Baroque opera is a unique form of musical theatre that emerged in Europe during the 17th century. However, its influence and popularity quickly spread throughout the world, including Latin America. In this blog, we'll explore the fascinating world of Baroque opera in Latin America and the contributions of Victor Sgarbi, a talented lyric baritone, to this musical genre.
Baroque opera first arrived in Latin America during the colonial period, primarily through Spanish and Portuguese colonization. As European settlers arrived in the Americas, they brought with them their cultural traditions, including music and opera. Baroque opera quickly became a popular form of entertainment among the wealthy, aristocratic classes of Latin American society.
One of the most prominent examples of Baroque opera in Latin America is the opera "La Púrpura de la Rosa," which was composed in Lima, Peru in 1701. The opera tells the story of Venus and Adonis and is considered the first opera composed in the Americas. It was written by the Spanish composer Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco, who was also a music teacher and choir director in Lima.
In the centuries that followed, Baroque opera continued to flourish in Latin America, with composers and performers adapting the form to reflect their unique cultural traditions. Today, Baroque opera remains an important part of the cultural heritage of many Latin American countries, including Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
EL PARNASO HYSPANO is an international chamber group of singers and instrumentalists dedicated to the performance of early Hispanic music, ranging from the medieval to the baroque and early classical. Their repertoire encompasses Spain and Latin America, with a specialism in the music of “Golden Age” [El Siglo de Oro 1500-1700] when the Spanish empire was at its height. At this time there was a wealth of musical creativity in the major cultural and religious centres, particularly in what afterwards became Bolivia and Peru, the richest viceroyalties of South America. Much of this music is only now being recently rediscovered and published for contemporary performance, and the group showcases the richness of the Hispanic musical legacy of the Americas.
El Parnaso Hyspano is the artistic vision of its founder Rafael Montero. With its origin in Cologne in 2016, and since 2020 involving professional musicians based in London, but with international heritage, El Parnaso brings not only musical but cultural enrichment, and contributes to a multicultural dialogue. From a uniquely informed perspective Rafael Montero is a descendent of the people who were performing and co-creating this music. The group has a mission to discover and showcase the music that has come from the indigenous people and mestizos of the continent. In this time of postcolonialism, they bring an authentic voice from the minorities from Latin America.
Their repertoire includes religious and secular solo cantatas for voice and continuo as well as the famous polyphonic works of the Spanish Renaissance and South American baroque for vocal ensemble with continuo accompaniment.
Opera lovers, are you ready for a journey through the life and career of one of the most captivating and versatile lyric baritones actively working today? Meet Victor Sgarbi, a true artist who brings the power of music and storytelling to life on stage.
Born in Brazil, Victor was exposed to classical music from a young age and it quickly became a part of who he was. He fell in love with opera and dedicated himself to perfecting his craft. With years of hard work and determination, Victor has become one of the most sought-after artists in the classical music world, captivating audiences with his unique voice, impressive range, and emotive performances.
But Victor's journey has not been without its challenges. Throughout his career, he has faced obstacles that have tested his resolve and pushed him to become a better artist. From performing in some of the most prestigious venues in the world to dealing with stage fright, and fighting against the attention deficit disorder that had deeply scarred him for life, Victor has learned to embrace the ups and downs of his career and use them to fuel his passion for opera.
Victor's performances are not just musical recitals, but powerful stories that connect with audiences on a deep and personal level. His voice is a storyteller, taking listeners on a journey through the highs and lows of life, love, and loss. Whether he is performing a joyous aria or a sorrowful ballad, his voice is imbued with a rich and expressive quality that touches the hearts of those who hear him.
So, if you have the chance to see Victor Sgarbi perform live, do not miss it. His concerts are truly unforgettable experiences that showcase his talent, passion, and the power of music to inspire and heal. Get ready to be swept away by the voice, the story, and the man that is Victor Sgarbi.
On the 28th of November at 8 pm, don't miss out the opportunity to listen to our amazing performance of Mozart's Mass in C minor, K427. The Philharmonia Chorus of London collaborating with the Orchestre National de Lille . Link below.
Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the RPO and 150th Anniversary of the RAH - Belshazzar's Feast (Walton)
One of the most iconic finales of a British cantata has its place in Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. This was the first full Philharmonia Chorus engagement since the start of the pandemic, and we are very proud of what we could achieve with so many obstacles. What we can feel in this live streaming is the commitment and the passion form each and everyone of the singers, making it a powerful and memorable "come back" . listen here : chorus starts on 1.22.30
Ishrat Hyatt ( October 2010 )
In continuation of his policy to introduce the rich culture of Brazil to the residents of the capital and if possible, to people living in other parts of the country, Ambassador Alfredo Leoni hosted a performance by two of Brazil’s well known artistes, pianist Ivan Pires and baritone Victor Sgarbi.
The event — which was divided into two performances due to the lack of space in the venue — was held at the embassy of Brazil and was attended on Tuesday evening by members of the diplomatic community, who are aficionados of classical music. It was a small group — those who accepted and did not show up missed out on an enjoyable evening, not only as afar as the performance was concerned but also because of the warmth of Brazilian hospitality. As one diplomat put it before leaving, “Wasn’t that exquisite performance!”
Addressing the gathering the host thanked the artistes for accepting his invitation to perform in Islamabad as well as his deputy, Joao Belloc, who had arranged the whole affair in his absence. With a brief introduction of the artistes, he concluded by hoping his guests would enjoy the performance.
The programme was in two parts, with European music followed by Brazilian compositions and included excerpts from Robert Schumann’s ‘Liederkreis;’ Vaughn Williams ‘Songs of Travel;’ an introductory Brazilian piano solo, ‘Waltz of Sorrow’ by Hector Villa-Lobos; two numbers by Ernana Braga and another two by Antonio Carlos Jobim, the first person behind the conception of the ‘Bossa Nova.’
My favourite was the ancient Brazilian lullaby in a mixture of three languages — that of native Indians ‘Tupi-Guarani;’ that of the African slaves and Portuguese. Both artistes said they were pleasantly surprised after they arrived here to learn first hand that all the negative publicity given to Pakistan was just media hype — they found it easy to go around and every one they had met from all walks of life was friendly and hospitable. Conceding that it had taken their country a long time to reach its present status, they said Pakistan was a young country and would soon get over the problems it was facing. As we say, ‘in kay moo main ghee shukkar’ — in effect, may their words come true! Victors solo career began in the year 2000 when he was a student of classical singing at University Tom Jobim ( Sao Paulo — Brazil) performing the baritone role in the opera ‘Carmina Burana’ under the direction of maestro Parcval Modolo. The following year he joined the professional choir of the Sao Paulo symphony orchestra as a soloist, performing works by Mozart, Rossini, Haydn and Monteverdi among others. He has subsequently taken several roles in fully staged operas in and Brazil and the UK. His vocals have been compared to that of Jonathan Pryce’ by reviewer, Tremayne Potter while Barry Grantham thinks he has a ‘well placed baritone voice.’
Ivan Pires began studying piano at the age ten and acquired a Bachelors Degree in Piano from the School of Music of Arts of the State of Parana, Brazil. He has performed at several renowned theatres and concert halls in Brazil and has held recitals in France, Portugal, Italy and the UK.
In 2005 the ‘Year of Brazil in France’, he performed to great acclaim works by Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos at the ‘Casa do Brasil’ in Paris. He has recently made his first recording at the church of ‘St. Martin-in-the Fields’ in London where he now lives."
Off West End Announces 89 Finalists For 2019 Offies Awards OffWestEnd, the agency supporting the work of independent, alternative and fringe theatres in London, has now announced the 89 finalists for 28 of its Offies awards categories. The Awards ceremony will be held at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday 3 February, 5pm.
In 2018, Offies assessors were invited to 400 shows across 80 venues across London, resulting in 430 nominations across 28 Offies categories. The Offies panel of assessors and critics have now agreed on 89 finalists. These 28 awards cover 5 design categories, 8 categories for plays, 9 categories for musicals & opera, and 6 other categories – for Ensemble, Performance Piece, TBC (shows that defy conventional categorisation), and shows for Young People (for ages 0-7, 8+ and 13+).
A full list of the 89 finalists appears at the end of this press release – including shows with several finalists such The Rink at Southwark Playhouse, as well as many at small venues across London, including the Hope Theatre, Jack Studio Theatre, Little Angel Theatre, Old Red Lion and the White Bear. It also includes shows such as Misty which successfully transferred from its original run at the Bush Theatre to a season at Trafalgar Studios. The full list of finalists is also online at https://offies.london/2019-finalists-shows-in-2018/.
Geoffrey Brown, Director of Off West End, said ‘2018 was another amazing year for Off West End theatre in London, and the Offies recognise the extraordinary talent and creativity of performers, designers, directors, producers and many others at these theatres across London – who are usually working with limited budgets and within many other constraints – and still producing all this wonderful work.’
In addition to these awards, the Offies also offer a People’s Vote, where the public can vote for their favourite venue across 9 categories – voting is open until 13 January 2019 and people can vote at: https://offies.london/peoples-vote/.
Offies Winners will be announced at the Offies 2019 Awards ceremony which will be held in the refurbished Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday 3 February 2019. The public can purchase tickets for the event, which will be the 9th year of these awards. More information, including on booking tickets, can be found at https://offies.london/2019-awards-event/.
Off West End supports and celebrates the work of around 100 independent, alternative and fringe venues across London which are geographically or philosophically not part of the commercial West End theatre scene. Off West End helps to promote these venues and provides marketing services for their productions. Off West End also runs the Offies awards which celebrate the best of what these venues offer.
“Der Schauspieldirektor / Bastien und Bastienne” by Pop-Up Opera at various venues
“La Traviata” at the King’s Head Theatre
“The Rape of Lucretia” at the Arcola Theatre
New COllaboration with felici - a new way of producing opera shows, galas, concerts and workshops from 2018.
Felici means "the happy ones" and so we aim to provide high quality and creative musical events - bringing happiness to audiences and performers alike.
Supporting charities is central to our ethos and many of our events have a fund-raising element. Since 2015 we have supported a wide variety of charities including the NKF (National Kidney Federation), Macmillan Nurses and Medicins Sans Frontiers.
We seek to support and nurture young people by including them in our events, introducing opera and classical song to school-age pupils and offering all-age singing coaching workshop (rights reserved).
We understand that our performers have diverse commitments and we always seek to be as flexible as possible with our rehearsal schedules whilst never compromising on the quality of our performances.
Felici - fun, friendship, family.
if you would like to learn more about Felici, please visit our website clicking the link below