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Dr Christopher Wiley delivers presentation at Ethel Smyth’s childhood home

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr Christopher Wiley has given a talk on Ethel Smyth at her childhood home, Frimhurst Family House, Frimley Green, on Saturday 15 September 2018.

The event was organised for Heritage Open Days by Surrey Heath Museum and the charity ATD Fourth World, which now operates at Frimhurst Family House.

It marked the unveiling of blue plaques commemorating both Smyth and the philanthropist Grace Goodman, who transformed the house into its present function as recuperative facility for families in extreme poverty.

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley previously gave a talk at Frimhurst Family House on the composer and suffragette back in 2016.

Further information on the event is available here: https://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/residents/surrey-heath-museum/museum-events/heritage-open-days-surrey-heath

Dr Christopher Wiley at the unveiling of the blue plaque to Ethel Smyth in Woking

Update: The following weekend, on Saturday 22 September, Dr Wiley attended a private ceremony (pictured, above) at which a blue plaque was unveiled at Smyth’s former house in Woking.

Dr Wiley’s interview about the event for That’s Surrey TV may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiBN2ZXVPz0

Media coverage may also be found at the following link: http://surreyresidents.co.uk/2018/09/24/blue-plaque-marks-the-duchess-of-wokings-former-home/

As well as on Woking Borough Council’s website: https://www.woking.gov.uk/news/blue-plaque-marks-duchess-woking%E2%80%99s-former-home

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes 50th review for Musical Theatre Review

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Musical Theatre ReviewDr Christopher Wiley has written 50 reviews since February 2014 for the digital magazine Musical Theatre Review, which covers a wide variety of live events internationally, ranging from pop gigs to opera in addition to musical theatre, and is Vuelio’s no.2 theatre blog.

Among the many highlights of Dr Wiley’s activity include reviews of Elaine Paige’s ‘Stripped Back’ tour, of Mandela Trilogy by Cape Town Opera at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and of the international première of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.

Other highlights include the 2014 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel; Sinatra: The Main Event at Cadogan Hall, London, starring Richard Shelton; and solo shows by leading West End stars Daniel Koek and Nadim Naaman.

Coincidentally, Dr Wiley’s first and 50th reviews were of two shows written and performed by the same artist, comic songwriter Alexander S. Bermange. The artist most frequently reviewed by Dr Wiley is Pippa Winslow, who features in seven different reviews.

Dr Wiley has also reviewed student productions by many of the major performing arts institutions and organisations, particularly Guildford School of Acting and Youth Music Theatre UK; as well as many new works of musical theatre, and one-off productions in popular London venues such as The Pheasantry.

A complete listing of Dr Wiley’s reviews for Musical Theatre Review is available at the following link: http://musicaltheatrereview.com/?s=Christopher+Wiley

Dr Christopher Wiley contributes to media discourse on the UK centenary of women’s enfranchisement

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Dr Christopher Wiley - photo from Get SurreyDr Christopher Wiley has given expert comment to the media on the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which granted the vote to over 8 million women in the UK for the first time.

Coverage of Dr Wiley focussed on his research on Ethel Smyth, who, in addition to being an internationally successful composer, was active for two years as a leading suffragette in the early 1910s, developing a close friendship with Emmeline Pankhurst.

Together with a University of Surrey colleague, Dr Lucy Ella Rose, a leading expert on the suffragist Mary Watts and author of Suffrage Artists in Partnership: Gender, Word, and Image, Dr Wiley gave a live interview on BBC Radio Surrey for the ‘Breakfast on BBC Surrey’ show hosted by James Cannon and Lesley McCabe on Tuesday 6 February 2018.

Dr Wiley was also featured alongside Dr Rose in an article in Get Surrey, ‘Suffragette Vote 100 anniversary: University celebrates two Surrey women who were highly influential during the suffrage movement’, by Shona Duthie and Hannah Dodd.

The online Get Surrey article includes a video in which both academics give interviews on their respective research subjects, with Dr Wiley performing Smyth’s famous suffragette anthem, ‘The March of the Women’, on piano.

The full Get Surrey article, including video, may be viewed here: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/suffragette-vote-100-anniversary-university-14249832

The BBC Radio Surrey live interview may be heard here: https://mms.tveyes.com/Transcript.asp?StationID=7180&DateTime=2%2F6%2F2018+8%3A52%3A52+AM&Term=University+of+Surrey&PlayClip=TRUE

The live interview is also available on BBC iPlayer (listen from 2:52:11): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vm2m4

Ethel Smyth - Darling magazine Spring 2018 pp.12-13

Update: A text on Ethel Smyth contributed by invitation by Dr Wiley has been printed in the North Surrey edition of darling magazine for Spring 2018 (see image above). It may be viewed online here (see pp. 12–13): https://issuu.com/darlingmagazine/docs/darling-north_surrey-spring_2018

An article on Smyth written by Dr Wiley, ‘Dame Ethel Smyth: Remembering a Pathbreaking Artist, Suffragette, and Lesbian’, has appeared on the LGBT History Month website here: https://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/lgbt-history-month-resources/desarticle2018/

Dr Christopher Wiley writes on ‘Les Misérables at 30’ for The Conversation

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Les MisérablesDr Christopher Wiley has contributed an article to The Conversation on the enduring popularity of Les Misérables, the world’s most successful musical, ahead of the 30th anniversary of its London production on 8 October 2015.

Dr Wiley’s article, ‘Les Misérables at 30: breaking hearts and records’, discussed aspects of the show’s plot and musical score, the role played by writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and by producer Cameron Mackintosh, as well as more recent developments such as Tom Hooper’s 2012 film adaptation.

The full article may be read here: https://theconversation.com/les-miserables-at-30-breaking-hearts-and-records-48535

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has written for The Conversation, the first being a scholarly response to Stephen Fry, which has received 4,000 hits to date.

Founded in Australia in 2011 and launched in the UK in 2013, The Conversation is an independent global news website featuring stories and opinions sourced from the scholarly community. The University of Surrey is one of its founding UK partners.

Update: Dr Wiley’s Les Misérables article received over 1,300 hits by the end of 8 October (UK time), with readers fairly evenly distributed between the UK, US, Australia, and Continental Europe.

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes 20th review for Musical Theatre Review

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Musical Theatre ReviewDr Christopher Wiley has contributed 20 reviews over the past year to the digital magazine Musical Theatre Review, which covers a wide variety of live musical theatre events internationally.

Highlights of Dr Wiley’s activity include reviews of the acclaimed revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Arcola Theatre, London; of Sinatra: The Main Event at Cadogan Hall, London, starring Richard Shelton; and of the international première of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.

Dr Wiley has also enjoyed reviewing student productions by Guildford School of Acting, Performance Preparation Academy, and Youth Music Theatre UK; as well as new musical theatre works presented in Guildford and the neighbouring areas, and several live gigs at The Pheasantry, London. His reviews have attracted much attention on social media.

A complete listing of Dr Wiley’s reviews for Musical Theatre Review is available at the following link: http://www.scoop.it/t/christopher-wiley-bibliography-of-reviews

Dr Christopher Wiley gives expert comment to The Telegraph and The Independent on Sunday

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Let It Go - FrozenDr Christopher Wiley has contributed expert comment to an article appearing in The Telegraph on 16 December 2014, on the continuing success of ‘Let It Go’ from Disney’s Frozen.

‘5 reasons why Frozen’s Let It Go is so addictive’ by Alice Vincent may be read at the following link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/11296986/Frozen-let-it-go-why-so-popular.html

Dr Wiley is quoted a total of six times in the course of the article, as a specialist in musical theatre and music and the moving image.

This press appearance comes three weeks after comments from Dr Wiley opened an article in The Independent on Sunday, ‘All you need is a music qualification’ by Widget Finn (23 November 2014), on studying Masters degrees in music.

Update: Dr Wiley has also given interviews on the Frozen news story for Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Radio (30 December, four bulletins) and West Hertfordshire’s Radio Verulam (28 December, live). An article featuring Dr Wiley was published on Eagle Radio’s website on 30 December (now cached).

Update: Dr Wiley was also quoted in this iTech Post article from 26 December 2016: http://www.itechpost.com/articles/68632/20161226/frozens-go-experts-explain-songs-popularity-through-science.htm

Update: Separately from the above, Dr Wiley was quoted on Frozen in this South Wales Life article from 17 January 2020: https://southwaleslife.com/frozen-the-musical/

Dr Christopher Wiley participates in People’s Questions for Universities Week 2014

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Universities Week 2014Dr Christopher Wiley was among the researchers and academics who took questions from members of the public via Twitter as part of Universities Week 2014.

Using the hashtag #PeoplesQs, Dr Wiley took questions about his research on the music of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and on Dame Ethel Smyth, as well as on challenges faced by music education today.

A round-up of the week’s activity from University of Surrey academic staff may be viewed here: https://storify.com/UniOfSurrey/universities-week-2014 (click on the ‘Read next page’ button for some details of Dr Wiley’s contribution)

The complete list of panellists is available here: http://www.universitiesweek.org.uk/stories/Pages/PeoplesQs.asp

Twitter - People's Questions

 

Dr Christopher Wiley writes for The Conversation UK

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Anti-gay prejudice protestDr Christopher Wiley has contributed an article to The Conversation UK, reflecting on aspects of Stephen Fry’s open letter on Russia’s controversial new anti-gay laws (which called for a ban on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi) from his own perspective as musicologist, scholar, and teacher.

One claim that Fry made in his letter about the potential consequences of exploring Tchaikovsky’s sexuality and its relationship to his life and work under Russia’s controversial new legislation prompted Dr Wiley to reconsider elements of his own research on musical biography, not just on Tchaikovsky but also on Britten and Ethel Smyth.

Published on 12 August 2013 shortly after Fry’s letter went viral, Dr Wiley’s article, ‘Academics should stand with Fry against anti-gay Russia’, broke new ground for The Conversation UK for its content. It soon received thousands of views, helped in part by a mention by Fry himself on Twitter three days after it originally appeared.

Stephen Fry - Twitter feed

The Conversation UK is an independent news and commentary website offering in-depth analysis, research, news, and ideas from academics and researchers, and has received over 300,000 visitors since its launch three months ago. Modelled on its successful Australian counterpart, its founding partners comprise 13 UK universities including City University London and the University of Surrey.

Dr Christopher Wiley returns to Radio Verulam in 2013

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Dr Christopher Wiley returned to Radio Verulam on 6 and 13 January 2013 as a guest on the Arts Programme, speaking in his capacity as a professional musicologist based in the St Albans area.

Presenter Alexander S. Bermange interviewed Chris live on a variety of recent developments in the world of music and musical theatre, including the UK release on 11 January of the film version of Les Misérables, whose all-star cast is led by Hugh Jackman.

Chris has become a semi-regular guest on the show in recent months, having made five appearances since April last year (see here).

Chris (left) and Alexander (right) are pictured below at the Radio Verulam studio.

Christopher Wiley and Alexander S. Bermange

Chris spoke on Radio Verulam again a few months later, on 5 May, giving a live telephone interview on Ghost: The Musical, which had recently returned to London.

Dr Christopher Wiley and recent student Dionysios Kyropoulos featured in Independent article on music degrees and associated career opportunities

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An article published today (22 November) in the Creative Arts supplement of The Independent newspaper features quotations from Dr Christopher Wiley as well as a profile of his recently-graduated BMus student Dionysios Kyropoulos.

In ‘Notes on working in music’, by journalist David Crookes, Chris tops a list of UK academics quoted in the article, who between them explain that a music degree can open up a wealth of career opportunities for the aspiring student. Chris notes that ‘There certainly is more to being a successful musician than simply playing an instrument’, before outlining some of the many career-enhancing benefits of studying music at university.

Dionysios, whose dissertation on historically-informed gestures in Baroque vocal performance was prepared under Chris’s supervision, explains how his passion for classical singing and opera led him to the UK (from Greece) and to City University London, in order to benefit from solid academic foundations for his studies in tandem with high-quality singing training.

Click here to read the full article in scanned form, or here to read the article at The Independent website.

Dr Christopher Wiley is quoted in BBC News Magazine article

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Dr Christopher Wiley has contributed expert comment to an article that appeared earlier today (28 June 2012) in the BBC News Magazine.

Speaking about ‘Survival’ by British band Muse, which was recently unveiled as the official song of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Dr Wiley is quoted as saying that ‘It’s epic. It’s inspirational. I’m sure that’s why it was chosen’.

The article, written by journalist Jon Kelly, also quotes Dr Wiley as saying that ‘There are sections that sound like a marathon and others that sound like the 100m’, alluding to the song’s varied and multi-sectional nature.

The full article may be accessed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18624954.

Dr Christopher Wiley on BBC News website

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured guest on local radio show

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Dr Christopher Wiley was featured as a guest on Radio Verulam throughout its specially extended two-hour Arts Programme on Easter Day (8 April) 2012, in which he was introduced to listeners as a professional musicologist based in the St Albans area.

Presenter Alexander S. Bermange chatted with Chris throughout the two-hour show, interviewing him live on topics including James Horner’s and Céline Dion’s musical contributions to James Cameron’s film Titanic (recently re-released in 3D) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s television talent discovery shows.

Chris (left) and Alexander (right) are pictured below at the Radio Verulam studio.

Christopher Wiley and Alexander S. Bermange

Chris returned to the show just a few weeks later on 13 May, giving a series of live interviews about the Eurovision Song Contest and this year’s entries from Ireland, Israel, and the UK.

Update: Chris returned to the show again on 22 and 29 July 2012 (see here and here) to discuss Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest television show, Superstar, which was being broadcast at the time on ITV, and on 30 September 2012 to talk about the production for which this show cast the lead role, Jesus Christ Superstar, which had been presented that week at London’s O2 Arena.