Ditlev completed his BA in English literature at Oxford, also studying piano at the Royal College of Music. He subsequently gained a PGDip and MMus in piano and piano accompaniment at the RNCM before completing graduate studies in musicology at Cambridge. During his PhD he also held a visiting fellowship at Yale University.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- Nineteenth and twentieth-century opera and operatic culture
- Modern Italian studies
- Film music
Ditlev’s research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century opera and operatic culture, modern Italian studies, film music, and voice. More broadly, he is interested in urban history, transnationalism, gender and sexuality, performance and media theory (especially intermediality), music and technology, and histories of singing and performance. He is currently finishing his first book, Singing in the City: Opera, Italianità, and Transatlantic Exchange, 1887-1914, which explores the circulation of Italian opera and ideas of italianità between Milan, New York and Buenos Aires in the decades around 1900. Articles and conference papers have explored topics such as interactions between opera and cinema in 1920s New York; failed opera in Venezuela in the 1880s; opera and the telephone in mid-nineteenth century Italian theatres; representations of the Iberian world on the late nineteenth-century stage; and Greta Garbo and voice in Hollywood’s transition era. As a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow he is embarking on several new projects, including a monograph on the affective landscapes of early nineteenth-century Italian opera, and a collaborative project on Italian operetta 1880-1945. He is also working on a critical edition of Puccini’s La rondine, to be published by Ricordi.
Expertise and public engagement
Ditlev has written programme notes and given pre-concert talks for organisations including Wigmore Hall, Chelsea Opera Group, Opera Holland Park, Opera Rara and Chandos. He regularly contributes reviews to Opera magazine and has also published in the Times Literary Supplement, Cambridge Humanities Review, Ritmo and at mundoclasico.com.
- “Gramophone Voices: Puccini and Madama Butterfly in New York, c1907”, 19th-Century Music (Vol. 46, No.1), 2022, 60-87
- “Arcadia Undone: Teresa Carreño’s 1887 opera troupe in Caracas” in Italian Opera in Global and Transnational Perspective: Reimagining italianità in the Long Nineteenth Century, eds. Axel Körner & Paulo Kühl (Cambridge University Press, 2022), 192-213
- “Review article: Dreams of Iberia”, Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 33 No.1 (2020), 115-128
- "Italians Abroad: Verdi's La traviata and the 1906 Milan Exposition", Cambridge Opera Journal Vol.31 No.2-3 (2020), 237-272
- "Celluloid Diva: Staging Leoncavallo's Zazà in the Cinematic Age", Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol.144 No.2, 287-321
Critical and historical topics in nineteenth and twentieth-century music; critical and methodological issues in musicology.
Expertise and public engagement
Ditlev has written programme notes and given pre-concert talks for organisations including Wigmore Hall, Teatre Liceu de Barcelona, Chelsea Opera Group, Opera Holland Park, Opera Rara and Chandos. He regularly contributes reviews and articles to Opera magazine and has also published in the Times Literary Supplement, Cambridge Humanities Review, Ritmo and at mundoclasico.com. He has also been a guest expert on BBC Radio 3.