Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

UT Chamber Singers Perform Missa in Brazil

Wed, May 3, 2006

The University of Texas Chamber Singers toured Brazil May 21-June 1, 2006, performing the Missa de Nossa Senhora da Concepção (Mass of Our Lady of the Conception) in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. This Brazilian masterpiece was composed by Jose Mauri­cio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830).

Nunes Garcia served as Kapelmeister in the court of Portuguese Prince Regent Joao VI, who fled Lisbon with his court to escape Napoleon's armies. The Missa, first performed in 1810, was long buried in a Rio archive until ten years ago, when a young student named Ricardo Bernardes found sections of the score and painstakingly put it back together. Bernardes brought this "lost" music to The University of Texas at Austin in spring 2005, when the Missa was performed by the Chamber Singers with a full orchestra under the direction of James Morrow. The performance was part of ArtesAmericas, a program of the UT Performing Arts Center, and was the crowning event of the two-day symposium organized by LLILAS, Music and Culture in the Imperial Court of Joao VI in Rio de Janeiro.

The Chamber Singers, one of the premier North American collegiate choral ensembles, traveled to Brazil as guests of the Universidade de Sao Paulo's Orquestra de Camara (OCAM), one of the leading orchestras in the state. They performed the Missa in Sao Paulo at USP, SESC, SESI, Itú, and finally at the Capela Real in Rio de Janeiro, where the piece was first performed for Dom Joao VI nearly 200 years ago. Maestro Gil Jardim and OCAM opened the concert with Brazilian orchestral works of the period. In the second half, UT conductor James Morrow led OCAM, the Chamber Singers, and soloists in a performance of the Missa.

The Faculdade de Historia at the Universidade de Sao Paulo hosted the international symposium Musica e Cultura na Corte de D. Joao VI on May 26. The event was held at the Espaço Cultural, Predio de Historia e Geografia, Cidade Universitaria. For more information on the Chamber Singers' tour, contact Jennifer Potter-Andreu at brazil@uts.cc.utexas.edu or 512.471.8418.

For the complete story, visit www.finearts.utexas.edu/news/news_items/chamber_singers_brazil.cfm?calset=cfa or The Daily Texan Online.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

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