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Maria Purciello is an assistant professor of music history and
literature. She holds a Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in
Musicology from Princeton University, where she specialized in early
modern Italian opera.
Dr. Purciello’s research interests focus on the development of the
operatic genre in the seventeenth century, with particular emphasis on
the musical language of comedy in mixed-genre opera. Her
interdisciplinary approach draws heavily on cultural and intellectual
history, as well as on literary and theatrical traditions, in its
exploration of early modern intersections of music, poetry, drama and
dance. In addition to her work on early operatic and vocal repertories,
Dr. Purciello’s scholarly interests include general opera studies;
aesthetic history; reception history; and gender studies, with a special
focus on American women in music.
Dr. Purciello has presented her research at a number of national and
international conferences including meetings of the American
Musicological Society, the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music and the
International Baroque Biennial, and she has been an invited speaker at
Cambridge University. She is a contributor to the revised New Grove Dictionary of American Music and the encyclopedia Women and Music in America Since 1900.
Currently, she is working on several articles exploring the
relationship of comedy with religion, allegory and madness in early
Prior to coming to the University of Delaware, Dr. Purciello taught
at the College of the Holy Cross, Gettysburg College and West Chester
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