Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Sex and Sensationalism in Early Romantic Opera (1800-1830)

A one-day symposium contextualising the British premiere production of Spohr’s Pietro von Abano (1827)

In association with Dare, a collaborative partnership between the University of Leeds and Opera North, and partly funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

In this section:

About: About the Conference

The University of Leeds School of Music presents a symposium on Early Romantic Opera (1800-1830) on Saturday 7 March 2009. The symposium is in association with Dare – a collaborative partnership between the University of Leeds and Opera North and is part-funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the British premiere production of Spohr’s opera Pietro von Abano (1827) which is being staged by the School of Music and the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at Leeds on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 March at 7.30pm. The symposium fee includes a ticket for the opera performance on the Saturday evening.

Delegates should download and complete a Booking Form from the “Bookings a Fees” panel on the right. Contact Ian Sapiro for other queries regarding the symposium. For tickets to see the opera please contact our Concerts’ Administrator Jillian Johnson.

Conference Programme

Conference registration (School of Music Conference Room). Coffee will be available from 9.30am.

Official welcome and conference opening.


PAPER SESSION 1 (School of Music Lecture Theatre 1):

Dr John Warrack : The German Libretto in the Early 19th Century
Dr Clive McClelland: ‘Schreckensoper’ and ‘Zauberoper’: The Context of Spohr’s Supernatural Music
Prof. Julian Rushton: The Gothick and French Opera


Lunch. Included in conference fee and provided in the School of Music Conference Room.


We are delighted to welcome acclaimed scholar Dr Wolfram Boder from Germany as our keynote speaker. An expert on Spohr, Dr Boder is the author of Die Kasseler Opern Louis Spohrs, a key text on the operas of the composer, and will be speaking on ‘Means of Dramatic Characterization in the Operas of Louis Spohr’.


PAPER SESSION 2 (School of Music Lecture Theatre 1):

Dr Arne Spohr: “Staging the Fantastic”: Ludwig Tieck’s Novella Pietro von Abano and its Transformation into an Opera Libretto
Martin Pickard (Head of Music, Opera North): (Not) Performing Early Romantic Opera: The View from an Opera Company
Prof. Clive Brown: Performing Early Romantic German Opera: The Academic View

Tea (School of Music Conference Room)

Conference Close.

Delegates can purchase dinner at the University refectory until 6.30pm, or in one of the many local restaurants around the University area or in nearby Hyde Park and Headingly


Pietro von Abano by Louis Spohr (1827) (University of Leeds, Students’ Union, Riley Smith Hall)

The School of Music and the School of Performance and Cultural Industries in collaboration with Opera North and Dare present the British premiere production of this opera by Spohr.

10.00pm Anticipated performance end time (approximate).

Booking & Fees

The symposim fee is £30, with student concessions set at £15.

The fee includes entry to all sessions, lunch on the day, and a ticket for the Saturday evening performance of Pietro von Abano. Other meals and accommodation are not provided as part of the symposium fee, though dinner may be purchased in one of the many local eateries near the University campus, or in the University refectory. For details of accommodation in Leeds please contact Ian Sapiro.

Getting here: How to get here

Please click here for a map of the campus


Leeds is well served with good rail links up and down the east coast main line and via the Transpennine Express. The Leeds Citybus Service from the station (formerly the ‘Free Bus’, now charging a flat rate of 50p) stops at the southern edge of the University (stop 9 is best). From stop 9 head round the multi-storey car park on the left and along Calverley Street to the campus South Entrance at Willow Terrace Road.


From the west: Take the M62 motorway to junction 27 and exit onto the M621 motorway. Continue with the instructions below.

From the north, east or south: Take the M1 motorway to junction 43 and continue onto the M621 motorway. Exit the M621 at junction 2 and take the 1st exit from the roundabout. Get into the middle lane when it appears and follow it three-quarters of the way round the next roundabout, exiting towards the A58(M) Inner Ring Road. Exit the A58(M) up the sliproad just after the underpasses (signed towards the Universities and Otley), and go up to the traffic lights. Turn left at the lights and right at the next set  to head uphill along Woodhouse Lane. Turn left into the University main entrance just after the churches and before you reach the large white Parkinson building. Parking on campus must be booked in advance along with conference registration and costs £5 per day. For more parking options please see parkopedia.


Leeds/Bradford Airport is around seven miles from the University to the north of Leeds. A taxi booking office is located in the airport car park, and a taxi to the University main entrance should cost £15-£25 and take up to 45 minutes depending on traffic.

The School of Music Building

From the University main entrance head through the security barrier and follow the road down the hill into the campus. Where the road bends left continue straight down the hill to the bottom. The School of Music is on the right here, attached to the gold-domed Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall.

From the South Entrance continue along Willow Terrace Road, and turn right along the second side road, opposite The Edge sports centre. Walk under the E.C. Stoner building and turn left up the hill. The School of Music building is ahead of you on the right, attached to the gold-domed Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall. Walk along the front of the concert hall and the entrance to the School is at the far end of the building.

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