Antônio Carlos Gomes

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Gomes, Antônio Carlos


Born July 11, 1836, in Campinas; died Sept. 16, 1896, in Belém. Brazilian composer. Founder of the National Opera of Brazil,.

Gomes studied music with his father, a Campinas conductor, and later attended the conservatory in Rio de Janeiro where he studied with G. Giannini and in Milan with L. Rossi. In 1860 he founded the National Opera. During 1872–80 he lived in Italy. From 1895 he was director of the conservatory in Belém. His outstanding work is the opera-ballet O Guaraní, based on the novel of the same title by J. Alencar about the conquest of Brazil by the Portuguese (1870, La Scala, Milan). He also wrote masses, chorales, and piano pieces, as well as the operas Night in a Castle (1861), Jeanne of Flanders (1863), Salvator Rosa (1874) (all produced in Rio de Janeiro), and The Slave (1889, Genoa), and the musical comedies On the Moon (1868, Turin), and Electric Telegraph (1871, Rio de Janeiro). He composed the anthem Long Live Brazil! (1876) and the Columbus cantatas. Gomes’ works have original melodic qualities, are animated and dynamic, and incorporate folk tunes. Nevertheless his work is not free of the influence of Italian music.