Vanessa Rogers

Vanessa Rogers

Associate Professor of Music, Music History Coordinator

Vanessa L. Rogers teaches courses in Music History and Literature. Prior to joining the faculty at Rhodes College, she taught music history at Wabash College and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.  She has also worked as Research Associate for the London Stage, 1800-1900 database, as Principal Researcher for Ballad Operas Online: An Electronic Catalogue at the University of Oxford, and has held fellowships at the University of London’s Institute for Musical Research (IMR) and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Dr. Rogers has helped to convene several international conferences, most recently the Society for Theatre Research’s Theatre in the Regency Era: Plays, Performance, Practice 1795-1843, which was held at Downing College, University of Cambridge in July 2016.

Her primary area of research is eighteenth-century English stage music, and she has written on the subjects of Henry Fielding’s ballad operas, the influence of French musical comedy on eighteenth-century English popular theatre, and iconography and orchestral seating in London theatres in the Georgian era. Her current project is a book on eighteenth-century comic opera and musical theatre.

Dr. Rogers also is the faculty director for the Rhodes Summer School in London, an intensive four-week summer program open to all majors. Students participating in this 8-credit study abroad opportunity will learn about British literature, history, art (and more!) from prehistoric through contemporary times as they explore British sites, history and culture.  The courses are taught by American and British professors living on-site at the University of London, Goldsmiths. For more information, contact the Buckman Center for International Education at Rhodes.


“The Performing Arts and Their Audiences,” in A Cultural History of Leisure in the Age of the Enlightenment, ed. Peter Borsay and Jan Hein Furnée (Bloomsbury, in press)

“W. R. Chetwood’s The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Robert Boyle” and “W. R. Chetwood’s The Voyages, Travels and Adventures of William Owen Gwin Vaughan, Esq.” in April London, ed., The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, 1660-1820 (Cambridge University Press, in press)

Critical edition (with Berta Joncus and Žak Ozmo): Isaac Bickerstaff’s Love in a Village (1762), series: OPERA - Spektrum des europäischen Musiktheaters in Einzeleditionen (Bärenreiter / Edirom-Online, 2020)

“Cobblers, Country Fairs, and Cross-Dressing: Benefits and the Development of Ballad Opera,” in Music, Theatre, and the Benefit Concert in Britain, ed. Alison DeSimone and Matthew Gardner (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 83-102.

“Orchestras on Stage in the Georgian-Era Playhouse: Unraveling the Origin of the ‘Winston’ Sketch,” Early Music 44/4 (November 2016), pp. 607-625.

“Bickerstaff, Isaac” and “Chetwood, William Rufus” in Jack Lynch and Gary Day, eds., The Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), pp. 241-244 and 111-117.

“John Gay, Ballad Opera, and the Théâtres de la foire,” Eighteenth-Century Music 11/2 (September 2014), pp. 173-213.

 “Theatre Music” in the Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832, ed. David Francis Taylor and Julia Swindells (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 304-320.

(with Berta Joncus): “‘United voices formed the very perfection of harmony’: Music and the Invention of Harriett Abrams (c1758-1821),” in Celebrity: The Idiom of a Modern Era, AMS Studies in the Eighteenth Century, No. 70, ed. Baerbel Czennia (AMS Press, 2013), pp. 67-105.

(with Berta Joncus): “Ballad Opera and British double entendre: Henry Fielding’s The Mock Doctor” in Die Praxis des Timbre in verschiedenen europäischen Kulturen: Eine musikalische Praxis zwischen Oralität und Schriftlichkeit, ed. Herbert Schneider (Georg Olms Verlag, 2013), pp. 101-140.

“English Caricature and the Playhouse Orchestra at London’s Drury Lane Theatre, 1747-1826,” Music-Images-Instruments, Vol. XII: Orchestres aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles: composition, disposition, direction, représentation, ed. Florence Gétreau (CNRS Editions, 2011), pp. 10-31.

(with Berta Joncus): “Beyond The Beggar’s Opera: John Rich and English Ballad Opera,” in The Stage’s Glory: John Rich (1692-1761), ed. Jeremy Barlow and Berta Joncus (University of Delaware Press, 2011), pp. 184-206.


M.A. and Ph.D. in Historical Musicology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
B.M.E., Illinois Wesleyan University