Staff Profiles

Professor Alexandra Wilson

BA (Hons), MA, PhD

Professor of Music and Cultural History

School of Arts

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

Alexandra Wilson

Phone number: +44 1865 484985



Professor Alexandra Wilson is a musicologist and cultural historian, with research interests focusing primarily upon Italian opera and operatic culture from the nineteenth century to the present. Her monograph The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity (Cambridge University Press) was awarded the American Musicological Society's Lewis Lockwood Award for a work of outstanding musical scholarship. 

Professor Wilson's latest book is Opera in the Jazz Age: Cultural Politics in 1920s Britain (Oxford University Press), which was funded by a Mid-Career Fellowship from the British Academy. A book about La bohème is forthcoming in the OUP Oxford Keynotes series.

Professor Wilson is on leave from 2018-2021 as the current recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. Her project investigates the historical roots of the opera and elitism stereotype. 

Committed to sharing the findings of her research with a wider public, Professor Wilson has a high profile as a public musicologist. She has presented numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 (including Opera on 3, Building a Library and Proms concerts), and was recently called ‘a real ambassador for opera’ on Radio 4’s PM programme. She regularly writes programme essays, gives talks, and/or contributes to podcasts for opera companies including the Royal Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, ENO, Wexford Festival Opera and English Touring Opera. She has written about opera for The Times and The Guardian online and for Opera magazine and BBC Music Magazine. Her book Opera: A Beginner's Guide seeks to demystify opera and demonstrate its relevance to contemporary life.

Alexandra Wilson is Co-Director (with Dr Barbara Eichner) of the OBERTO opera research unit. When not on leave, she runs the MA in Music and is Research Coordinator for Music at Oxford Brookes.