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Prof Arnold Jacobshagen


Arnold Jacobshagen is Full Professor of Musicology (since 2006) at the University of Music and Dance Cologne, and currently Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Christ's College Cambridge. He studied musicology, modern history and philosophy in Berlin, Vienna and Paris. After his Ph.D. at the Freie Universität Berlin (1996), he was Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at Bayreuth University (1997–2006), where he completed his habilitation on 19th century Italian opera semiseria in 2003.

He is a member of the Academia Europaea, board member of the Joseph Haydn Institute and the Meyerbeer Institute, and member of the Advisory Board of the encyclopaedia “Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart” and the “Rivista Italiana di musicologia”. On behalf of the German Musicological Society, he was editor of the journal "Die Musikforschung" (2012–2017).




Research Interests

My main field of research is the history of opera in the 18th and 19th centuries in France, Italy and Germany. In dealing with these topics, I prefer to take a transnational perspective. In my doctoral dissertation I examined the role of the chorus in the French opera of the late Ancien regime, at a time when Italian influence was particularly strong in France. Conversely, my habilitation thesis is devoted to Opera semiseria, an intermediate genre of Italian opera whose development is analyzed in the broader context of Franco-Italian cultural transfer. In addition to opera, my research interests include 19th century music in France, social and institutional history of music, and research on historical performance and interpretation practice.

Key Publications

Gioachino Rossini und seine Zeit, Laaber (Laaber-Verlag) 2015, second edition 2018

Händel im Pantheon. Der Komponist und seine Inszenierung, Sinzig (Edition pp) 2009

Opera semiseria. Gattungskonvergenz und Kulturtransfer im Musiktheater (Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, Beiheft 57), Stuttgart (Franz Steiner Verlag) 2005

Strukturwandel der Orchesterlandschaft. Die Kulturorchester im wiedervereinigten Deutschland, Köln (Dohr) 2000

Der Chor in der französischen Oper des späten Ancien Régime (Perspektiven der Opern­forschung, 5), Frankfurt / Bern / New York (Lang) 1997


A full list of publication is to be found on this website: