Dr Naomi Matsumoto

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer in Music; Convenor of the Integrated Degree in Music, Foundation Year Programme; International Admissions Tutor
Department Music
Email n.matsumoto (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 3121
Dr Naomi Matsumoto

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.

Areas of supervision

Music and medicine  

17th century and 19th century Italian opera 

The inter-cultural reception of Western musical theatre  

Baroque performance practice  

Publications and research outputs


Canova-Green, Marie-Claude and Matsumoto, Naomi. 2023. 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

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2022. Critical Edition of Anonymous, Lo Spedale. Middleton, Wisconsin, United States: A-R Editions. ISBN 9781987208146

Edited Book

Norton, Barley and Matsumoto, Naomi, eds. 2018. 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

Canova-Green, Marie-Claude and Matsumoto, Naomi. 2023. Exoticism or Eclecticism? Carnival at Court and the Mascarade du Roy de la Chine. In: , 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. 2023. Representational Conventions and Varieties of Operatic Madness: The Gap between Dramaturgy and Diagnosis. In: Lorenzo Lorusso; Michele Augusto Riva and Vittorio Alessandro Sironi, eds. Effects of Opera Music from Brain to Body: A Matter of Wellbeing. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, pp. 125-129. ISBN 9783031347689

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2022. Notice sur l'établissement de la musique. In: Marie-Claude Canova-Green and Suzanne Jones, eds. Raymond Poisson: Théâtre complet. Paris: Classique Garnier, pp. 53-60. ISBN 9782406125198

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2020. The Other Reversed? Japan’s Assimilation of Carmen, 1885 to 1945. In: Richard Langham Smith and Clair Rowden, eds. Carmen Abroad: Bizet's Opera on the Global Stage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 284-303. ISBN 9781108481618

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2018. Pio Enea Obizzi: Power and Authorship. In: R Rasch, ed. Music and Power in the Baroque Era. 6 Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 275-298. ISBN 9782503580715

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2018. L'opera dei pupi, Torneo, and Early Opera: Shared Traditions and Intangible Experiences. In: Barley Norton and Naomi Matsumoto, eds. Music as Heritage: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Routledge-Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781138228047

Norton, Barley. 2018. Filming Music as Heritage: The Cultural Politics of Audiovisual Representation. In: Barley Norton and Naomi Matsumoto, eds. Music as Heritage: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 79-101. ISBN 9781138228047

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2017. Giovanni Vittorio Rosi's Musical Theatre: Opera, Operetta and the Westernisation of Modern Japan. In: Michela Niccolai and Clair Rowden, eds. Musical Theatre in Europe 1830-1945. Turnout: Brepols, pp. 351-385. ISBN 9782503577661

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2015. Charles Marshall’s “Dioramic” Scenery: Staging Verdi in Victorian London. In: , ed. Staging Verdi and Wagner. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 53-80. ISBN 9782503564821

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2014. Michael Costa at the Haymarket: the Establishment of the Modern Role of 'The Director of Music'. In: Roberto Illiano and Michela Niccolai, eds. Orchestral Conducting in the Nineteenth Century. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 25-60. ISBN 9782503552477

Pryer, Anthony J.. 2014. ‘Real’ Nature, ‘Aesthetic’ Nature and the Making of Artworks: Some Challenges of Cross-Cultural Collaboration (in Japanese Translation). In: Kazuto Yamamoto and Naomi Matsumoto, eds. Shizengaku: a Search for the Coming Aesthetic. Kyoto: Nakanishiya, pp. 6-26. ISBN ISBN 978-4-7795-0791-5

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2014. Nature in Music, Music in Nature: Imitation, Quotation and Representation. In: Naomi Matsumoto and Kazuto Yamamoto, eds. SHIZENGAKU: the Search for a Coming Aesthetic. Kyoto, Japan: Nakanishiya, pp. 124-133. ISBN 9784779507915

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2011. Manacled Freedom: 19th-Century Vocal Improvisation and the Flute-Accompanied Cadenza in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. In: Rudolf Rasch, ed. Beyond Notes: Improvisation in Western Music of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 295-316. ISBN 978-2503542447

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2007. 1001 Classical Recordings. In: Matthew Rye, ed. 1001 Classical Recordings. London: Quintessence, 24-34, 38, 42-48, 50-54, 56-59, 62-64.


Matsumoto, Naomi. 2024. Representing Insanity and the Crisis of Identity through Henry Purcell's 'Bess of Bedlam'. Swiss Journal of Musicology, 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

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2019. The Mad Scene: Portrayals of Insanity in Opera. Japanese Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 48(3), ISSN 0300-032X

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2016. "Ghost Writing”: an Exploration of Presence and Absence in Lucia di Lammermoor (1835)’. Word and Music Studies, 15, pp. 63-84. ISSN 1566-0958

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2015. Book Review: James Kennaway (ed.), Music and the Nerves, 1700–1900 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014),. Medical History, LIX(2), pp. 333-335. ISSN 0025-7273

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2014. Il plagio vs "una piacevole reminiscenza al nostro orecchio". The Siege of Rochelle (1835) di Michael Balfe e il "lavoro culturale" della critica estetica. Estetica Studi e Ricerche, iv(1), pp. 83-100. ISSN 2039-6635

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2012. Instrumental Music and the Industrial Revolution. Ad Parnassum: Journal of 18th and 19th century Instrumental Music, 10(20),

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2012. Liner notes to Quintetto Vocale Italiano, Gesualdo. Gesualdo Six Books of Madrigals for 5 Voices,

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2012. Liner notes to Paolo Cammozzo (dir.), Laudate Dominum: Masters of the Chapel of St Mark’s. Laudate Dominum: Masters of the Chapel of St Mark’s,

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2012. Liner notes to Cappella Marciana, Voce Mea ad Dominum: Celebrations of the 400th Anniversary of the death of G. Croce da Chioggia. Celebrations of the 400th Anniversary of the death of G. Croce da Chioggia,

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2012. Liner notes to Angelo Ephrikian (dir.), Jacopo Peri: L’Euridice. Jacopo Peri: L’Euridice,

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2011. Pio Enea degli Obizzi and the Opera Torneo Genre – Towards an Understanding of the Commercialisation of Early Italian Opera’. The Journal of the Musicological Society of Japan, lvii(1), pp. 56-68. ISSN 00302597

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2010. Englishness and Burlesque on the London Stage: the Case of The Dragon of Wantley. The Journal of the Musicological Society of Japan, 55(2), pp. 97-110.

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2009. The dating of MS, GB-Lcm: n. 927, The Dragon of Wantley. The Journal of the Musicological Society of Japan, 54(1), pp. 75-77.

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2008. The Identity of the librettist of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. The Journal of the Musicological Society of Japan, 53(2), pp. 134-137.

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2008. Motoo Ohtaguro interviews Prokofiev. Three Oranges: the Journal of the Sergey Prokofiev Foundation, 15, pp. 9-13.

Matsumoto, Naomi. 2006. An anonymous setting of L’Ospedale and the question of an “asylum opera” genre. The Journal of the Musicological Society of Japan, pp. 45-61.

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.