Saturday, 18 June 2011

A sombra confia ao vento

I've changed a lot in this last year, since I went to Italy last June, more precisely. And so did my taste for music. Just two weeks ago I went to watch an opera for the first time. Of course it was a transmission, but even so.

So I though I'd share a few things about Heitor Villa-Lobos and Bidu Sayão.

Villa-Lobos was a brazilian composer and maestro, being responsable for the development of a particularly brazilian musical language. Born in 1887, started learning music from his father, who was an amateur musician an a librarian, and at the age of 12 began to work as a caffe musician playing the cello.

He was a student at the National Institute of Music in Rio de Janeiro, but his music never relly fit to academic patterns. As he would say himself, "My music is natural, like a waterfall".

In 1930, after a couple of trips into Brazil's north and north-east to study folk and popular sounds and participating in the Modern Art Week (1922), he had already been granted by the government study time in Paris, and was made director of music education in Rio.

In 1944, was convinced by his friend the Maestro Leopold Stokowski to take the Maestro Werner Janssen's invitation to a tour through the United States, which along with other things, got him a participation on the movie The Green Massions.

The international impact of his work can be felt specially in France and the United States, as can be seen by the editorial made by The New York Times the day after his death in november 1959.

Bidu Sayão was a brazilian opera soprano, being a leading artist in the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1937 to 1952. She had her major opera debut in Rio de Janeiro at the age of eighteen, and from that, had the opportunity to study with Elena Teodorini and later with Jean de Reszke. She performed in many locations sucha as Rome, Buenos Aires and Paris, apart from Brazil.

In 1930 she debuted at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and at the Paris Opera the next year, soon becoming one of the leading lyric sopranos in Europe.

She made to the U.S. through a recital at the Town Hall in New York,  then passing by the Washington National Opera, the New York Phillarmonic and finally the MET Opera.

She had a long lasting artistic partnership with Villa-Lobos. Being her his favorite singer, there are many recordings of his compositions in which she takes part, such as the Bachiana Brasileira Nº 5 and Floresta do Amazonas.

In 1952 she decided to give up the opera, and retire while still at the top of her form.

I'm going to take the opportunity to say how sad I am that the international articles are so much richer then the brazilian ones. Sad.

Sources - Wikipedia (en/pt),,


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