Dr Charlotte Bentley

Photo of Dr Charlotte Bentley

BA, MA (Nottingham), PhD (Cantab)

Originally from Leicester, I came up to Cambridge as an undergraduate, gaining my BA in music in 2013. I spent the following year studying for an MA at the University of Nottingham, before returning to Cambridge to begin my PhD, which I completed in October 2017. Since I matriculated at Emmanuel in October 2010, the college has played a huge part in my life, and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to experience it from yet another angle, as a Research Fellow.

My research focuses on operatic mobility in the nineteenth century, using the translation of opera into non-European environments as a way of examining questions of international cultural transfer in the period more broadly. So far, I have worked on New Orleans, which was home to the first (and, for some thirty-five years, the only) permanent opera company in North America, and recruited its performers each year from Europe. I have explored the city’s place within growing global operatic systems, arguing for the centrality of human agency to the long-term development of transatlantic networks of production, as well as the role of material culture in promoting an increasingly international operatic discourse. At the same time, I have sought to understand the more distinctively local aspects of the city’s operatic life, in terms of the theatre-going experience and the adaptation/reception of particular works. During my research fellowship, I look forward to beginning a larger project about touring opera in the Caribbean and southern United States, exploring the ways in which operatic translocation might challenge dominant narratives of nineteenth-century globalisation. My other research interests include Jules Massenet, operatic realism, and the influence of media technologies on the production and reception of opera in the late nineteenth century.

In my free time, I enjoy playing the violin and singing (during my undergraduate years I was a member of the Emmanuel Chapel Choir). An avid fan of cookery programmes, I enjoy being let loose in the kitchen, although I am not renowned for my speed or my tidiness!