David Rosen’s research has centered on 19th-century and early 20th-century Italian music, primarily Verdi and Puccini, although he has written about opera theory, French grand opera, Mozart piano concertos, and film music as well. He edited Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in The Works of Giuseppe Verdi (the critical edition) and wrote the Cambridge Music Handbook about that work. He has long been interested in the staging manuals (disposizioni sceniche or livrets de mise en scène) and other sources that help us reconstruct the visual aspects of 19th-century opera, and he co-authored a volume dedicated to the disposizione scenica of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. A recurring theme in his work is compositional decision-making. He has also explored the censorship of operas in 19th-century Italy.
He edited The Verdi Forum (formerly The Verdi Newsletter, the publication of the American Institute for Verdi Studies). He is a member of the Institute’s Executive Board and a member of the editorial board of The Works of Giuseppe Verdi (the critical edition) and the advisory boards of the Fondo Leoncavallo (Locarno, Switzerland) and the Centro studi Giacomo Puccini (Lucca, Italy).
Although he retired in 2006, he continues to serve on graduate students’ Ph.D. committees and occasionally to supervise independent study projects. He also enjoys informal conversations with students about shared interests.