Prof. Calcagno is a musicologist and cultural theorist. He received his Ph.D. in Music from Yale in 2000, taught at Harvard until 2008 and at Stony Brook until 2013. His work focuses on opera studies, early modern music, performance studies, and digital humanities.
His publications include From Madrigal to Opera: Monteverdi's Staging of the Self, an article on linguistics and opera published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and various contributions devoted to early modern music. His essay on the aesthetics of voice in seventeenth-century music, published in the Journal of Musicology, received the Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society. His edition of Cavalli's Eliogabalo (forthcoming for Baerenreiter) has been adopted for performances in various international venues. In the occasion of the NYC production, The New York Times and The New Yorker featured articles that discussed his research. He is also the co-director of the Marenzio Online Digital Edition (MODE), funded by a NEH grant, and he edited Perspectives on Luca Marenzio's Secular Music. Calcagno is working on a book entitled Staging Baroque Opera Today. He has offered workshops for singers and instrumentalists on Baroque music and poetry at the Juilliard School of Music, the Bienen School of Music, and at the Centre for Baroque Music in Versailles.
At Harvard, Prof. Calcagno founded the Friday Lunch Talks in the Music Department, and the Opera Seminar at the Humanities Center. At Stony Brook he jumpstarted the Music Library Friends.
At Penn, besides being part of the historical musicology faculty, Prof. Calcagno directs the Center for Italian Studies, he is a member of the graduate groups in Italian Studies (see profile) and in the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, and a Faculty Fellow in residence at Rodin College House, where he co-directs The Rodin Arts Collective. For his opera activities, see Opera at Penn. In 2016 he co-founded the concert series Music in the Pavilion. His doctoral seminars have covered topics such as performance and opera studies, Monteverdi and Baroque opera, editing, and Petrarchism and the Italian madrigal. His undergraduate courses often deal with opera.
As Undergraduate Chair, Prof. Calcagno currently directs the activities of the Music Department in support of undergraduate education, serving as the advocate for the educational needs of its undergraduate students, including current and prospective majors and minors, as well as non-majors. In this role he supervises the activities concerning performance, together with the Director of Performance and the Department Chair.