Music and Musicology
Before joining the faculty at UCLA, Katherine Syer taught opera and theatre history/production, research methods, dramaturgy, and special topics courses at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she most recently also served as the director of Graduate Studies and Area Head for Theatre Studies. Dr. Syer’s work on Wagner’s creative development and legacy has been published in The Wagner Journal, Musical Quarterly, Wagner and His World, and A Companion to Wagner’s ‘Parsifal.’ Her monograph Wagner’s Visions: Poetry, Politics, and the Psyche in the Operas through ‘Die Walküre’ appeared in 2014 (Boydell and Brewer). She has offered production-related presentations for the Wagner Societies in Northern California, New York, and Chicago, as well as at international scholarly conferences.
Syer’s professional work as a dramaturg includes a new production of Hänsel und Gretel for the Canadian Opera Company (Toronto, 2020). She also works as a dramaturg for spoken theatre, and was artistic advisor for Moisés Kaufman’s play 33 Variations, which reached Broadway in 2009. An active production researcher and opera critic, Syer currently focuses on the work of contemporary opera directors and designers, the thrust of her research as a Humboldt Fellow based in Munich and as visiting professor in Vienna (MUK, 2016-17).