Gundula Kreuzer


History and theory of opera, with a special focus on staging, technology, and mediality; contemporary “indie” opera; screen media; media archaeology; reception studies; music historiography; music and politics; music in the Third Reich; German and European cultural history since 1800; Verdi; Wagner; Hindemith.


Gundula Kreuzer studied musicology, philosophy, and modern history at the Universities of Münster (Westphalia) and Oxford, where she earned her Master of Studies and D.Phil. in musicology. She held a Junior Research (postdoctoral) Fellowship at Merton College, Oxford, before joining the Yale Department of Music in 2005.

In both her writing and her teaching, Kreuzer approaches music from a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives, such as social, cultural, and political history as well as theories of technology and multimedia. Her award-winning first book, Verdi and the Germans: From Unification to the Third Reich (Cambridge University Press, 2010), examines the changing impact of the popular Italian composer on German musical self-perception and national identity. Her second monograph, Curtain, Gong, Steam: Wagnerian Technologies of Nineteenth-Century Opera (University of California Press, 2018) addresses how composers since the late eighteenth century increasingly tried to control certain aspects of staging by embracing specific stage technologies. Focusing on the cultural resonances and hermeneutic potentials of the titular technologies of the curtain, the tam-tam, and steam before, in, and beyond Wagner, the book develops a deeply contextualized practical perspective on the nature and ephemerality of staged opera as well as its legacies in contemporary culture.

Together with Clemens Risi, Kreuzer guest-edited a double issue of The Opera Quarterly (“Opera in Transition”; vol. 23/2-3, 2011), and her critical edition of Verdi’s instrumental chamber music for The Works of Giuseppe Verdi: Series V appeared with The University of Chicago Press and Ricordi in 2010. She was Reviews Editor of The Opera Quarterly, served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and continues to serve on the editorial boards of Cambridge Opera Journal, VerdiPerspektiven, and WagnerSpektrum. She also gained experience as a freelance radio presenter in Germany and has been contributing to broadcasts on WNYC and BBC Radio3.

In May 2019, Kreuzer launched the first annual YOST: Y | Opera | Studies Today conference at Yale on the topic of “Indie Opera” to foster a dialogue between practitioners and scholars of opera across and beyond campus and the East Coast. Beginning in September 2019, this initiative will be complemented by a monthly Opera Studies Working Group at the Whitney Humanities Center.

Kreuzer’s first monograph won the 2011 Lewis Lockwood Award of the American Musicological Society, the 2012 Gaddis Smith International Book Prize of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, and the inaugural Martin Chusid Award for Verdi Studies (2013). Among other grants and awards, Kreuzer has received the Paul A. Pisk Prize (2000) and the Alfred Einstein Award (2006) from the American Musicological Society, as well as the Jerome Roche Prize (2006) and the Dent Medal (2019) from the Royal Musical Association. At Yale, she was awarded the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication in 2010, was a Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center in 2010-11, and has been a Senior Research Fellow in International and Area Studies at the Macmillan Center since 2012. In 2015-16, she was a Research Fellow at the Italian Academy at Columbia University.

Selected Publications

“Operatic Configurations in the Digital Age,” forthcoming in The Opera Quarterly.

“Flat Bayreuth: A Genealogy of Opera as Screened,” in Screen Genealogies, eds. Craig Buckley, Francesco Casetti, and Rüdiger Campe (Amsterdam University Press, 2019), 237-68.

“How Nazi is it? German Nationalism and Music,” Times Literary Supplement (October 12, 2018), 10-12.

“Kittler’s Wagner and Beyond,” Contribution to the Colloquy “Discrete/Continuous: Music and Media Theory after Kittler,” ed. Alexander Rehding, in Journal of the American Musicological Society 70/1 (2017), 228-33.

“Compromising Wagnerism? Egk, ‘Dein Hähnchen bin ich’ (Peer Gynt), Peer Gynt (1938), Act II,” Cambridge Opera Journal 28 (2016), 255-61.

“Venus als Wagner,” in Tannhäuser - Werkstatt der Gefühle, eds. Clemens Risi et al. (Freiburg: Rombach, 2014), 159-76. 

“Heilige Trias, Stildualismus, Beethoven: Limits of Nineteenth-Century Germanic Music Historiography,” in The Age of Rossini and Beethoven, eds. Nicholas Mathew and Benjamin Walton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 66-95.

“Wagnerdampf: Steam in Der Ring des Nibelungen and Operatic Production,” The Opera Quarterly 27/2-3 (Spring-Summer 2011), 179-218.

“Dahlhaus, Rossini und die Oper des 19. Jahrhundert,” in Carl Dahlhaus und die Musikwissenschaft: Werk, Wirkung, Aktualität, eds. Hermann Danuser and Tobias Plebuch (Schliengen: Edition Argus, 2011), 132-41.

Verdi and the Germans: From Unification to the Third Reich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010; series New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism).

“Authentizität, Visualisierung, Bewahrung: Das reisende ‘Wagner-Theater’ und die Konservierbarkeit von Inszenierungen,” in Angst vor der Zerstörung. Der Meister Künste zwischen Archiv und Erneuerung, eds. Robert Sollich, Clemens Risi, Sebastian Reus and Stephan Jöris (Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2008), 139-60 (Recherchen 52).

“Voices from Beyond: Don Carlos and Modern Regie,” Cambridge Opera Journal 18 (2006), 151-79.

“Deception on Stage: Don Carlos di Vargas and Franz Werfel’s Politics of Operatic Translation,” Music, Theatre and Politics in Germany, 1850-1950, ed. Nikolaus Bacht (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 137-57.

“Oper im Kirchengewande? Verdi’s Requiem and the Anxieties of the Young German Empire,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 58/2 (Summer 2005), 399-449.

“Zurück zu Verdi: the ‘Verdi Renaissance’ and Musical Culture in the Weimar Republic,” Studi verdiani 13 (1998), 117-154.