James Raftery

Associate Professor

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

A concise guide for teaching non-Chinese speaking singers to sing early Chinese national opera (2024)

Currently, the goal of the Chinese opera society is to establish a “school of Chinese opera” worldwide, expanding its international influence to position Chinese opera as part of mainstream repertoires in global opera houses. This thesis focuses on the early Chinese national operas, which serve as the pivotal starting point in the history of Chinese opera development. Due to limitations in singing techniques, these operas have struggled to abandon microphones, hindering audiences from experiencing the vocal charm found in Western operas. Consequently, contemporary scholars advocate that performing these operas should adopt the scientific Bel Canto singing tradition, similar to Western operas. Chapters 1 and 2 of this thesis introduce the research background and significance of early Chinese national opera. Chapter 3 exposes the technical challenges faced during their development. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 propose pedagogical methods for teaching early Chinese national opera excerpts, including teaching steps, a novel concise IPA-based Mandarin diction guide for singing, and corresponding IPA and singing tips for selected excerpts from the renowned opera Sister Jiang. The goal is to balance Bel Canto’s singing technique, traditional Chinese Xiqu musical elements, and Mandarin diction in performances, enabling non-Chinese speaking singers to engage with such works rapidly. Focusing on excerpts from Sister Jiang, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of historical context, vocal techniques, and the stylistic evolution of early Chinese national opera. By promoting nuanced comprehension of Chinese linguistic and musical expressions, this thesis is a valuable resource for aspiring singers and educators, facilitating engagement with the rich heritage of Chinese operatic traditions globally. This study, fostering cross-cultural exchange, marks a significant step toward the internationalization of Chinese opera.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

And music dawned above despair (2023)

No abstract available.


Membership Status

Member of G+PS
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