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Filipe Gaspar


Filipe Gaspar

Research fellow

Fellow of the Doctoral Program “Music as Culture and Cognition” at NOVA FCSH, developing the project “From History to the Daily Life of Operetta in Lisbon: From the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of the 1920s.” His main research interests are: musician-theatre spectacle (1850-1920); musical historiography; history of everyday life; music in the press. He has worked in the field of musical theatre produced in the Portuguese speaking context from the last quarter of the 19th century, within the framework of the research project “’Theatre for Laughing’: Musical Comedy in Portuguese-language Theatres (1849-1900)” (CESEM – NOVA FCSH ), as well as during the masters course, also in Historical Musicology, with the dissertation “Ciríaco de Cardoso e ‘O burro do Sr. Alcaide’: percursos de formação de um compositor de comédia musical no Portugal finissecular”. He remains as collaborator of CESEM as a member of the Music in the Modern Period research group, SociMusi – Group of Advanced Studies in Sociology of Music and NEMI – Nucleus of Studies in Music in the Press. He was Secretary of the Board of SPIM – Portuguese Society of Music Research (2013-2015).

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(2016) “Ciríaco Cardoso: Paradoxos da Carreira de um Compositor Português de Comédia Musical de Finais do Século XIX”. Em Actas del III Encuentro Iberoamericano de Jóvenes Musicólogos, Sevilla. Sevilla: Tagus-Atlanticus Associação Cultural. Acessível aqui

(2016). “Le Pouvoir Comique: insubordinação feminina no palco da opereta” [notas ao programa]. Em Concerto de Ano Novo. Temporada Sinfónica do Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. Lisboa: Teatro Nacional de São Carlos.

(2015). “Ciríaco de Cardoso e ‘O burro do Sr. Alcaide’ : percursos de formação de um compositor de comédia musical no Portugal finissecular”. Dissertação de Mestrado em Ciências Musicais – Musicologia Histórica. Lisboa: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. Acessível em http://hdl.handle.net/10362/17641.

Post-Doc/PhD/Master Thesis
Title M.A. Thesis: Ciríaco de Cardoso e ‘O burro do Sr. Alcaide’: percursos de formação de um compositor de comédia musical no Portugal finissecular

Luísa Cymbron

Scholarship Reference: PTDC/EA T-MMU/098/2008

The main goal of this study was to understand the artistic career of Oporto’s composer Ciríaco de Cardoso (1846 – 1900) and the discourses surrounding one of his most celebrated works: O burro do Sr. Alcaide (1891). In the first chapter, the criteria that formed the basis for the professional choices taken by Ciríaco were identified and discussed. The course of his career leads one to believe that he had a deep understanding of the activities that presented higher potential for acquiring both economic and symbolic capital in Portuguese speaking contexts. That is why, by mobilizing resources from his sociability networks, he circulates among institutions in Oporto and Lisbon, but also around Rio de Janeiro’s profitable theatrical market, as well as Paris. He focuses on the popular musical theatre – his primary source of income – in parallel with concert and operatic activities – way of distinction given the competitiveness in the musical-theatrical market. He also understands that the maximization of his symbolic power depends on the legitimacy achieved by associating himself to local socio-cultural elites. That is why he promotes the establishment of social connections that extend even to Portuguese and Brazilian royal families. Paradoxically, the closest networks to Ciríaco were tied to a republican idealism, a relationship that can be understood, in one hand, by the exponential proliferation of such discourses in the Portuguese speaking media (particularly starting from Luís de Camões tercentenary celebrations in 1880) and, on the other, by the apparent lack of records that unequivocally link the artist to republican activism. Nevertheless it is probable that Ciríaco de Cardoso has explored the antimonarchical surge when planning the 1891 season of Avenida Theatre.

The second chapter explores the production of O burro do Sr. Alcaide by analysing its structure and the relationships between this work and the Portuguese situation in the last decade of the nineteenth century. While following the French operetta model, it also presents features that may lead one to interpret it as a conveyer of an idealized portugality, in line with the Portuguese nationalism of the last quarter of the century. The action takes place in Lisbon, the background for the interaction between stock characters and caricatures of concrete personalities of the Portuguese socio-political elites. Through references to Sebastianism, the conduct of those elites is satirized, as well as the institutions of the constitutional monarchy and the prevalence of a messianic view of rulers by society in general. The promotion of the rurality is done through the use of musical topics and scenes where an image of traditional music is built, corresponding to an idealization of the nation – noticed and emphasize in the reception by the critics. The composer also uses additional topics belonging to the soundscape of the bourgeois public, completing the expression of urbanity of a country where these two realities were not completely dissociable. However, by not proposing effective changes to the hierarchy of fin-de-siècle Portuguese society, its denouement leads one to conclude that this work may have been a form of propaganda that, on one hand, explains its media attention and, on the other, binds its authors – more or less aware of it – to the ongoing political disputes during the year of its premiere.