Dr Daniel Somerville


Senior Lecturer & Research and Knowledge Exchange Co-ordinator

Theatre, Film & Media Production

Contact Details

email: d.somerville@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 855297


Daniel Somerville is an artist practitioner, senior lecturer and practice researcher. His research interests are in the fields of performance, theatre, gender and opera studies, with particular focus on the concept of the ‘operatic’ and how it manifests in terms of movement, performance practice and convention, and how this may be applied to contemporary performance making.

As an artist practitioner he has choreographed, directed and performed nationally (including at Edinburgh Fringe, The Place, Chisenhale Dance Space and Duckie in London, and for Birmingham Rep) and internationally (including National Theatre Namibia, Market Theatre - Johannesburg, Liberdade Provisoria - Lisbon and on a tour of the Czech Republic). Daniel was supported by Arts Council England for his dance trilogy Episodes. Commissions include Water Garden Ballet for SHOUT festival in Birmingham and The Canterbury Masque for Accidental Collective as the inaugural performance at the Colyer-Ferguson Concert Hall at The University of Kent, Canterbury.

Daniel’s PhD research was supported by The Centre for Art and Design Research Experimentation (CADRE) at the University of Wolverhampton. Previous academic positions include as a research assistant and visiting tutor at Goldsmiths (BA and MA students), as a visiting lecturer at Laban (MA students), as visiting lecturer and mentor (BA students) at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and as a visiting lecturer at University of Wolverhampton (BA and MA students), and as an online tutor in Opera Studies at Rose Bruford.


  • PGcertHE from University of Worcester
  • PhD from University of Wolverhampton 
    Thesis title: Body Opera: In search of the ‘operatic’ in the performance of the body
  • MA Performance Making (distinction) from Goldsmiths
  • BA Theatre Practice: Alternative Theatre and New Performance Practice (1st) from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Teaching & Research

Research interests:

Practice research methodologies 
Operatic movement 
Opera as a model for contemporary performance 
Anecdote and autobiography 
Gender studies and queer theory

Teaching interests:

Physical theatre 
Theatre practices 
Contemporary performance 
Queer Theatre and Performance
Post-Colonialism and Decolonisation

Membership of Professional Bodies


Other responsibilities

LGBTQ + Staff Network Chair    
Member of the Theatre and Performance Anti-Racism Group


Book chapter: (2020) 'Back to the Artwork of the Future: Transformation, Emotion and Participation in the Opera Related Works of Joshua Sofaer' in Joshua Sofaer Performance / Object / Participation edited by Roberta Mock and Mary Paterson. The Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books

Book chapter: (2016) 'The Emergence of the Operatic' in Music on Stage Vol. 2 edited by Luis Campos and Fiona Jane Schopf. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Practice Research (performance)

Performance: Pavarotti and Me 2020, Worcester (2020)    
Performance: Admiring La Stupenda, Edinburgh (2019)   
Performance: Admiring La Stupenda, Worcester (2018)  
Performance: Pavarotti and Me, Worcester (2018)   
Performance: Admiring La Stupenda, Worcester (2017)  
Performance: Dancing ‘Nessun dorma’ Wolverhampton (2016)       
Performance: Trio xxx, Malvern (2016)     
Performance: Pavarotti and Me (scratch), London (2015) 
Performance: French Collection, Mozart Movement Study 2, Trio xxx, Admiring La Stupenda Wolverhampton (2014)    
Performance: Butterfly Ghost, London (2013)     
Performance: French Collection, Mozart Movement Study 1, Admiring La Stupenda, Wolverhampton (2013)     
Performance: The Canterbury Masque, Canterbury (2013)  
Performance: Mad Scene, London (2012)

Practice Research (film)

Film: (performance to camera) Admiring La Stupenda (2019)     
Film: (performance to camera) Pavarotti and Me (2019)

Practice Research (exhibition)

Exhibition: ‘The Search for the Operatic: Bridging the Gap Between the Spectatorial and Performer Positions Through Sketch-Making and Embodiment Techniques’ [TaPRA Practice research Exhibition] (2015)

External Roles and Other Responsibilities

  • External Examiner for Mountview Drama School
  • Research and Knowledge Exchange Co-ordinator for the School of Arts