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Francesco Milella González Luna

IRC Postdoctoral Fellow at UCD



School of Music, University College Dublin, Stillorgan Rd, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

I was born in a Mexican-Italian family with a strong operatic passion: this personal background had a huge impact on my academic research. Over the years it led me to focus on the circulation of Western music with particular attention to Italian opera in Latin America during the 1760-1848 transition. 

My recent academic projects focus on musical connections across the Atlantic ocean between the eighteenth and nineteenth century with particular attention to final decades of the Spanish-American empire.


I studied at the University of Milan (BA, Modern Literature; MA, Musicology) and Maastricht (MA, Cultural management). In 2018 I moved to the University of Cambridge (Jesus College) where I completed a dissertation on Italian opera in early national Mexico. My research has recently obtained the First Prize in the Otto Mayer-Serra Competition (University of California - Riverside) and the 'Tesi Rossiniane' prize (Fondazione Rossini) to the best academic work about the music and times of Gioachino Rossini.

In September 2023 I joined the School of Music at University College Dublin as a postdoctoral fellow with a IRC-funded project on the impact of the Atlantic circulation of Italian opera in the crisis of the Spanish empire between 1770 and 1820.


This project explores how the Atlantic circulation of Italian opera contributed to the crisis of the Spanish American empire. This project takes this bidirectional perspective to analyse how Italian opera became interconnected with Enlightenment debates in ways that undermined the stability of the Spanish empire: it explores not only the reception and reinterpretation of Italian operas in late-colonial Mexico but also Europe’s fictionalisation of Mexico’s early colonial history in Italian operas of the same period. In doing so, this project aims to understand how Italian operas acted on both sides of the ocean as conveyors and sounding boards of new dichotomies such as equality-authority, civilisation-barbarism, rationalism-religious fanaticism promoted by the Enlightenment.

My research has been publised by Cambridge University Press, California University Press, Bollettino Rossiniano di Studi.

Besides my academic career, I work as a music consultant, radio speaker and cultural manager for music institutions in Italy, England and Mexico. 

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