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About The Opera Journal

The Opera Journal is a refereed online bi-annual scholarly journal published by the National Opera Association. In fitting with the NOA’s tradition of uniting performance and scholarship to promote excellence in opera education and pedagogy, The Opera Journal is aimed at a broad and diverse readership of opera scholars and practitioners alike. By fostering opera scholarship that bridges the worlds of performance and musicology, it aims to enrich the artform, enhance operatic encounters for its readership, and complement extant academic, pedagogical, and industry publications.

Issues are published biannually, one each in Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Calls for Submissions are made each January and June, with respective submission deadlines on 1 April and 1 October.

All questions, requests, and submissions should be directed to the Journal Administrator Paul Houghtaling at  (NOT to either of the Executive Editors). See below for more information.

Information regarding recent publications (authors, titles, abstracts, and keywords) are publicly available on the Recent Issues page. Members may view journal issues here (active membership in NOA or subscription to The Opera Journal required).

Non-members may subscribe to gain access to The Opera Journal, or may purchase either single articles or full issues.


The Opera Journal welcomes both long (8,000-11,000 words) and short (4,000-6,000 words) submissions that focus on one or more of the following areas:


Articles in this category contribute new knowledge critically focusing on historical or contextual considerations, theoretical or analytical approaches, or a combination thereof. Studies related to opera or other forms of musical theater from any time period are acceptable, and subjects may include works, composers, librettists, publishers, patrons, performers, directors, designers, conductors, performance practice, or any other aspect of operatic creation, production, or circulation. Diverse, interdisciplinary, and innovative methodological approaches are welcome.


Articles in this category focus on applied research for teaching and producing opera. Examples include research reports on innovative methods or understandings in pedagogy (in any aspect of opera), new modes or considerations of technical aspects of producing opera (projection, lighting, remote/virtual participation), and dramaturgy.

For questions about publishing in The Opera Journal, contact the Journal Administrator at 

Editorial Staff

Executive Editors
  • Christy Thomas Adams, University of Alabama
  • Michael Richardson, University of St. Thomas
Journal Administrator
  • Paul Houghtaling, University of Alabama
Editorial Board
  • Lauren Carlton, University of Central Arkansas
  • Joshua Gailey, Seattle Opera
  • Catherine Hughes, Palm Beach Opera
  • Ji Yeon Lee, University of Houston
  • Tim Ribchester, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin & Trentino Music Festival
  • Jennifer Williams, Opera Director & Theater Scholar
Reviews Editor
  • Alessandra Jones, Indiana University
Chair of Research Committee
  • Caroline Schiller, Memorial University

Call for Article Submissions — The Opera Journal

Article submissions are being accepted for publication in The Opera Journal. Deadlines for submission are April 1 and October 1 in order to be considered for publication in a forthcoming issue. Make-up of issues will be determined biannually after each deadline. For full submission guidelines, see below.

Christy Adams and Michael Richardson, Executive Editors

Paul Houghtaling, Journal Administrator

Article Submission Guidelines

Article submissions to The Opera Journal are subject to anonymous review. The Executive Editors make the final decision regarding publication.

Authors receive no remuneration for their submissions. Submissions should represent new work that has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration elsewhere.

Article submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Separate Word (.doc or .docx) files for text and works cited (not PDFs or Google Docs). Text material should follow standard conventions of American English and use 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and one-inch margins. Submissions must be fully anonymized–do not include the author(s)’s name(s) in the submitted files in order to facilitate the anonymous review process. The Journal follows the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) guidelines. All footnotes should be in short-form, with full citations provided in the works cited.
  • Article submissions may fall into one of two length categories: long (8,000-11,000 words) and short (4,000-6,000 words), excluding footnotes.
  • Separate files for tables, figures, and musical examples (.jpg or .png), with the position of all tables, figures, and musical examples indicated in the text. All musical examples, figures, and tables should include captions. Upon acceptance, authors will be asked to supply all high-resolution files of any images at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, and musical examples in either Sibelius or Finale files (or any comparable music notation software that has the ability to export to MusicXML).
  • Any images or musical examples require proper written permission for their publication. (The author is responsible for any fees incurred in the acquiring of such permissions.) It is the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by particular institutions.
  • Include also a one-paragraph abstract of no more than 200 words conforming to RILM guidelines (see guidance here and here), along with up to five separate keywords. Academic abstracts typically include a clear statement of the topic and research question(s), contextualized within existing knowledge; a summary of the argument, evidence, and conclusions; and an explanation of why the topic and findings are important.
  • Upon acceptance, permissions to publish, author bio (150 words), and other materials may be requested.

Submit articles electronically to:

Articles are submitted electronically to the Journal Administrator at . The Administrator acts as an intermediary communicator with the Executive Editors in order to preserve anonymity in the initial stages of the review process. To that end, all questions and submissions should be directed to the Administrator and not to Dr. Adams or Dr. Richardson in order to maintain the integrity and fairness of the review process. Authors will be contacted at the appropriate time in the review timeline.

Paul Houghtaling, Journal Administrator

Submissions may be accepted or rejected with feedback supporting the decision, or the editors may request authors to revise and resubmit with suggestions for revision.

For an overview of the review process as well as a description of the ethical guidelines the Journal follows, see our Ethical Practices in the Review Process.

Review Guidelines

Reviews are solicited by the Reviews Editor, but those wishing to write a review should send an email to the Reviews Editor that includes a CV and a list of research interests or areas of expertise. If there is something specific you wish to review, please note this in the initial email.

Once the Reviews Editor solicits a review, authors must comply with the following guidelines in writing their reviews: all reviews should be circa 1,500 words, follow the Journal’s Style Guide (provided once the author has accepted an invitation to review), and be new and original work. If you have, for instance, published a review of a performance as a critic for another publication, you should disclose this to the Journal if you want to review the same performance for the Journal. A new review may not necessarily count as original work if the criticisms and ideas in both pieces are too similar. 

Perhaps most important to keep in mind is the Journal’s audience. As we count both academics and opera practitioners among our readers, reviewers should pay close attention to their use of “jargon.” For those more used to academic writing, the Journal suggests adopting a less academic register, albeit not an informal one. In all cases, reviewers should attempt to find and explicate moments of crossover appeal: what practitioners might gain from an academic monograph, or what academics might gain from a new edition or performance.

At this time the Journal seeks to review academic monographs as well as new compositions, performances, CDs, DVDs, and more. Authors or performers wishing to have their works reviewed should email the Reviews Editor with the contact information of the person or entity who will be mailing or emailing a review copy. If and when an appropriate reviewer is found, the Reviews Editor will be in touch.

Alessandra Jones, Reviews Editor