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Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper in the Faculty of Music Colloquium Series at the University of Cambridge

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University of Cambridge Faculty of MusicDr Christopher Wiley presented a 45-minute version of his paper ‘Reconsidering Ethel Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate as Feminist Opera’ in the Faculty of Music Colloquium Series at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Wiley’s talk, given to an audience of some 40 academics and graduate students in the Faculty’s lecture room, was a much extended version of the paper he has delivered at women’s history events at UK universities including KentPortsmouthSurreyRoyal Holloway, and Edge Hill.

Dr Wiley previously gave an unrelated paper in an Oxbridge colloquium series in 2015.

Further information about Dr Wiley’s colloquium may be found here: https://www.mus.cam.ac.uk/events/current-events/Christopher-Wiley

University of Cambridge Faculty of Music logo

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at community workshop at the University of Kent

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Dr Christopher Wiley at the University of Kent

Dr Christopher Wiley has spoken at the ‘100+ years of the women’s movement in Kent, Sussex, and Surrey’ community workshop held in the Tonbridge Centre at the University of Kent on Saturday 8 December 2018.

Dr Wiley’s paper, entitled ‘Ethel Smyth, Music, and the Suffragette Movement: Reconsidering The Boatswain’s Mate as Feminist Opera’, had previously been presented at UK universities including PortsmouthSurreyRoyal Holloway, and Edge Hill. The day ended, rather fittingly, with an impromptu rendition of Smyth’s ‘The March of the Women’.

The full programme for the workshop may be found at the following link: https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/womenshistorykent/programme-of-community-workshop-on-8th-december/

Dr Christopher Wiley serves as historical adviser and scriptwriter for community play on Ethel Smyth

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Ethel Smyth - A Furious LongingDr Christopher Wiley has acted as historical adviser as well as one of the team of scriptwriters for the community play Ethel Smyth: A Furious Longing – The Story of Woking’s Composer.

Several years in the planning, the play was performed by Woking Community Play Association from Thursday 4–Saturday 6 October 2018 at the H.G. Wells Centre, Woking.

Dr Wiley was one of five scriptwriters who collaborated on the 90-minute play, as well as advising on its historical and musical elements.

Dr Wiley’s contributions to the script drew directly on his research on Ethel Smyth, including her involvement with the suffragette movement, her operas The Wreckers and The Boatswain’s Mate, and her relationship with the writer Virginia Woolf.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at Women’s History Network annual conference at the University of Portsmouth

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Women's History Network logoDr Christopher Wiley was among the many speakers who presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Women’s History Network, held at the University of Portsmouth on Friday 31 August–Saturday 1 September 2018.

Entitled ‘The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage: National and International Perspectives’, the conference attracted a large delegation of scholars of women’s history internationally.

Dr Wiley’s paper, ‘Ethel Smyth, Music, and the Suffragette Movement: Reconsidering The Boatswain’s Mate as Feminist Opera’, was presented in one of the conference’s parallel sessions to an audience of some 25 academics.

Dr Christopher Wiley at the University of Portsmouth

Dr Wiley considered the extent to which Smyth’s The Boatswain’s Mate might be considered a feminist opera, with reference to the composer’s suffragette activity, the story on which the work was based, and her creative process, including her adaptation of pre-existing music in the score.

Dr Wiley has presented previous versions of his paper at several other UK universities including Surrey, Royal Holloway, and Edge Hill.

The conference website is here: http://www2.port.ac.uk/centre-for-european-and-international-studies-research/events/womens-suffrage-2018/

The complete programme for the event is available for download here: http://www2.port.ac.uk/media/contacts-and-departments/ceisr/events/Suffrage-Conference-2018.pdf

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 programme notes to BBC Proms programme

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Royal Albert HallDr Christopher Wiley has contributed notes to the programme for The BBC Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London (pictured) on Wednesday 1 August 2018.

Prom 24, ‘A Hero’s Life’, presented Ethel Smyth’s ‘On the Cliffs of Cornwall’ (Prelude to Act 2 of her opera The Wreckers), as well as Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor and Richard Strauss’s tone poem Ein Heldenleben.

As an internationally leading researcher on Ethel Smyth, Dr Wiley was invited to write programme notes for ‘On the Cliffs of Cornwall’ as well as a brief biographical profile for the composer.

A regular fixture at The Proms during her own lifetime, Smyth’s ‘On the Cliffs of Cornwall’ was programmed for the 2018 season mindful of the composer’s period of activity as a leading suffragette, in the centenary year of many women receiving the parliamentary vote in the UK for the first time.

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes and presents paper at international conference on women’s suffrage at the University of Surrey

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Dr Christopher Wiley and Dr Charlotte Mathieson open the conference (from Twitter)

Dr Christopher Wiley served as one of three conference co-chairs for the two-day international conference ‘Centennial Reflections on Women’s Suffrage and the Arts – Local : National : Transnational’ held at the University of Surrey on 29-30 June 2018, together with two colleagues from the University’s School of Literature and Languages, Dr Charlotte Mathieson (pictured with Dr Wiley, right) and Dr Lucy Ella Rose.

Panel discussion L-R Codee Spinner, Dr Amy Zigler, Dr Christopher Wiley (from Twitter)

The conference incorporated more than 25 papers including Dr Wiley’s own ‘Ethel Smyth, Music, and the Suffragette Movement: Reconsidering The Boatswain’s Mate as Feminist Opera’, which he had previously given at Edge Hill University earlier in the year. The panel on which he spoke, Women’s Suffrage in/and Music’, led to an animated question and answer session (pictured, left).

Roundtable discussion L-R Christopher Wiley, Kate Willoughby, Lucy Stevens, Jacqueline Mulhullan (from Twitter)

Dr Wiley also convened and participated in a roundtable discussion (pictured, right) featuring three professional actresses who have recently developed shows on themes of women’s suffrage, Jacqueline Mulhallen (Sylvia, based on Sylvia Pankhurst), Lucy Stevens (Grasp The Nettle, on Ethel Smyth), and Kate Willoughby (#Emilymatters, a social media campaign inspired by Emily Wilding Davison), all of whom performed extracts from their plays as part of the conference.

Dr Christopher Wiley introduces Keynote speaker Elizabeth Crawford, OBE (from Twitter)

Finally, Dr Wiley chaired a session on ‘Ethel Smyth, Suffrage, and Transnationality’, drawing on his reputation as an acknowledged expert on the composer, and was privileged to introduce Keynote speaker Elizabeth Crawford (pictured, left), who had been awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier in the month for services to education in relation to women’s history.

The event attracted more than 40 delegates (pictured, below), with speakers ranging from University of Surrey academics and postgraduate researchers to museum-based archivists to international scholars from the UK, Continental Europe, and North America representing the disciplines of literature, music, film, and the visual arts.

The conference organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of the School of Literature and Languages at the University of Surrey; The British Association for Victorian Studies; and The Feminist and Women’s Studies Association UK & Ireland.

Further information may be found at the conference website: https://suffragecentennial.wordpress.com/

The full programme, including abstracts, is available here: https://suffragecentennial.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/suffrage-conference-programme-2018.pdf

Conference delegates waiting for the roundtable discussion to begin

Update: A news piece on the conference has appeared on the the University of Surrey’s website: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/news/surreys-centennial-reflection-womens-suffrage-and-arts

Several postgraduate research students have contributed reviews to the conference website: https://suffragecentennial.wordpress.com/reviews/

See also the reviews on the School of Literature and Language’s website: http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/english/2018/08/02/looking-back-at-centennial-reflections-on-womens-suffrage-and-the-arts-local-national-transnational/

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