Prof. Calcagno is a musicologist and cultural theorist whose work focuses on opera studies, early modern music, performance studies, critical theory, and digital humanities. He received his Ph.D. in Music from Yale in 2000, taught at Harvard until 2008 and at Stony Brook until 2013.
His publications include From Madrigal to Opera: Monteverdi's Staging of the Self, articles on early opera published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and other venues, and various contributions on performance studies. 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. Prof. 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 Univ. he jumpstarted the Music Library Friends. At Penn, besides being part of the historical musicology faculty, Prof. Calcagno has directed the Center for Italian Studies from 2017 to 2021 (and currently serves on its Executive Committee), he is a member of the graduate groups in FIGS/Italian Studies (see profile) and of 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. In 2016 he co-founded the concert series Music in the Pavilion (which he co-directs with Mary Channen Caldwell) and in 2018 the online journal Bibliotheca Dantesca (which he co-directs with Eva Del Soldato and David Wallace). For his opera-related activities, see Opera at Penn. His doctoral seminars cover topics such as critical theories in opera, performance, and theater studies; Monteverdi and Baroque opera; critical and digital editing; and Petrarchism and the Italian madrigal. His undergraduate courses often deal with the history of opera from its origins to today, by integrating the study of today's performances. As Undergraduate Chair from 2015 to 2021 Prof. Calcagno directed the activities of the Music Department in support of undergraduate education, serving as the advocate for the academic needs of its students, and promoting and supervising the activities concerning performance.