“Manipulating Culture after the Conquest: the First Operas in the New World” Chad M. Gasta, Professor of Spanish and Chair, Department of World Languages and Cultures Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 8 p.m. Sun Room, Iowa State University Memorial Union
Chad M. Gasta, Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, will discuss the discovery of the first operas in the New World with musical accompaniment and vocal performance by faculty from the Department of Music. In the former Jesuit Missions of South America, over 15,000 sheets of music were discovered including one opera written by an unknown indigenous composer in the local Chiquitano language and staged and performed by Indian singers and musicians. Gasta’s presentation describes how early opera embodies the cohabitation and cross-cultural collaborative spaces shared by Europeans and Indians in the development and consolidation of opera, challenging what has been assumed about Spain’s one-way dominance in all its colonies. The presentation will include musical accompaniment and vocal performance by faculty from the Department of Music.
About the Author Chad M. Gasta is Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of World Languages & Cultures at Iowa State University where he also serves as Director of International Studies and Co-Director of the Languages and Cultures for Professions (LCP) program. He has been honored with many college and university awards for teaching and service. In addition to numerous articles on early modern Spanish and New World literature and culture, Gasta is also the author of Imperial Stagings: Empire and Ideology in Transatlantic Theater of Early Modern Spain and the New World (North Carolina University Press, 2013) and a critical edition of Lazarillo de Tormes (Waveland Press, 2013), and co-editor of Hispanic Essays in Honor of Robert L. Fiore (Juan de la Cuesta, 2009).