Daniel Araujo: “We have 5 aims: Training, opera, concerts, touring and musical theatre”
Interview with Daniel Araujo, Director of Theatro da Paz de Belém, Brazil
In recent years there has been a consolidation of the theatres in the north of Brazil as is the case of the Amazon Theatre, Manaus Festival among others. Theatro da Paz is located in Belem, northern Brazil. City that has become one of the most important seaports of the country. Daniel Araujo, General Director since January 2019, talked with us about his future management plans for the theatre.
How do you see the role of Theatro da Paz in the future of touring shows?
The Opera Festival of Theatro da Paz, like Manaus, is consolidated in the calendar of Brazilian operatic productions, and is in its 18th edition. However, there has not yet been collaboration with other theatres, whether Brazilian, Latin American or European, and this reality must change. Another important point is the underutilization of the privileged geographical position of the city of Belém, since our sea and airports are within the main world trade and tourism routes. We can cite as an example that there are direct flights to Miami that last 5 hours and to Lisbon that last 7 hours from Belém International Airport. In most cases it is faster to get to this city than to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
Currently, is there any type of co-production and show touring work among Brazilian theatres?
There is circulation, but still very embryonic. Today, under a new administration, theatres of the Amazon join us to create what we will call the “Cultural Corridor of the North”.
What differentiates or distinguishes the north today from the traditional lyric circuit like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro have been?
The most significant difference is in the format of the productions, which in the southeast of the country occurs in the form of a season, while in the north it has been in the form of a festival. Starting in 2019, Theatro da Paz will extend its festival to take place in the form of a season.
Between August 9 and September 15, the XVIII version of the Opera Festival of Theatro da Paz will take place. What news do you have for this year?
The proposed project for the Opera Festival for 2019 is based on a change of concept in production, from an opera show to a wider and more continuous model, distributed over six months, in five different actions.
The first of these actions is, Training that consists of a series of workshops and courses aimed at professionals that make up the so-called opera production chain. Which, in addition to the lyric singing, in its wide scope, has an interface with orchestral music and theater, fine arts, ballet, stage craft, makeup, to name a few. In 2019, this action will last six months. By 2020, the proposal is for this project to happen in ten months, with the aim of becoming a continuous training, which allows local professionals to acquire has qualification.
Opera season is the second aim, which proposed the distribution throughout the year of the selected opera repertoire titles. Which mean that job opportunities in this field are maintained longer, activating the market and generating income for local professionals so that they can participate in this high performance activity.
I have proposed as a third action, a Concert Season, which aims to bring to the public arias, duets, small groups and choirs, accompanied almost entirely by theSymphony Orchestra Theatro da Paz.
The fourth aim is Touring, which was born from the need to take all these productions beyond the physical limits of Theatro da Paz, working in line with government programmes, such as the Pela Paz – TerPaz territories. Through this action, we seek to bring dreams, art and poetry on the wheels of a trailer to regions historically not reached by the Festival, in order to awaken the beauty, hope and brightness in the eyes of those who let themselves be touched by this art.
Last but not least, the fifth action is Musical Theatre, which accommodates the so-called “musicals”. A growing genre in the state. The Festival will annually bring a title already known or unheard of this artistic language.
During the year, what kind of shows can be found in the theatre’s programme, and what are the bets for the next seasons?
With 141 years of cultural activity today, Theatro da Paz has two residencies, these are: Theatro da Paz Symphony Orchestra and the Amazônia Jazz Band. This year celebrates the 18th version of the Opera Festival, a season of symphonic concerts, a season of jazz concerts, among other artistic activities of various genres.
For the coming seasons, we intend to expand the repertoire to include all periods of opera history, specifically baroque and postmodernity, which have so far been little contemplated.
How do you expect the entrance to the OLA Network to benefit Theatro da Paz de Belém and its relationship with the rest of Latin America?
Joining OLA will provide us with access and exchange of relevant information for opera productions in Latin America. We also seek to give visibility to local assemblies and make co-productions, possibly with the other theatres in northern Brazil.
About Daniel Araujo
Baritono paranense, he graduated in lyrical singing from the State University of Pará, in the Malina Mineva class, and then completed his master’s degree at the University of Missouri, in the class of Jo Ella Todd. In the United States, in addition to his teaching activities at MU, he has been soloist in operas and oratories such as: The Messiah of Handel; The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti;unpublished opera The Corps of Discovery Michael Ching and Hugh Moffatt’s, to name a few.
In Brazil he has developed eclectic activities, both in the academic and popular fields. He was soloist of the Profane Cantata Carmina Burana at the Cuban mass presented at the XVIII International Music Festival of Pará; Madame Butterfly at the Opera Festival do Teatro da Paz. He performed with great names in the popular music of Pará, such as Walter Bandeira, in the French song show Chansons; with singer Iza Felipe and singer Walter Bandeira on theshow Hollywoodnow here. In the choir he was soloist in the Requiem of G. Fauré, Magnificat de JS Bach, the Crowning Mass of WA Mozart and The Messiah of Handel. As a member of the Carlos Gomes Choir, he has received several awards in international and Olympic competitions in Italy and Austria. As vocalist of AMA Vocal Group, he recorded the first CD entitled Santo És and the second, called É Natal!. He has performed regularly as a soloist for Amazon Jazz Band, with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, among others. He was Technical Director and Superintendent of the Carlos Gomes Foundation and is currently Director of Theatro da Paz, also maintaining his work in classical, popular and jazz music.