Dr Naomi Matsumoto

Naomi has scholarly interests in Italian opera, Purcell and Monteverdi and Baroque period performance practice.

Staff details

Dr Naomi Matsumoto


Senior Lecturer in Music; Convenor of the Integrated Degree in Music, Foundation Year Programme; International Admissions Tutor




n.matsumoto (@gold.ac.uk)

Dr Naomi Matsumoto is a musicologist working particularly in the field of opera studies. Before launching her musicological career, she worked as professional singer, having trained at Aichi Prefectural University of Arts (Japan), Liceo Musicale di G.B. Viotti (Italy) and Trinity College of Music.  Her vocal teachers were Rita Orlandi, the late Robert Spencer, Ian Partridge and Teresa Cahill.  

Her doctoral thesis (2005) investigates the origins and early development (up to c. 1700) of the operatic mad scene. For this work, she was awarded The Overseas Research Scholarship and the British Federation of Women Graduates National Award. After the degree, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation British and Commonwealth Award enabled her to pursue further archival research in Venice, Padua, Verona and Genoa.  

While Monteverdi, Purcell and their contemporaries constitute her main scholarly interests, she has also extended her researches into 19th-century opera and produced several articles on Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Recently, she has started working on the reception of Western opera in the Far East and contributed a chapter on Bizet’s Carmen in Japan in Carmen Abroad: Bizet’s Opera on Global Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which won the Royal Musical Association Outstanding Edited Collection Prize (2021). 

Naomi is keen on interdisciplinary work, collaborating with scholars in diverse fields such as medical history, literature, translation studies and cultural studies. She instigated several international and interdisciplinary research projects and as the research lead, won the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Award (2011) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Symposium Award (2013).  

She is a member of the Royal Musical Association, the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music (USA), and the Japan Musicological Society. She also holds fellowships of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Historical Society. She was recently appointed to the editorial board of the Swiss Journal of Musicology 

Academic qualifications

BA, LTCL (vocal performance), Perfezionamento Diploma di Canto Lirico (Liceo Musicale di Viotti), Postgraduate Diploma (Trinity College of Music), MMus (London), PhD (London), Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

Publications and research outputs


Matsumoto, Naomi. 2025. The Challenge of Music History: 10 Works from the 'Musical Canon' and Their Meanings. Tokyo: Asahi Newspaper Publications Inc..

Canova-Green, Marie-Claude and Matsumoto, Naomi. 2024. Christophe Ballard/Michel Richard de Lalande Ballet de La Jeunesse. Paris: Classiques Garnier.

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2023. Music Historiography: How and why music history has been written. Tokyo: Yamaha Music Entertainment Holdings, Inc.. ISBN 9784636101164

Edited Book

Norton, Barley and Matsumoto, Naomi, eds. 2019. Music as Heritage: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138228047

Matsumoto, Naomi, ed. 2015. Staging Verdi and Wagner. Turnhout: Brepols. ISBN 9782503564821

Matsumoto, Naomi and Yamamoto, Kazuto, eds. 2014. SHIZENGAKU: the Search for a Coming Aesthetic. Kyoto: Nakanishiya. ISBN 978-4-9907368-0-4

Book Section

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2025. Dreaming of Wagner: Opera in Japan, Gluck and the Aspiration for 'National Theatre'. In: Clair Rowden and Paulo M Kuhl, eds. Opera in Transnational Contexts: Circulating Identities and Cultures. Routledge.

Canova-Green, Marie-Claude and Matsumoto, Naomi. 2024. Exoticism or Eclecticism? Carnival at Court and the Mascarade du Roy de la Chine. In: Marie-Claude Canova-Green, ed. Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols. ISBN 9782503610566

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2023. Realising Arianna: the Problematic Accompaniments of Claudio Monteverdi's Lamento d'Arianna. In: Marcello Mazzetti, ed. Basso Continuo in Italy: Sources, Pedagogy and Performance. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, pp. 3-29. ISBN 9782503608501


Matsumoto, Naomi. 2024. Representing Insanity and the Crisis of Identity through Henry Purcell's 'Bess of Bedlam'. Swiss Journal of Musicology, 40, pp. 11-40. ISSN 0259-3165

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2023. "Madama Butterfly": Prospettive occidentali e giapponesi a confronto. Commentari dell'Ateneo di Brescia, ISSN 1594-8218

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2021. Madam Butterfly and the Forging of Japanese Identity. History Today, 71(3), pp. 28-37. ISSN 0018-2753

Conference or Workshop Item

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2002. 'Global Presentations of Madness in Musical Theatres: a Comparative Study of Britten’s Curlew River and Juro Motomasa’s Sumidagawa'. In: Musicology and Globalization: Proceedings of the International Congress. Shizuoka, Japan.


Matsumoto, Naomi. 2017. Goldsmiths Research Questions: How does opera represent madness?.


Matsumoto, Naomi. 2012. Anonymous: Lo Spedale.

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2011. Pierto A. Ziani: Le fortune di Damira e Rodope.


Matsumoto, Naomi. 2005. The operatic mad scene: its origins and early development up to c.1700. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London

Areas of supervision

Music and medicine  

17th century and 19th century Italian opera 

The inter-cultural reception of Western musical theatre  

Baroque performance practice