Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Jack L. Dean

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Gregory A. Fuller

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Christopher J. Goertzen

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Joseph L. Brumbeloe

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Catherine A. Rand

Committee Member 5 Department



The First Critical Performing Edition of the Zarzuela Maria la O by Ernesto Lecuona (as orchestrated by Felix Guerrero), is the rescue of the complete score of one of the most important works by a Cuban composer. The complete but still unpublished original score to Maria la O will finally have a clear and accurate performing edition. This will serve, both expert performers in Cuban popular music and anyone else interested in the subject. In this new score, indigenous rhythms and other traditional performance practice issues have been fully written out.

This document will also include a brief history and overview of musical theatre in Cuba, as well as the facts and events involved in the genesis of the Cuban Zarzuela. It will undoubtedly bring assistance to those interested in the historic context of this genre. This project will also reveal, for the first time, the process by which Maria la O was developed and transformed from a simple one-act sainete to a more complex zarzuela Cubana. Finally, biographical information about the creators of Maria la O is included for the purpose of providing more background information about these individuals and about the culture in which they lived and worked.

It is my hope that this work will serve to aid in the preservation and dissemination of Cuba’s musical heritage.