While opera in the nineteenth-century was largely centered in Europe, one significant secondary hub of operatic activity existed in Mexico City. Mexico City's musical and theatrical scene included Mexican companies, as well as troupes from Europe, Cuba, and elsewhere, which performed a wide range of genres, from tragic plays and zarzuelas (Spanish musical theater) to Italian romantic operas and French comic operas. The ways in which the leading singers, Mexican and European composers, and individual works in the opera scene reflected dialogues about the dominant constructions of gender, race, and nationality help to explain the role opera culture played in the relationship between European and Mexican elements in Mexican society and Mexican opera traditions.
The Mexico City opera scene was an arena of experimentation in which individual operas, their composers, and performers both challenged and reinforced racial and gender ideologies, as well as foreign influences. For example, the depiction of the Aztec hero Cuauhtémoc as a quasi-European “civilized” hero in the Mexican composer Aniceto Ortega's opera Guatimotzín (1871), demonstrates ambiguities and contradictions in conceptions of mestizaje, or racial mixture, and its implications for perceptions of Mexican history. Musical and textual influences evident in Guatimotzín and another Mexican opera from this period, Melesio Morales's Ildegonda (1866), highlight the debate concerning the role of Mexican heritage in Mexico's future. And, among performers, the reception and literary depictions of Spanish cancan dancer Amalia Gómez, Mexican soprano Angela Peralta, and Italian tenor Enrico Tamberlick illustrate how individuals could overcome obstacles presented by discourses of femininity and masculinity by emphasizing unconventional professional and personal choices. Mexican operas, such as Guatimotzín and Ildegonda , along with singers and dancers in Mexico City opera productions, highlight the role of opera culture in the larger dialogue between European and Mexican influences in efforts to “civilize” the Mexican nation.
|Commitee:||Fauser, Annegret, Finson, Jon, Hershfield, Joanne, Nadas, John|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Latin American history, Music, Womens studies|
|Keywords:||Gender, Identity, Mexico, Mexico City, Opera, Race, Social conflict, Zarzuela|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be