Great world artists that performed in Municipal.
In the image, the baritone Titta Ruffo, who was responsible for the premiére of the Theatro Municipal with the opera "Hamlet," by Ambroise Thomas. The talent of the baritone was confirmed by his performance as Figaro, in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia," by Rossini, which Ruffo sang closing the first season of the Theatro. Ruffo came back to the Theatro's stage in 1915 as the protagonist of "Rigoletto," by Verdi.
Enrico Caruso, considered the King of Tenors in his time, was also cheered by Luciano Pavarotti as the best singer in classical music of all times. His work was a milestone in music as being the first recording to reach the mark of 1 million sold copies in the world, with his interpretation of "Vesti la giubba," from the opera "Pagliacci."
Grabriella Besanzoni (mezzo-soprano), although was a contralto, dedicated herself to the studies of mezzo's tessitura. Her debut in this range was in Teatro Costanzi, in Rome. At the beginning of 20th century, she was consecrated the star of the famous Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires. She was the founder of S.A. Teatro Brasileiro, which although having a short life was fundamental for consolidating opera in Brazil.
The debut of the Brazilian Bidú Sayão (soprano) was at Teatro Constanzi, in Rome, playing the role of Rosini, in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia," in 1926. Starting from 1937, she became part of Metropolitan Opera House cast, in New York, singing even to the Roosevelt couple in the White House, in 1938. Roosevelt offered her a US citizenship, but Bidú declined: "In Brazil I was born, in Brazil I will die." Unfortunately, she died in the US, in 1999, by complications with pneumonia.
Georges Thill (tenor) performed in the most important concert halls in the world, such as La Scala, in Milan; Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires; and Royal Opera House, in London. He was also part of the cast of the Metropolitan Opera House between 1931 and 1932, but had adaptation problems with US culture, which degraded his health causing to be less wanted by the house patrons.
The Italian Salvatore Baccaloni (bass) is considered one of the greatest bufons of 20th century. He specialized himself in comedy thanks to the advice of La Scala's conductor, Arturo Toscanini, having done historical performances such as Leporello, in "Don Giovanni;" Dulcamara, in "L'elisir d'amore;" and the main roles in "Falstaff" and "Gianni Schicchi".
Claudia Muzio (soprano) had an ascendant career since young age. She had her debut at La Scala, in Milan, one of the most important concert halls in the world, with only 24 years old, playing Desdemona in "Otello," by Verdi. In the next year, she performed in Paris and London. But it was at Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires, that Muzio established a special relation with a captive audience.
Gina Cigna (soprano), actually, started her career as a pianist. She decided explore her singing qualities after an advice of her husband, Maurice Sens. She had her debut at La Scala, in Milan, in 1927, using her married name Ginette Sens, without having great reviews. Two years later, already using the name Gina Cigna, at the same La Scala, she performed Donna Elvira in "Don Giovanni," which was her triumph. She performed at La Scala until 1945.
Ebe Stignani (mezzo-soprano) also had an "affair" with La Scala, in Milan. Invited by Artur Toscanini in 1926 for the role of Princesa Eboli in "Don Carlo," by Verdi, her debut in Milan was such success that the city became her main stage. She traveled around the world, performing in long seasons in North America -- especially after the war --, but never got to perform at Metropolitan Opera House, in New York.
The career of the Croatian Zinka Milanov (soprano) is closely connected to the Metropolitan Opera House, in New York. In 1937, she had her debut there playing the role of Leonora in "Il Trovatore," by Verdi. She stayed working there until 1947, when she got married again. Because of her premiére at Met, Zinka had to adopt the last name of her second husband, Milanov, since her real last name, Kunc, wasn't that glamorous for the house and, also, because the patrons were worried of pronouncing mistakes that the public could make -- what could generate some strong words.
Bruna Castagna (mezzo-soprano) mostly performed in two big concert halls in the world: Metropolitan Opera House, in New York (between 1937 and 1945), and Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires (1925-1942). Although having an iconic career, Catagna had an early retirement, with a little more than 40 years old.
The North-American Maria Callas (soprano) was considered the biggest soprano of all times. Callas became famous not only by her voice -- which had unique characteristics --, but also by her personal life. By having a strong personality, now and then she got in fights with her colleagues, conductors, and patrons of concert halls around the world. The most iconic conflict may be the one with Rudolf Bing, from Met, who fired her after she refused to sing "La Traviata" and "Macbeth," both by Verdi, in alternate days. "La Traviata" and "Macbeth" have very different vocal demands. Answering to Bing, Callas sentenced that her voice wasn't an elevator.
Fedora Barbieri (mezzo-soprano) may have the longest lyrical career in history. Without officially retiring, Barbieri stopped performing often during the 1990s. Although having a respected career, Fedora was well known for her partnership with Maria Callas in- and outside of the stages during the 1950s.
Ferruccio Tagliavini (tenor) could be considered the heir of Tito Schipa and Beniamino Gigli. He performed in the most traditional concert halls in the world: La Scala, in Milan; Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires; Metropolitan Opera House, in New York; San Francisco Opera, in São Francisco; Royal Opera House, in London; and Paris Opéra, in Paris.
Renata Tebaldi (soprano) was known as "La voce d'angelo", or "The voice of an angel", because of her beautiful voice. The nickname helped to be considered one of the best sopranos in history and becoming a great diva. In 1963, she suffered minor vocal problems, which made her take a break of her career for a short period of time and re-educate her voice. She was back on the stage in the next year, but her voice gained a little weight.
Mario Del Monaco (tenor) had his debut in the opera "Madama Butterfly," by Verdi, at Teatro Puccini, in Milan, in 1940, one year before having being prevented from the Italian army expedition to Russia by colonel Gino Ninchi. Ninchi explained: "Don't force the destiny. You will belong the infantry if you be called. Moreover, you are an heritage of our country and will serve your nation showing your unique voice to the world." His talent was so pre-eminent that for 28 years La Scala would only present "Andrea Chènier", by Umberto Giordano, if Monaco was in the cast.
Agnes Ayres (soprano) was part of one of the historical recordings made by the Brazilian TV station TV Cultura. Performing in the opera "Fosca," by Carlos Gomes, in the role of Délia, Ayres was part of one of the only fully recordings made by the TV station during the 1970s. The material was found by her nephew, José Eduardo Pereira de Oliveira, just after the Ayres death with 83 years old.
Sergio Albertini (tenor) also was part of the first recording of "Il Guarany," by Carlos Gomes. Made in 1986, the recording had the Coral Lírico and the Orquestra Sinfônica of Theatro Municipal as part of the cast, and with solos by Niza de Castro Tank, Andrea Ramos, and Benedito Silva. The concert was conducted by Armando Belardi and Roberto Tibiriçá.
There is an anecdote in Theatro Municipal saying that during the 1950s, when the tenor Beniamino Gigli was performing in Rio de Janeiro, it was heard a beautiful voice coming out from one of the dressing-rooms. The employees of the Theatro and part of the choir stopped in front of its door as a way to not loose the opportunity of hearing the great tenor rehearsing. But when the door opened, the great Assis Pacheco (tenor) leaves the room! He was one of the few Brazilian singers who made his living only by his art.
Cacilda Becker (actress), one of the greatest myths of Brazilian stages, in the presentation of "Camille," by Alexandre Dumas. Sister of the also actress Cleyde Yáconis, Cacilda performed in 68 plays, three movies, and one soup-opera in 30 years of career. She was a member of the legendary theatrical company Teatro Brasileiro de Comédia (TBC) and died on stage during the presentation of "Waiting for Godot" because of a cerebral aneurysm.
The legendary Procópio Ferreira (actor, playwright, and director) was the person who most performed the biggest number of national plays and launched the biggest number of authors. In 68 years of career, he performed more than 500 roles in 427 plays. When he died, with 86 years old, his body was veiled at Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro.
Italia Fausta (actress), in the play "O Anjo Negro," by Nelson Rodrigues. Connected to the traditional theater colonized by Portugal, Fausta was part of one of the most important modern changes in Brazilian theater during 1940s and 1950s. She was part of the great Teatro da Natureza and directed the premiére of Teatro do Estudante do Brasil (TEB). When she performed for "O Anjo Negro," Fausta was part of Teatro Popular de Arte (TPA) in a memorable season at Teatro Fênix, in Rio de Janeiro.
Maria Della Costa (actress), playing "The Respectful Prostitute," by Jean Paul Sartre. Della Costa was one of the founders of Teatro Popular de Arte (TPA) together with her husband Sandro Pollini (Italia Fausta's nephew). In 1954, she founded her own theater which carries her name in Bela Vista, São Paulo, and where she created the best repertoires of Brazilian theater.
The actress Dulcina de Moraes was the founder of Fundação Teatro Brasileiro, later transformed into Faculdade de Artes Dulcina de Moraes, in Brasília. She is also founder, now with her husband Odilon Azevedo, of the Dulcina-Odilon company, responsible by the first presentations of Garcia Lorca, D'Anuzzio, Bernard Shaw, and Jean Giraudoux in the country.
Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Le Spectre de la Rose." Considered by the critic Clive Barnes as the "most perfect ballet dancer that [he] saw," Baryshnikov asked political asylum during his tour with Ballet Kirov in Toronto, in Canada, in 1974. Since then and until 1979, he was the main ballet dancer of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT).
During her studies in Paris, Guiomar Novaes (pianist) was invited to play to a compatriot: Princess Isabel, who was in exile in Versalles. It was the Princess who stimulated Guiomar to include in her repertoire "Grande Fantasia Triunfal sobre o Hino Nacional Brasileiro," by Louis Moreau Gottschalk. In this way, since the beginning of her presentation, her audience could know her nationality and mostly she would contribute for the recognition of Brazil in the world.
Jacques Klein (pianist) studied at Conservatório de Música Alberto Nepomuceno founded by his father, Alberto Klein, in Fortaleza. Already living abroad to improve his technique, when he was 25 years old he was considered the pianist of the year in London, receiving the Harriet Cohen award. Klein was very important in Música Popular Brasileira too, having inclusive composed together with Dorival Caymmi.
The debut of Yara Bernette (pianist) on the stage of Theatro Municipal happened when she was only 11 years old in a children's concert. The professional debut, however, only would come when she had reached majority, when she plays together with Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de São Paulo and under the conduction of Souza Lima. Four years later, she performed at Town Hall, in New York.
Nelson Freire (pianist) showed to his family his abilities when he was only three years old, when he played by heart a composition that his sister had just played. Freire had an exemplar international career, winning several contests and awards. He participated as a guest in major orchestras around the world, such as Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris e Berliner Philharmoniker.
The importance of Heitor Villa-Lobos (conductor) to Brazilian music is so notorious that his birthday was chosen to celebrate the Classical Music National Day in Brazil. Villa-Lobos was the music's main exponent during Modernism in the country, thanks to his explorations with popular and indigenous sounds and the classical repertoire. On the day of his death, even the New York Times published an Op-Ed article honoring his career.
Born in Italy, Edoardo de Guarnieri (conductor) naturalized Brazilian in 1941, four years after having escaped from the fascist dictatorship of his country. He had a death that marked the Theatro Municipal's history. While climbing the stairs of the Theatro, he suffered an aneurysm which culminated with his death.
Souza Lima (conductor), just after finishing his studies in Paris, came back to São Paulo and is invited by Mario de Andrade to be part of the City's Culture Department -- which, later, would become the Secretary of Culture. Holding the new position, he was the Orchestra's conductor of the Theatro, besides having being part of Trio São Paulo.
The Italian Tulio Serafin (conductor) replaced the famous La Scala's music director Toscanini, in Milan, when the latter decided to go to New York for a season. Well known by his reputation of training classical singers, Serafin had as one of his pupils Maria Callas. He was also part of Metropolitan Opera House, in New York, for 10 years.
Camargo Guarnieri (conductor) had an important intelectual mentor: Mario de Andrade. In 1928, just after presenting two of his works ("Canção Sertaneja" and "Dança Brasileira"), Andrade invited him to be an often visitor of his house, where they discussed aesthetics, listened musical pieces, and exchanged books. Andrade not only became a very good friend of Guarnieri, as he also was responsible by promoting and explaining the composer's work for a broad audience through his articles in newspapers.
Isaac Karabtchevsky (conductor) is the few professionals in Brazilian classical music that was honoured in a "samba enredo." The samba school Unidos de Vila Isabel, in 2015, did a reference to the conductor with the following verses: "The Brazilian conductor is in Noel's land. The Blue and White score of our Vila Isabel." The school got the second from bottom position.
Pietro Mascagni (conductor) was the author of the famous "Cavalleria Rusticana," an opera performed many times at Theatro Municipal. The play was written in only two months and it was based on the text of the Italian Giovanni Verga. "Cavalleria Rusticana" is one of the only 17 of the author's plays still played nowadays.
Ravi Shankar's (sitarist) music had big influences in Beatles' works. He was considered the "godfather of world music." Although his music was extremely influential, in 1986 Shankar was nominated Prime-Minister Rajiv Gandhi for the upper chamber of the Parliament of India, where he stayed until 1992.
In the 20th anniversary of Bossa Nova, João Gilberto played at Theatro Municipal seated on a stool and sang successes of the music that influenced national and international composers. Gilberto got well known in national music scene when he made a popular music revolution with "Chega de Saudade" recording.
Duke Ellington (composer, conductor, and pianist), known as "The Duke," was the first jazz musician to gain membership into the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Although a great musician, Duke's first passion was baseball. He even got a job as a peanuts seller in the stadiums to see his idols closely.
PREFEITURA DO MUNICÍPIO DE SÃO PAULO
City's Secretary of Culture
FUNDAÇÃO THEATRO MUNICIPAL DE SÃO PAULO
Nabil Bonduki - President
Pablo Zappelini de Leon
Jose Luiz Herencia
Carolina Paes Simão
INSTITUTO BRASILEIRO DE GESTÃO CULTURAL
Claudio Jorge Willer
Olivieri Advogados Associados
Maria Carolina G. de Freitas
Nelson F. de Oliveira
Advisory of Artistic Department
Clarisse De Conti
Eni Tenorio dos Santos
Artistic Programming Coordination
Juan Guillermo Nova
Assistant of Technical Department
Assistant of Stage Director
Resident Assistant of Scenic Department
Second Assistant of Scenic Department
Resident Costume Designer
Maria Elisa P. Pasqualini
Milton Tadashi Nakamoto
Copyists and Archivists
Leandro Jose Silva
Paulo Cezar Codato
Alana dos Santos Schambacler
Laysa Padilha de Souza Oliveira
Head of Stagecraft Technician
Anibal Marques (Pelé)
Head of Machinery
Thiago dos S. Panfieti
Deputy Head of Machinery
Paulo M. de S. Filho
Marcelo Luiz Frozino
Head of Stagehand Department
João Paulo Gonçalves
Alberto dos Santos
Aristides da Costa neto
Carlos Roberto ﾁvila
Ivaildo Bezerra Lopes
Peter Silva M. de Oliveira
Uiler Ulisses Silva
Wilian Danieli Peroso
Alex Sandro N. Pinheiro
Anderson S. de Assis
Eneas R. Leite Neto
Paloma Neves da Costa
Sandra S. Yamamoto
Head of Audio
Segio Luis Ferreira
Kelly Cristina da Silva
Head of Lightining
Igor Augusto F. Oliveira
Isabel Rodrigues Martins
Lindinalva M. Celestino
Maria Gabriel Martins
Nina de Mello
CENTRAL DE PRODUÇÃO “CHICO GIACCHIERI”
Assistant of Costumes Archive
Ivani Rodrigues Umberto
Carlos da S. Ribeiro
Marcos C. Rocha
Rui da Silva Costa
Luiz Carlos Lemes
Gonçalo da Silva
Gabriel Navarro Colasso