The Research Institute for Music Theater Studies in Thurnau, Germany, is an international center of academic excellence pursuing studies and research in opera and the wider spectrum of music theater studies.
Housed in a historic castle in the Franconian village of Thurnau, the institute is located closely to Bayreuth, where the world-famous Wagner-Festival takes place every August. Founded in 1976, today, is recognized for its research, publications, collections, academic staff and innovative symposia. The Institute hosts a unique and internationally frequented library, housing over 40.000 items specializing in the field of opera and Music Theatre. The institute was the initiator and editor of the, Enzyklopädie des Music theaters”, the resource, that has become the standard reference in theory and practice covering 400 years of opera and music theater history. The Institute is part of the University of Bayreuth where the academic staff teaches to guarantee a close relationship between research and university programs, further reinforcing the strong connection between the two academic centers.
The institute “Music and Performance” program especially opens up the traditional topics of opera studies to the field of music and theatrality in a broader sense. Not only opera, operetta, musical and dance, but also film, all types of audio-visual media as well as different styles of performances are subjects of study and postgraduate research. With its specific academic approach, the institute contemplates both new trends in western music culture and management as well as the actual demands of the job market. The institute is ambitious to develop and execute research programs within a network of national and international collaborators. All scholars and especially young scholars are invited to be part of the amazing opportunities this unique spot offers. Recently, the “Thurnau Award for Music Theatre Studies” was introduced to encourage new academic approaches to the field. After its first awarding in 2007 it will be bestowed every two years to an outstanding young and promising scholar.