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Gomes, Antonio Carlos

GOMES, ANTONIO CARLOS

South American opera composer; b. Campinas, Brazil, July 11, 1836; d. Belem, Sept. 16, 1895. Gomes, son of a band director, had composed a Mass by the time he was 18. At 23 he entered the Rio de Janeiro Conservatory and, after winning the favor of Emperor Pedro II with a Calvary cantata and two youthful operas, continued at the Milan Conservatory (186466). Of his six mature operasIl Guarany (1870), Fosca (1873), Salvator Rosa (1874), Maria Tudor (1879), Lo schiavo (1889), and Condor (1891)four had their premieres at La Scala, Milan, gaining for him the greatest international renown ever won by an American opera composer. Although Il Guarany, his greatest success, was South American in its subject, his operatic idiom was purely italianate. He also composed songs, piano works, and, for the fourth centenary of America's discovery, an oratorio, Colombo (1892). In 1895, after many years in Italy, he made his last trip to Brazil to head the Pará Conservatory, but died within six months of arriving.

Bibliography: Revista Brasileira de Música, special centenary number, 1936. m. de andrade, Carlos Gomes (Rio de Janeiro 1939). k. pahlen, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 5:512513. g. behague, "Carlos (Antônio) Gomes" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, v. 7, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980), 517518. w. j. collins, "Antônio Carlos Gomes" in International Dictionary of Opera, 2 v., ed. c. larue (Detroit 1993) 535536. m. gÓes, Carlos Gomes: A Força Indômita (Bélem 1996). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 321322. n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York 1992) 647648.

[r. stevenson]

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