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Katherine De La Matter

PhD student

E: abcp151@city.ac.uk

Thesis title: Domenico Scarlatti's Tolomeo et Alessandro: An Investigation and Critical Edition

Supervisors: Dr Melania Bucciarelli and Dr Alexander Lingas

Overview and research interests

Doctoral study focuses on Domenico Scarlatti's Tolomeo et Alessandro (Rome, 1711) as a representative part of an understudied body of work by a composer who is well-known, but not often recognised for his vocal works. The dramma per musica was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Rome in this period, particularly amongst the most influential group of literati in Italy at that time: the Accademia dell'Arcadia. Domenico Scarlatti's compositional approach to text setting in the dramma per musica has not been systematically addressed by scholarship: this investigation will do so through consideration of the literary aesthetics of the Arcadian audience for which it was composed, assessment of the balance of these aesthetics in the libretto, and examination of the means by which these and other elements of the dramaturgy are realised in the musical setting. After exploring Domenico's approach to arias, recitatives and large-scale structures in the work, the study concludes with comparisons to other extant drammi per musica by the composer, select works by Alessandro Scarlatti, and to Handel's setting of the same libretto: Tolomeo, ré d'Egitto (1728). The sole complete score of Tolomeo et Alessandro is held by the National Trust at Belton House, Lincolnshire, UK: a critical edition accompanies the dissertation as a resource for scholarship.

  • Eighteenth-century opera studies
  • Eighteenth-century Roman opera
  • Domenico Scarlatti; Alessandro Scarlatti
  • Euro-Indian Classical crossover music of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
  • Continuo performance practice
  • Conducting pedagogy
  • Interdisciplinary performance
  • Multicultural performance
  • Multimedia integration with period performance

Katherine has an MMus in Harpsichord: Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; an MMus in Conducting: Performance and Literature, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; and a BMus Piano Performance, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


  • De La Matter, Katherine. 'Domenico Scarlatti's Tolomeo et Alessandro: English connections and curiosities.' Presented at the 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music, Queen's University, Belfast (3 July 2010).
  • De La Matter, Katherine. 'Review: 'Desire, Drink and Death in English Folk and Vernacular Song, 1600-1900.' Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies (forthcoming).
  • De La Matter, Katherine. "Calcutta at the Brighton Early Music Festival." Interview with Lucie Skeaping. 'The Early Music Show'. BBC Radio 3, 24 October 2009.


Katherine is a visiting lecturer at City, University of London for Tonal Music Skills (Part One); Performance Workshop (Parts One and Two) and has been a visiting conductor for the City, University of London Chamber Choir.