The article approaches the musical dramaturgy of Ebbó (1998), an opera-oratorio by Cuban composer Louis Aguirre, from a holistic perspective. It directs special attention to the formal, structural, and syntactic aspects of the work’s musical discourse, while also delving into the Afro-Cuban religious and music-cultural references that converge in its network of meanings. The close identification of the work with the religious system of Ocha-Ifá, as well as the composer’s experiences as a practitioner of Afro-Cuban religions (Palo Monte and Ocha-Ifá, popularly known as Santería), require an introduction to the philosophical, ethical, and symbolic universe of Yoruba origin that defines Cuban Santería. Ebbó, more than a representative work of late twentieth-century trends in Cuban music theater, stands as an avatar for a new type of singular, avant-garde Afro-Cuban aesthetic. It is an expression of the continuity and reinvention of a religious, aesthetic, and musical heritage deeply rooted in the Afro-Caribbean cultural patrimony.


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