Villa-Lobos, Heitor (opera)
- Simon Wright
(b Rio de Janeiro, March 5, 1887; d Rio de Janeiro, Nov 17, 1959). Brazilian composer . He was born just two years before a revolution turned Brazil from a monarchy to a republic, and he grew up in an artistic environment which echoed and, to a certain extent, shaped the political and social changes instigated by successive governments. He was self-taught as a cellist, and almost so as a composer, eschewing any formal musical training. He earned his living first as a cellist, travelling through Brazil in the first decade of the century to give recitals and concerts in provincial venues, and then returning to Rio, where he worked in theatre and opera orchestras. On his travels he absorbed the influences of indigenous and popular musical styles.
Villa-Lobos’s experiences in theatre orchestras prompted him to write several youthful operas, out of which he rescued material for his first major stage work, ...