Dr. Colette Simonot-Maiello is a musicologist whose research on Indigenous representation in music, feminist theory, gender, and politics has been published in numerous journals and has been presented across Canada.

  • In the faculty




Teaching and learning are inseparable for me. As a musicologist, I am excited to teach students different ways that music can communicate meaning within a larger social and cultural context. In the classroom, I aim for a creative exchange by developing projects in which my students and I can participate, and I have found that students are excited to be involved in the research process. I strive to make learning a transformative experience by engaging students and challenging them to grow intellectually. My role is not only to teach music, but to mentor students so that they develop critical thinking and other transferable skills.
Colette Simonot-Maiello Assistant Professor, Desautels Faculty of Music

Academic work

Dr. Colette Simonot-Maiello joined the Desautels Faculty of Music on July 1, 2018, after serving on the faculty of Brandon University’s School of Music since 2011. While at Brandon University, she chaired the music research department and established the BU School of Music Out of Bounds Lecture Series. Additionally, she was an affiliate member of the gender and women’s studies department. Dr. Simonot also taught at McGill University while completing her doctorate and before that, at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Simonot-Maiello holds a BMus in Clarinet Performance from the University of Saskatchewan and an MA in Ethnomusicology from York University, where she studied with Beverley Diamond and wrote a thesis on issues of Canadian identity and on Hart Rouge, a Western Canadian francophone pop group. She completed her PhD in Musicology at McGill University in 2011, with a dissertation examining the theme of hysteria in Francis Poulenc’s opera, Dialogues des Carmélites (1956), under the supervision of Steven Huebner and Lloyd Whitesell.

Dr. Simonot’s research focuses primarily on music with text, especially opera, of the 20th and 21st centuries. She examines both the cultural context of the music and how the composer engages with themes such as gender, politics, religion and mental health in the music itself. Dr. Simonot has written a series of articles on the operas of 20th century French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), that emerged from her dissertation titled “Unraveling Voices of Fear: Hysteria in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.” Her examination of the role of hysteria fuels an interpretation of this opera as a reflection on French society’s post-revolutionary ideological tug-of-war. She has also written about Poulenc’s first opera, Les mamelles de Tirésias (1945), arguing that the work can be interpreted as a direct rebuff to the Vichy regime’s authoritarian, anti-modernist agenda. More recently, she has turned her attention to Canadian music and decolonization by studying musical works on the subject of Louis Riel. In her forthcoming article, “Decolonizing Riel,” she compares the representation of Riel in recent compositions by Indigenous composers with Harry Somers’ controversial 1967 opera, Louis Riel.

Ongoing research and creative works

Dr. Simonot’s articles and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Intersections, The University of Toronto Quarterly, Notes, and Les Cahiers de la Société québécoise de recherche en musique. Her publications for reference works can be found in the Grove Dictionary of American Music, the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan First Nations: Lives Past and Present. She has presented her research at international conferences in Canada, the United States and Europe, including meetings of the American Musicological Society, MusCan (the Canadian University Music Society) and Feminist Theory and Music. As an active member of the Manitoba arts community, Dr. Simonot has given lectures and written program notes for organizations such as Manitoba Opera, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Brandon series) and the Brandon Chamber Players.