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RCM Researcher awarded Cambridge University Press book prize

Friday 5 November 2021

The Royal College of Music is delighted to announce that RCM researcher Professor Richard Langham Smith has been awarded the prestigious Royal Musical Association and Cambridge University Press Outstanding Edited Collection Book Prize for 2021 for Carmen Abroad: Bizet’s Opera on the Global Stage, a collection of essays compiled with Clair Rowden (Cardiff University).

This new collection of essays was born out of a larger, long-term project entitled ‘Carmen Abroad’ which investigates how the Carmen story became a worldwide phenomenon through Bizet's opera, arguably one of the most popular in the world. The prize-winning volume is underpinned by original archival research and spans a range of scholarly traditions. The resulting collection of essays tracks the global circulation of Carmen.

About Research at the RCM

The RCM has a thriving community of researchers working on a diverse range of projects in musicology, performance science, music education, composition and performance. Our students are mentored and supported by staff at the cutting edge of research and innovation in their own disciplines, recognised internationally for their work. With access to fantastic resources, staff and students are able to work on research projects that embrace themes that include creative practice, experiential learning, history, music psychology and health and wellbeing.

About the ‘Carmen Abroad’ project

Carmen Abroad explores the way in which Bizet’s Carmen has travelled across the globe, and been reshaped by different performance traditions, narratives and modes of storytelling. Through the project, the ways in which the opera was adapted, appropriated and reconfigured to suit local audiences is explored. This includes examining how exploration of the opera’s major themes of racial difference, sexual mores and gender were received around the world.

In addition to producing academic publications, The Carmen Abroad project has evolved into a regularly updated website which maps and documents performances of Bizet’s opera between 1875 and 1945.

More information about all the RCM’s current research projects can be found here.