Anyone looking for signs of the next big thing in opera and new media should look to Sussex University’s Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre.” The Musician
(Musicians' Union Journal)

The Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre (CROMT) is a national and international centre for research and development in the practice and theory of opera, music theatre and other related forms of sonic and multimedia performance. The Centre promotes innovative artistic and critical practices across a range of forms through academic programmes, creative, theoretical and historical research projects, and research collaborations with relevant professional and educational partners. 

CROMT aims in particular to further knowledge and understanding of recent and contemporary practice in opera and music theatre, and of other global forms of music theatre, and to bring current modes of critical and theoretical understanding to works of the past.  
The Centre recognises an expanded field of contemporary practices that might include, e.g., live art with sound, digital performance, multi-media installation, sonic arts, site-specific work or community projects as well as more conventional theatre-based work. 

Research areas 

Some research topics of current interest to the Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre include: 

  • opera and the media of future: how will new media platforms, mobile media, etc, change the ways in which we conceive the operatic work and the way audiences engage with such work? 

  • sustainability: eco-futures for opera and music theatre.   

  • voice and vocality in opera and music theatre: the implications for new opera of the metaphysics of subjectivity, interiority and transcendence in conventional operatic singing; economies of virtuosity - discourses of the mechanical and expressive in the technique of singing; embodied and disembodied voices in the recording era; the erotics of the voice; the gendered voice, etc. 

  • post-operatic music theatre: from Cage, Kagel and Fluxus to Heiner Goebbels and Laurie Anderson. 

  • the implications of new technologies for expanded dramaturgies of time and space in multi-media art forms. 

  • Robot opera – explorations in performance, embodiment and vocality with robots and autonomous objectsdiscourses of the posthuman.  

  • the chorus in contemporary opera: problematic representations of collective identity and "we" in the era of populism, nationalism, post-class identities and the global multitude.  

  • developing new devising and improvisatory processes for music theatre that challenge the conventional hierarchies of composition, text setting and musical and dramatic interpretation. 

  • the use of theatrical performance for dramatic re-contextualisation of non-theatrical music. 

  • figurations of the "operatic" in contemporary culture. 

  • spaces of intercultural dialogue