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IRH Seminar: Isidora Miranda – Musical Exoticism and the Politics of Representation in the Tagalog Zarzuela

October 29, 2018 @ 3:30 pm

Isidora Miranda
Mead Witter School of Music, UW-Madison
Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow, IRH

Studies on music-theatrical representation have often considered sites and examples found on the Western stage, and the different ways such works projected a musical imaginary of a colonial other for its European (and American) audience. But what if the stage was colonial Manila at the turn of the twentieth century and the playwrights and composers are Filipinos who were thinking through ideas about cultural and national identities? In this seminar, I will investigate the complex relationship between music, theater, and identity, and how they defy neat and tidy definitions of cultural nationalism that have long been associated with the repertoire of the Tagalog zarzuela.

Isi Miranda is a PhD candidate in Musicology at UW-Madison. She is a recipient of various research grants including the American Musicological Society’s fellowship at the Newberry Library and the Council for Library and Information Resources-Mellon fellowship for her dissertation on the Tagalog zarzuelas. Currently, Isi is a member of the local band Forró Fo Sho, which plays Northeastern Brazilian dance music.

(Image: A scene from the zarzuela Filipinas para los Filipinos, which premiered in Manila in 1905. Image credit: National Commission for Culture and Arts, Philippines, via their Flickr account.)