OPERA EM SAO PAULO 1952 - 2005

By Sergio CASOY

Editora da universidade de Sao Paulo, 608 pp

Sao Paulo, 2005

Click here to order the book OR here

Opera historians and ardent record collectors also collect chronology books. The fascination of reading casts is possibly known to every reader of our webzine. Not much has been published on operatic life in Brazil though in the past we had at least two very serious and interesting publications. One is a book on the Municipal in Rio. The other one is a chronology of opera in Sao Paulo from 1870 up to 1951.

The present volume is written/compiled by Sergio Casoy a great authority on Brazilian operatic history. Click here for his website.

The book starts with a short history (and survey) of opera in Sao Paulo and the theatres. Then we are offered a chronology of performances (with casts) and concerts in Sao Paolo, done in an extremely clear and eye-pleasing typesetting. The chronology is seasoned with occasional remarks and revealing interviews with critics, theatre directors and singers. Photos both black and white and in colour are numerous and include artists, theatre programmes, production stills, playbills etc.

(Interview with the author in Portuguese)


Following the chronology is an alphabetic listing of all operas performed giving the year and the amount of representations. Then we get another - fascinating - alphabetic listing of all artists and the roles (and years) they appeared in. This wonderful book concludes with a listing of conductors and an index. Mr Casoy is to be complimented with such a fine achievement and his opus should belong in every self-respecting opera book collection.


Click here for a link to the Theatro Municipal in Sao Paulo



ANTONIO LOTTI, a trip down memory lane

Somewhere in the very early nineties or late eighties Jan Neckers and myself headed off for the Liège opera house where we were to hear the Brazilian - Sao Paulo born- tenor Antonio Lotti possibly in his European debut. I took along my primitive tape recorder and "preserved" the singing of the tenor whose impact with the improvisso on the audience was enormous. The tape gives you an idea but does not represent the huge volume and vibrant overtones the voice had in the theatre again proving that recordings whether live or (especially) commercial don't always represent the voice as it actually sounded live. A decade later he returned to Ghent for a concert performance of Ernani. Antonio Lotti died too young from a heart attack in 2006.

Listen to Antonio Lotti in the Improviso from Andrea Chénier, live from Liege, Wallonia.