Rose Bruford College BA (Hons) Opera Studies graduate, Michael Reynolds, has successfully completed his PhD through Rose Bruford College and Goldsmiths, University of London. His thesis, "The Theatrical Vision of Count Harry Kessler and its Impact on the Strauss-Hofmannsthal Partnership", rewrites operatic history significantly by unearthing and assessing the exact relationship between Kessler and Hofmannsthal over the genesis of the dramatic structure and libretto of Der Rosenkavalier. For the first time the full context of their close relationship and the effect of Kessler's theatrical vision and knowledge are revealed, exposing a surprising model, long since forgotten, which sparked the Rosenkavalier creation.
Michael Reynolds commented:
“The association between Rose Bruford College and Goldsmiths gave me the ideal opportunity to pursue in depth a vein of operatic research that has long fascinated me. I benefitted hugely from the rigour of regular supervisions at Rose Bruford College with Dr. Jane Schopf, from frequent theatre and opera seminars at Goldsmiths with Professor Maria Shevtsova, and from the freedom to pursue my own researches in Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt, Weimar and Garmisch Partenkirchen. I discovered that no previous Strauss or Hofmannsthal scholars had ever identified all the threads that came together in the 1908-11 period that saw the creation and first performance of Der Rosenkavalier. The opportunity I was given to conduct extensive original research and to submit my thesis within the framework of the Rose Bruford College/Goldsmiths association was highly rewarding and extremely stimulating”.