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Musical Exoticism and the Politics of Representation in the Tagalog Zarzuela

October 29, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Black and white image with graphic frame depicting performers on a stage performing the zaruela "Filipinas para los Filipinos," which premiered in Manila in 1905.
Image: A scene from the zarzuela Filipinas para los Filipinos, which premiered in Manila in 1905. Image credit: National Commission for Culture and Arts, Phillippines, via their Flickr account.

Monday Seminar:

Isidora Miranda

Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow (2018-2019)

Mead Witter School of Music, UW-Madison


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 Ph.D. 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.


October 29, 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States