Dr Dominic McHugh BMus (Hons), MMus, PhD, Dip.ABRSM


Dominic McHugh

Dominic McHugh is Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Sheffield. He is a scholar of the American musical theatre and the Hollywood musical, with additional research interests in the history of opera and opera theory, performance practice and historiography. His book on Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, entitled Loverly: The Life and Times of My Fair Lady, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2012. He has just written seven articles for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (on Meredith Willson, Burton Lane, Jule Styne, the Marx Brothers, Michael Stewart, Peter Stone and Harold Arlen) and is currently working on an edited volume of the letters of Alan Jay Lerner for OUP, as well as critical monographs on Jule Styne and The Music Man.

He was born and educated in Lancashire. He has had a passionate interest in both opera and the Broadway musical from an early age, as well as being an active pianist, taking his Advanced Diploma in Performance (DipABRSM) at 18.

In 2005, he graduated in Music (BMus) from King's College, London University, where he achieved first class honours and was awarded the Purcell Prize for the student with the highest marks in the final year.

During his time at King's he was able to pursue his specialist interests in Opera and Broadway, writing his final year undergraduate dissertation on Verdi's Stiffelio. As part of his degree, he also studied the piano with Colin Stone at the Royal Academy of Music for three years.

He then completed a one-year Master's programme (MMus) at King's, specialising in historical musicology. His dissertation focused on Verdi's attempt to resolve classical forms with the demands of the drama in Don Carlos. The examiners awarded him a distinction for his MMus in November 2006.

He completed his PhD in September 2009. His research on the Broadway musical My Fair Lady looks at how source studies can affect accounts of a musical's genesis, as well as the historiography, performance and analysis of the work. His research has taken him to Madison, Wisconsin, New York, Washington DC, Yale and Harvard in order to track down over 500 letters, several thousand music manuscripts, choreographic notation, draft scripts and lyrics from the early 1950s. These give a more comprehensive document of the musical than has ever been attempted before.

He has also lectured on topics such as the Broadway Musical, Mozart and Verdi as part of courses in the Department of Music at King's since 2006. In the autumn of 2009, he led a further course at King's on the American Musical from 1920-1980.

In February 2010, he was invited to speak at the Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin on the subject of the collaboration between Lerner and Loewe. He returned in February 2011 for a three-day residential course on Richard Rodgers, and in April 2011 for a study afternoon on the Broadway musicals of Leonard Bernstein.

On 9 May 2010, he was asked to present a screening of My Fair Lady at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and in June and July 2010 he introduced performances of Lerner and Loewe's The Day Before Spring at Sadler's Wells. He returned to Sadler's Wells in 2011 to present Alan Jay Lerner and Andre Previn's Coco.

His review of Georg Benda's Romeo and Juliet appeared in Eighteenth-Century Music, published by Cambridge University Press, in March 2008, and he has written programme notes for productions at Opera Holland Park (2006-08) and various CD releases, including Maria Friedman Celebrates the Great British Songbook (April 2010) and A Celebration of Lerner and Loewe (Autumn 2009) on Sepia Records. He has also contributed to The Wagner Journal with reviews of a study of Ring Cycle productions at Covent Garden, Mark Elder's Wagner CD with the Halle Orchestra and the Ring at Covent Garden in autumn 2007.

From 2004-7, he wrote reviews for the website musicOMH.com, becoming a staff writer in 2004 and Classical Editor in 2005. During his time there, he reviewed numerous opera productions around the world as well as many concerts.

He has interviewed singers and conductors such as Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Elina Garanca, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sir Colin Davis, Nicole Cabell, Patrizia Ciofi, Ian Bostridge, Petra Lang, Susan Graham, Ann Murray, Simon Keenlyside, Barbara Frittoli, Barbara Bonney, José Cura, Violeta Urmana and Rebecca Evans.

He is the owner of MusicalCriticism.com, which he founded in March 2007 with Agnes Kory.