Antônio Carlos Gomes was the first New World composer whose work was accepted by Europe. He was the only non-European who was successful as an opera composer in Italy, during the "golden age of opera", contemporary to Verdi and Puccini and the first composer of non-European lineage to be accepted into the Classic tradition of music.
Younger than Verdi, yet older than Puccini, Carlos Gomes achieved his first major success in a time when the Italian audiences were eager for a new name to celebrate and Puccini had not yet officially started his career. After the successful premiere of Il Guarany, Gomes was considered the most promising new composer. Verdi said his work was an expression of "true musical genius". Liszt said that “it displays dense technical maturity, full of harmonic and orchestral maturity.”