Past Event

Columbia Operatic Feminisms Symposium, March 25th, 2023

March 25, 2023
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
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The graduate students of the Department of Music at Columbia University cordially invite you to our day-long symposium, Operatic Feminisms: Women and Femmes on and off the Opera Stage, to be held in person on Saturday, March 25th, 2023.

The symposium will feature discussions by Anne Midgette (opera critic, formerly Washington Post and New York Times), Dr. Candace Magner (Creator and Editor: Cor Donato Editions), Eric Balboni (Anna Maria College, Fairfield University), Eugenia Forteza (Founder, 360° of Opera), Megan Gillis (Co-Founder, Executive Director: City Lyric Opera), and Dr. Niloufar Nourbakhsh (Composer, Co-Director: Iranian Female Composers Association).

The event will culminate in the world premiere of three new works commissioned for the occasion: The Boughs, a one-act opera for women’s voices written especially for Barnard-Columbia’s New Opera Workshop by Tanner Porter, and two recently commissioned pieces from Columbia-Juilliard undergraduate composers Nicole Balsirow and Sofia Ouyang.

Event Website

View more information about our speakers and the program, register for the conference, and sign up for our mailing list. 


 9:00 a.m.—6:30 p.m.*

*Lunch served to registrants

The James Room

Barnard College


Midday Concert: Femmes in Early Musical Drama

Columbia Collegium Musicum

1:00 pm

St. Paul’s Chapel, 

Columbia University

Evening Premieres: New Operatic Works

Barnard-Columbia New Opera Workshop

8:00 pm

The James Room, 

Barnard College

About the Project

Coming out of Columbia and Barnard’s histories as incubators for new opera, Operatic Feminisms: On and Off the Opera Stage considers the multifaceted involvement of women, trans*, and other femme identities in the creation, performance, and analysis of opera. This event invites participants to consider the future of opera as a site of feminist academic study and as a performing art, with questions of how to make the opera world a more equitable place for performers, composers, and audiences. This day-long symposium will comprise a series of scholarly talks, roundtables, and performances. It will be held in person on Columbia’s and Barnard's campuses.

We envision Operatic Feminisms as a space for rediscovering buried histories and looking forward to new horizons in opera. We aim to re-establish Columbia as a site for new opera and as a hub for performers, composers, scholars, and critics to come together, explore the possibilities of public music scholarship in collaboration with performance, and establish fruitful connections with each other and with the New York City community.

This project is supported by grants from the GSAS Arts and Sciences Graduate Council. 

We very much hope to see you there!

Gabrielle Ferrari and Lauren Shepard, 

Co-Chairs, Operatic Feminism