Siel Agugliaro

Fourth Year Graduate Student in Musicology
103, Music Building

I am particularly interested in the historical definition of the status of art music as ‘high’ culture, and in the relationship between this repertoire and a more anthropological idea of culture conceived as a symbolic system shared among the members of a specific community. In my previous work, I focused on the specific case of the Teatro alla Scala in the 20th Century, in order to analyze the reasons that justified the public funding of the theatre, while at the same time assessing the extent to which La Scala was able to promote a real democratization of opera music, especially in the wake of the political protests of the years after 1968. As a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, I intend to expand my research by taking into account the way in which opera and classical music have developed in the US as highbrow genres strictly related with more general issues of social distinction, national identity, and racial emancipation.