Dr Anne Desler is a scholar and performer specialising in 18th century Italian serious opera. Her research focuses on aspects such as star singers’ artistic profiles and their influence on developments in both dramatic and musical style and performance practice. Current research projects include monographs on Carlo Broschi Farinelli and 18th century operatic acting. Anne’s publications include articles and book chapters on 18th century Italian opera as well as an article on canonisation in popular music in Popular Music.

As a singer, Anne has appeared in baroque opera productions and concerts in the US and Europe with Europa Galante, Musica Angelica and Modo Antiquo, among others, in venues such as the Opéra de Paris, Sala Verdi (Milano), Teatro Massimo (Palermo), Philharmonie Köln (Cologne) and the Getty Centre (Los Angeles). Her rendition of the title role in the first complete recording of Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso earned international critical acclaim. In addition, Anne has performed repertory ranging from medieval to contemporary music and plays a variety of early instruments as well as electric guitar.

Anne studied at the University of California, Irvine (BMus in Vocal Performance), University of Helsinki (MA in Musicology), the University of Southern California (DMA in Historical Performance Practice) and the University of Glasgow (PhD in Musicology). After teaching part-time at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, Birkbeck College and the University of Glasgow, she took up a Lectureship in Music and Theatre at the University of Hull in 2012 and moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2014. 

Anne is Director of Performance for the Reid School of Music.

Research Interests

  • Italian dramma per musica (opera seria), c. 1680-1760, especially:

      o   singers’ artistic profiles

      o   singing and acting styles and techniques

      o   libretto studies

      o   aesthetics, rhetoric

  • meta-musicology, especially historiography and canonisation

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Aesthetics, Archival study, Classicism, Cultural history, Historical musicology, Historiography, Improvisation, Music industries, Opera/Theatre, Pedagogy, Performance, Philosophy, Popular music, Reception, Renaissance/Baroque, Sacred music, Social history