance, and opera and technology. She trained at the University of Oxford and in Paris, and her work has been supported by fellowships and awards from The British Academy, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Henson is the author of Opera Acts: Singers and Performance in the Late Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and editor of Technology and the Diva: Sopranos, Opera, and Media from Romanticism to the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press, 2016). She is now working on a book about opera and early sound recording.

Henson teaches a range of courses from Music Appreciation, through the music history survey, to graduate seminars.  She is an enthusiastic graduate advisor and welcomes applications from students interested in working toward an MA in musicology (at Queens College) or a Ph.D. on subjects relating to opera, performance, and technology (at the Graduate Center).

REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS

Articles (including special journal issue)

  • Guest Editor, “The Divo and the Danseur,” special issue on the nineteenth-century male opera and ballet performer, Cambridge Opera Journal, 19 (2007)
  • “Sound Recording and the Operatic Canon: Three ‘Drops of the Needle’,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Operatic Canon, ed. William Weber and Cormac Newark (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • “Photographic Diva: Massenet’s Relationship with the Soprano Sibyl Sanderson,” in Technology and the Diva: Sopranos, Opera, and Media from Romanticism to the Digital Age, ed. Karen Henson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 49-73.  Also “Diva et photographie: Massenet, Sibyl Sanderson, et la séduction de l’image,” in Beyond the Stage: Musical Theatre and Performing Arts between “Fin de siècle” and the “Années folles,” ed. Michela Niccolai and Giuseppe Montemagno (Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 2017), 255-84
  • “Introduction: Of Modern Operatic Mythologies and Technologies,” in Technology and the Diva, ed. Henson (Cambridge, 2016), 11-23
  • “Of Voices, Hearts and Ghosts: Saint-Saëns, ‘Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix’,” in "Remaking the Aria," special issue in honor of Roger Parker, Cambridge Opera Journal, 28 (2016), 227-33
  • “Au début de l’enregistrement sonore (1877-1906): exotisme, opéra et science-fiction,” in L’altérité en spectacle 1789-1918, ed. Nathalie Coutelet and Isabelle Moindrot (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015), 331-42
  • “La Dernière Pensée musicale de Meyerbeer,” in Aspects de l’opéra français de Meyerbeer à Honegger, ed. Jean-Christophe Branger and Vincent Giroud (Lyons: Editions Symétrie, 2009), 15-33
  • “Verdi versus Victor Maurel on Falstaff: Twelve New Verdi Letters and Other Operatic and Musical Theater Sources,” 19th-Century Music, 31 (2007), 113-30
  • “Verdi, Victor Maurel and Fin-de-Siècle Operatic Performance,” in “The Divo and the Danseur,” special issue on the nineteenth-century male opera and ballet performer, Cambridge Opera Journal, 19 (2007), 59-84. Also “Victor Maurel et le spectaculaire verdien,” in Le Spectaculaire dans les arts de la scène du Romantisme à la Belle Epoque, ed. Isabelle Moindrot (Paris: CNRS Editions, 2006), 239-44
  • “Introduction: Divo Worship,” in “The Divo and the Danseur,” Cambridge Opera Journal, 19 (2007), 1-9
Headshot Photo of Karen Henson

Contact

Affiliated Campus(es)

  • Queens College
  • CUNY Graduate Center

Books