New College is host not only to the University's statutory Visiting Chair in Opera Studies, but also to the annual Humanitas Visiting Professor of Voice & Classical Music. 


The 2023-24 holder of the Humanitas Visiting Professor of Voice & Classical Music is Joyce DiDonato.

Multi-Grammy Award winner and 2018 Olivier Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences across the globe, and has been proclaimed "perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation" by The New Yorker. With a voice "nothing less than 24-carat gold" according to The Times, Joyce has towered to the top of the industry as a performer, a producer, and a fierce advocate for the arts. With a repertoire spanning over four centuries, a varied and highly acclaimed discography, and industry-leading projects, her artistry has defined what it is to be a singer in the 21st century.

Read Joyce DiDonato’s full profile.

Joyce DiDonato Headshot
Photo © Sergi Jasanada


The following events with Joyce DiDonato were held on Monday 18th March:  

Event 1:  Masterclass in New College Ante-Chapel
Event 2:  Interview followed by Q&A session in the T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College

All events were free and open to the public.


The 2019-20 holder of the Humanitas Visiting Professor of Voice & Classical Music was James Conlon. 

James Conlon is a renowned Conductor of opera and symphonic and choral works. He is Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera and Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy. He has been Principal Conductor of the Paris Opera (1995-2004); General Music Director of the City of Cologne Germany (1989-2003), simultaneously leading the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Cologne Opera; and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1983-1991).

Read James Conlon's full profile

James Conlon - credit Todd Rosenberg for Ravinia Festival
Photo © Todd Rosenberg for Ravinia Festival

The following events with James Conlon were held in March 2020

Event 1: Recovering a lost Heritage

This talk considered music suppressed by the Third Reich, of which more details can be found here:

Event 2: Masterclass - Aria

Event 3: Masterclass - Recitative

Event 4: Mozart: Clemenza di Tito and the Final Months

All events were free and open to public.