Ortega del Villar, Aniceto (1825–1875)

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Ortega del Villar, Aniceto (1825–1875)

Aniceto Ortega del Villar (b. 1825; d. 17 November 1875), Mexican composer and physician. Born in Tulancingo, Hidalgo, the son of a statesman, Ortega was educated in Mexico City at the Seminario Conciliar de México (1837), the Seminario de San Ildefonso (1840), and the School of Medicine (1841–1845). He founded the Sociedad Filarmónica Mexicana in 1866. In 1867 his march Zaragoza was published; later it became, unofficially, Mexico's second national anthem. Two other marches, Republicana and Potosina, premiered at the Gran Teatro Nacional. His nationalistic opera Guatimotzin, based on a libretto by José Cuellar, told the story of the defense of Mexico by the Aztecs. It was first performed on 13 September 1871, at the Gran Teatro Nacional, with the Mexican soprano Angela Peralta and the tenor Enrico Tamberlik in the leading roles. This opera is generally considered the first in Mexico to incorporate indigenous elements into the Italian format then prevalent. Ortega also wrote several piano pieces, among them Invocación a la Beethoven, op. 2 (1867). This work, performed in 1867 and published by Wagner and Levien, created an interest in that composer that resulted in a Beethoven Festival, held in Mexico City in 1871. Ortega died in Mexico City.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


Robert Stevenson, Music in Mexico (1952; 2d ed., 1971); New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 13 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Kuss, Malena. "The 'Invention' of America: Encounter Settings on the Latin American Lyric Stage." Revista de Musicología 16:1 (1993): 185-204.

                                        Susana Salgado