Marian Smith

Marian Smith's picture
Professor Emerita of Musicology
360 Frohnmayer Music Building
PhD 1988, Yale University
BMus 1980, University of Texas at Austin
BA 1976, History, Carleton College
Resident Fellow, with Doug Fullington, at the Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York University, Summer 2016
Giselle production in which Smith collaborated named one of the Ten “Best of the Best” of 2011 by Pointe Magazine
Thomas A. Herman Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Oregon, 2007
de la Torre Bueno award for best work of dance history in English in 2000 for Ballet and Opera in the Age of 'Giselle' (Princeton University Press)
Research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Marian Smith, Professor of Music, joined the University of Oregon faculty in 1988.  She teaches undergraduates and graduate students, majors and non-majors on various aspects of music in historical context.  She regularly teaches courses on opera, American musical theater, 19th- and 20th-century music, and the pedagogy of music history.  Her graduate seminars have included Six FigarosEthnic BalanchineStaging Verdi, Processions at the Opéra19th-century Staging of Opera and Ballet, and Pedagogy: "Reacting to the Past" for music history.  In Fall 2004 she was Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College, and in 2007 she was given the Thomas F. Herman award for excellence in teaching at the University of Oregon. In the past two years, after the riveting experience of learning from a stellar group of graduate students in her graduate pedagogy seminar, she has adapted the teaching method known as "Reacting to the Past" for teaching both large and small classes.

She has published two books (Ballet in Opera in the age of GisellePrinceton University Press, 2000, and an edited volume, La Sylphide:  Paris 1832 and Beyond, Dance Books, 2012as well as articles in both music and dance journals (including the Cambridge Opera JournalDance Chronicle, and Dance Research) and reviews in, e.g., Slavic Review and the Journal of the American Musicological Society.  She has also contributed chapters to, e.g. The Cambridge Companion to Grand OperaThe Cambridge Companion to BalletStage Music and Cultural Transfer:  Paris 1830-1914, Reading Critics Reading, and Rethinking the Sylph. Her essays on opera and ballet appear in program books of the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet in London, the Paris Opéra, and the Teatro alla Scala. 

Smith has also worked with the dance reconstructionist Doug Fullington on devising two full-length historically-informed ballets:  Giselle (2011; revived 2014), with artistic director Peter Boal at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, and then Paquita with Alexei Ratmansky at the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich (2014-2015).  Both productions were favorably reviewed in the New York Times and other publications.

Her current projects (both with Doug Fullington) include a book on 19th-century ballet reconstruction (for Oxford University Press), and a hybrid scholarly edition of Giselle (for OPERA – Spektrum des europäischen Musiktheaters in Einzeleditionen, with online components, and also to be published in hard copy by Bärenreiter).  Her article, "Balanchine's Met Aida," is forthcoming in Ballet Review.

Smith has served on the editorial board of the Society of Dance History Scholars and the Cambridge Opera Journal, and as member and chair of the American Musicological Committee's Travel Awards Committee, its AMS50 awards committee, and as president of its Pacific Northwest Chapter.

Selected Publications: 

Books, Ballet Production

  • Forthcoming: Five Ballets from Paris and St. Petersburg, with Doug Fullington, (Oxford University Press)
  • Forthcoming: Scholarly hybrid edition of Giselle, with Doug Fullington (OPERA editions and Bärenreiter)
  • 2014-15 Paquita Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich, historical advisor for production of Doug Fullington and Alexei Ratmansky
  • 2012  'La Sylphide': Paris 1832 and Beyond, edited volume (Dance Books)
  • 2011  Production of Giselle, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle, collaborative project with Peter Boal and Doug Fullington (8 performances, Seattle,  June 2011)

  • 2000  Ballet and Opera in the Age of 'Giselle'  (Princeton University Press)