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Last updated 27th March 2023


Francesca Placanica is the leader of the practice-based research project NePraMusT (Networks of Practice in New Music Theatre), which was awarded a Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship at the University of Huddersfield, commenced in September 2022 (Robert Adlington now Ben Spatz, Supervisor). She is a professional singer and an artist-researcher experienced in opera and music theatre. Previously, she was the project-leader of the artistic research project ‘En-Gendering Monodrama: Artistic Research and Experimental Production’ completed at Maynooth University in September 2017 (Chris Morris, Supervisor), one of the few practice-led research projects awarded a two-year Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellowship. She has lectured in Performance and Musicology at the Department of Music at Maynooth University since 2014, where she also directed the Performance Strand in 2014, 2017-18 and most recently, in 2019-22. Francesca is co-editor of Cathy Berberian: Pioneer of Contemporary Vocality (Ashgate, 2014) and has worked extensively on primary sources from Cathy Berberian’s private archives while completing her Master’s thesis Cathy Berberian: Performance as Composition at Southern Methodist University (2007), and further in 2012 and 2015-16. Her essay on Berberian and Cage’s collaboration on Aria appeared in Transformations of Musical Modernism, edited by E. Guldbrandsen and J. Johnson (CUP, 2015), while other publications about Berberian and her creative approach to performance have appeared in Twentieth-Century Music and in Intertextuality in Music: Dialogic Composition (Kostka, De Castro, Everett). She is currently under contract with Mimesis Editore (Milan) to complete a critical biography on Cathy Berberian. Her articles and essays, spanning nineteenth-century Italian opera and twentieth-century vocality, have appeared in Music and Letters, the Revue Belge de MusicologieThe Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia, and in Music + Practice. Outputs from her research project on monodrama have appeared on the Journal of Musicological Research, and anthologies such as New Music Theatre in Europe (1955-1975) (Routledge, 2019), Giacinto Scelsi: Music across the Borders (Brepols, 2019), in Experiencing Music and Visual Cultures (ed. Cascelli and Condon, Routledge, 2021), the Cambridge Companion to Women in Music since 1900 (ed. Hamer, 2021). She has been invited as speaker and performer at numerous International symposia and conferences and is now collaborating on special issues journal projects with colleagues across Europe and the USA. She is the creator and organizer of the Embodied Monologues interdisciplinary research series and network. Francesca holds a PhD from the University of Southampton (2013) and has gained international experience as a professional singer, having obtained relevant degrees in voice performance and musicology from Italy, the UK, and the USA. In 2016 she was awarded a five-year Visiting Research Fellowship at University of Huddersfield to pursue embodied research practices at the Research Centre for Performance and Practice, while in 2017 she was granted an Irish Arts Council music commission award to have a vocal work composed for her by Irish composer Ryan Molloy and Irish poet Martin Dyar, which premiered and toured Ireland in October 2018. For more information, visit www.francescaplacanica.com.