History forum at CSUB

May 7, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

A rare glimpse into the life of one of Mexico's most famous 19th century musicians will be provided by California State University, Bakersfield's History Department at its next History Forum on Friday, May 18, at 4 p.m. in the Music Building, room 112.

The forum will feature Ronald Dolkart, CSUB history professor emeritus, presenting "Angela Peralta, El Ruisenor Mexicano."

Dolkart said Peralta was one of the more famous Mexicans of the 19th century and was known as the "Mexican Nightingale." Peralta's fame was on the operatic stage, the most important international theater of her time.~

Her tragic life is operatic in itself, but another facet of her career was as a composer. Evidence of this has been much harder to document because of the difficulty of finding the "Musical Album Of Angela Peralta," a rare volume. After much searching Dolkart has found a copy.

"What the material shows is the important link between the European classical tradition and the spread of Mexican popular music, a connection in which La Peralta, we can theorize, played a prominent role," Dolkart said. "If she remains mostly obscure now, her album is a record of cultural importance, which speaks to us in lyric terms."

The History Forum started in March 2000 and presents one speaker per academic quarter. Past topics have included the history of the Basque settlement in Bakersfield presented by Jeri Echeverria, Fresno State University provost and historian; the history of the California wine industry by historian Victor Geraci; oral history and the Chicano experience in World War II given by Mario Garcia, from the University of California, Santa Barbara; an analysis of the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine presented by CSUB history professor Mark Baker; an analysis on pre-national, pre-modern Ukrainian culture and icons of the Last Judgment by John-Paul Himka, history professor at the University of Alberta (Canada).

The forum is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and parking will be free in Lots B and C. For more information please call the History Department at (661) 654-3079.