Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Elissa Harbert

Second Advisor

Dr. Carrie Klaus

Third Advisor

Dr. Deborah Geis


This thesis serves to be an analysis of the stereotypes that women in opera tend to have as well as of common traits or outcomes that these characters experience. While there is discussion on how these traits have been harmful, the idea of opera being a method for these characters to be envoiced in a way that other genres couldn’t be able to do is explored, and is specifically focused on three case studies of women defying the destinies set upon them while still emerging triumphant. The first case mentioned is in the Baroque opera L’incoronazione di Poppea, where the titular character uses her cunning to manipulate those around her into crowning her the Empress of Rome. The second case is in Il barbiere di Siviglia, where the main female character Rosina uses her wits to trick her guardian to be with the man she loves. The final case in The Tender Land breaks typical conventions of choosing love or duty/ power, with the main female character Laurie ultimately choosing herself in order to achieve her best possible life. At this thesis’ conclusion, the different avenues of what envoicing could take outside of what was discussed are mentioned (exoticism, mad scenes, etc.) as well as how envoicing of women has developed over time.