Events Calendar

Music Graduate Colloquium: Colleen Renihan

Friday, February 5, 2021
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
via Zoom
Graduate Colloquium Series

Presented by Graduate Studies in Music, the Don Wright Faculty of Music Graduate Colloquium series includes lectures by distinguished guests, Western faculty members, and senior graduate students on all fields of research and creative activity in music.

Colleen Renihan (Queen’s University)
“Operatic Misfittings, or, Misfitting Opera”

Admission is free, and all are welcome to join.

Register to receive Zoom access to this event at


In this talk, I engage with recent work in disability studies and musicology to investigate initiatives that mobilize operatic performances and processes in order to engage with and benefit individuals experiencing homelessness. Borrowing Rosemary Garland's term 'misfitting' (2011), I ask: in what ways does opera contribute to misfitting? Why is opera so prone to misfittings, and why does it misfit so boldly? What might be revealed by examining the misfitting process, and by unearthing opera's incongruent relationships and fits? I interrogate two contemporary operatic initiatives that engage with homeless populations in London, England, and Montreal, Canada. Through observations and interviews with both participants and administrators, I consider the kind of utopian gesture that is animated in these initiatives, and the challenges they offer to traditional modes of operatic spectatorship and scholarship.
Audrey Yardley-Jones - Graduate Program Assistant
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