The 24th Amazonas Opera Festival premieres new productions of «Peter Grimes» and «O Menino Maluquinho»
The premiere of the opera Peter Grimes at the 24th Amazon Opera Festival is the result of an alliance between the FAO and the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. For its part, O Menino Maluquinho (1980), by the Brazilian writer Ziraldo, obtained a contemporary adaptation for the stage, with staging by Amazonian artists at the Teatro Amazonas.
With more than 80 artists involved, changing scenarios and addressing relevant issues about humanity, the Peter Grimes opera had its premiere at the 24th Amazonas Opera Festival (FAO), last Friday, May 20, at the Amazonas Theater. The work of the composer Benjamin Britten, written in the 20th century in England and adapted for the stage, was presented for the first time in the state of Amazonas.
Promoted by the Government of Amazonas, through the Secretary of State for Culture and Creative Economy and the Amazon Agency for Cultural Development (AADC), the opera festival has innovated with a title that involves complexity, when it comes to addressing issues such as hypocrisy, the exploitation of child labor, urging citizens to reflect on the practice of cancellation, the courts of social networks and intolerance.
“It is a classic work on the Greek model, a tragedy that, despite being written a long time ago, has a timeless humanity, with recurring stereotypes,” said tenor Fernando Portari, who plays Peter Grimes.
This differential made the opera one of the most anticipated performances. The Secretary of State for Culture and Creative Economy, Marcos Apolo Muniz, highlights the importance of the festival that received guests from other states, strengthening cultural exchange.
“At the premiere of Peter Grimes we received important guests, who participated in the 3rd Meeting of Culture and Creative Economy and Opera, as well as several represented states, who were present at the Forum of Secretaries of Culture and Culture Coordinators of the interior of the Amazon. In addition to honoring our programming, we had the opportunity to participate in an important dialogue, debating public policies on culture, among other issues,” said Marcos Apolo.
As a result of an alliance between the FAO and the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, two professors from the institution acted in the production of the opera “Peter Grimes”. One of them, the Colombian, stage director of the play, Pedro Salazar, who highlights the assembly of the stage built exclusively for its presentation in Manaus.
“In this production we have a Latin American landscape, a people similar to the peoples of the Colombian Pacific. We work with many images of the Amazon, we find urban fishermen and we reach a universe more typical of opera,” said the director. Large elements enter and leave the stage, giving life to new scenarios, which are similar to the stilts of the fishing villages of the Amazon.
The opera lasts three hours, which demonstrates the high degree of complexity of the staging, accompanied by the Amazonian Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of director Luiz Fernando Malheiro.
“The orchestra has been rehearsing since February, as has the choir. It is an opera that is difficult to execute, but it is a great pleasure to produce this work with such a significant title of the 20th century, which deserves to be seen by the public”, concludes Malheiro .
The opera O Menino Maluquinho debuts to a full house at the Amazonas theater
A child with a fertile imagination, with the ability to invent stories, a habit of using a pot on his head and who “just wanted to be happy”. The message of the book O Menino Maluquinho (1980), by the Brazilian writer Ziraldo, obtained a contemporary adaptation for the stage, staged by Amazonian artists, on Sunday, May 15, at the Teatro Amazonas. The show debuted in the programming of the 24th Amazon Opera Festival (FAO), promoted by the Government of Amazonas, through the Secretary of State for Culture and Creative Economy and the Amazon Agency for Cultural Development (AADC).
The opera staging, signed by the composer Ernani Aguiar, aroused the curiosity of the public that packed the three floors of the Amazonas Theater. The artists of the Claudio Santoro Choir of Arts and Crafts -Children and Children of Youth-, Amazon Choir, State Folkloric Ballet and Amazon Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Otávio Simões, moved the audience and surprised each scene.
“The opera O Menino Maluquinho is a staging for children and with a totally Amazonian production, both by the artists and by the technical and production team,” says Cândido Jeremias, Executive Secretary of Culture and Creative Economy of the State. In addition to the show, which is repeated on May 21 and 28, those who visit the Amazonas Theater and want to be closer to the physical elements that are in the opera, can attend the visit theater tour to see the festival show. There is still time to honor.”
The artist David Lucas is the one who lives the O Menino Maluquinho. On stage, he changes costumes four times, sings and performs. The young actor of only 12 years, for the first time, plays the protagonist of a lyrical montage.
“I studied a lot, I saw the film, I read the book, I spoke with the musicians, the director, the director, finally, it was a job that was worth it. Everything was perfect. I was able to maintain an exchange with the public. I lived O Menino Maluquinho” , highlights the artist.
Emotion also for Lunna Beatriz, who plays Julieta. “This opera brings back the kid feeling. It’s very exciting,” she says.
For Thaylon Sousa, who plays the Gobbe, participating in the opera “is a child’s dream come true.” The three young talents are students at the Cláudio Santoro School of Arts and Crafts.
According to the opera’s stage director, Matheus Sabbá, commanding a cast of 39 children and young people on stage is a rewarding challenge.
“The play is very important for Brazil, because it talks about the freedom of children, a very recurring theme today. It has been months of rehearsal room. We take everything that we experience in the process and offer it to the public. It has been very gratifying to receive this exchange”, comments the director.
O Menino Maluquinho’s worldview brought to the stage brings together children’s songs, games, messages of gender equality, nature preservation and legendary characters. To bring to life a group of monkeys, part of the protagonist’s imagination, 12 members of the Amazon Folk Ballet participate in most of the scenes.
“We had an assembly two years ago, but with the pause in the pandemic, we went back and redid all the work. The dancers took body preparation and scene construction classes in association with Matheus Sabbá,” recalls Monique Andrade, choreographer of the Amazon Folkloric Ballet. .
Colorful, rich in details. Features prioritized by the opera’s costume designer, Melissa Maia. A total of 200 costumes were created by Amazon, which used 80% recyclable fabrics. The costumes were made by 50 professionals, including seamstresses and model makers from the Production Technique Center (CTP), administered by the State Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy.
The scenery, signed by Giorgia Massetani, brought the reproduction of a typical house of a city in the interior of Minas Gerais, where the plot of Ziraldo’s work takes place. New elements take place in the story and provide movement and dynamism to the opera.
O Menino Maluquinho continues at the 24th Amazonas Opera Festival, with performances on May 21 and 28, at the Amazonas Theater, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.bilheteriadigital.com and at the Teatro Amazonas box office.