Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

John Nardolillo


My recent engagement as music director and conductor of Robert Nelson’s A Room with a View (1992, rev. 2004) has offered me the valuable opportunity to work on an opera side by side with its composer. The purpose of this dissertation is to reconstruct the various stages of the process of creation, interpretation, and performance of a contemporary opera, addressing aspects of the collaboration between the composer and the conductor.

The methodology used in my research is based primarily on direct observation and interview. The investigation is conducted from the perspective of a “participant-observer,” due to my personal involvement in the project, as music director and conductor first, and then as interviewer and researcher.

The document will be organized in three sections:

- the first chapter will establish the context and specific features of my research, providing a scholarly background in relation to the study of the relationship between composer and conductor;

- the second chapter will focus on the process of composition in all its stages. I have defined this as the “extended creative process” of A Room with a View;

- the third chapter will discuss the Michigan State University production of the opera, considering several aspects of the artistic collaboration between Robert Nelson and me, as well as my involvement in the process as conductor.

Through my research, I wish to provide useful insight into the crucial aspects of the composition and the production of new music. In addition, the project aims to offer a fresh contribution to the investigation of the relationship between composers and interpreters, and perhaps could provide some background reference for an interrogation about the current state and the future of American opera.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)