Wendy Heller specializes in the study of 17th- and 18th-century music from interdisciplinary perspectives, with particular emphasis on gender and sexuality, art history, and the classical tradition. The winner of numerous awards and Fellowships from such organizations as from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation, Heller has been a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the Villa I Tatti Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies, and has taught in the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Specializing in the music of Monteverdi, Handel, Cavalli, and recognized for her expertise in the interpretation of Venetian opera, Heller has published numerous articles in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music & Letters, Cambridge Opera Journal, Early Music, and Saggiatore Musicale. Her book, Emblems of Eloquence: Opera and Women's Voices in Seventeenth-Century Venice, was the winner of the annual book prize from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, and was named a finalist for the Otto Kinkeldey Prize from the American Musicological Society. She serves on a number of editorial and advisory boards including Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of Musicology, and the Journal for the Society of Seventeenth-Century Music. She is also on the Executive Board of the Society for Study of Early Modern Women.
Her recent graduate seminars at Princeton include "Opera and Gendered Voices in Early Modern Europe"; "Handel in Italy"; "Music of J.S. Bach"; "Culture and Politics in Venetian Opera." At Princeton, she is the Director of the Program in Italian Studies, and serves on the Interdisciplinary Committees for Renaissance Studies, Program in Women and Gender, Program in Judaic Studies. An accomplished professional singer, her other research and teaching interests include women and music, Jewish music, performance studies, and opera from its inception to the present day. She is currently completing a textbook on Baroque music and a study of Ovid and the uses of antiquity in early modern Italian opera.
Selected recent publications:
• Emblems of Eloquence: Opera and Women's Voices in Seventeenth Century Venice (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2003).
• "The Castrato as Men: Trajectories from the Seventeenth Century." British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 28 no. 3 (2006), 307-321.
• "Amazons, Astrology, and the House of Aragon: Veremonda tra Venezia e Napoli." La circolazione dell'opera veneziana del Seicento,” ed. Dinko Fabris (Naples: Editoriale Scientifiche, 2005), 147-162.
• "Poppea's Legacy: The Julio-Claudians on the Venetian Stage." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 36 no. 3 (Winter, 2005), 279-302.
• "The Beloved's Image: Handel's Admeto and the Statue of Alcestis." Journal of the American Musicological Society 58 no. 3 (2005), 559-637.
• "Venice and Arcadia," Musica e Storia 12 (2004), 21-34.
• "Dancing Desire on the Venetian Stage," Cambridge Opera Journal 15 (2003), 281-295.