April 25: São Carlos stages opera “Os Dias Levantados” and Lopes-Graça’s Requiem

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The opera “Os Dias Levantados”, by António Pinho Vargas, returns to the Teatro Nacional S. Carlos, in Lisbon, as part of the April 25 celebrations, which include the presentation of the Requiem for the victims of Fascism in Portugal by Lopes-Graça.

The Teatro Nacional de S. Carlos (TNSC), in Lisbon, announced today its special program for the “50th anniversary of the revolution that brought us freedom and began a path of profound economic, social and cultural transformations in our country”, reads the press release.

In addition to António Pinho Vargas’ opera, which returns in June to Lisbon’s lyrical stage, where it made its debut in 1998, the TNSC is scheduled to present Requiem for the Victims of Fascism in Portugal (1981), by Fernando Lopes-Graça (1906-1994), at the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), also in Lisbon, on the 28th.

The Requiem, by the TNSC Choir, will feature soloists soprano Bárbara Barradas, half-soprano Cátia Moreso, tenor Carlos Cardoso and baritones Luís Cansino and Oliver Zwarg, accompanied by the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra (OSP). Conductor Antonio Pirolli will be in charge of the musical direction.

TNSC said that former political prisoners will be in the audience of the CCB’s large auditorium, and that the concert will be broadcast by RTP.

The opera by Pinho Vargas with libretto by Manuel Gusmão (1945-2023) is presented in concert version at the TNSC, under the musical direction of conductor Pedro Amaral.

The cast includes sopranos Eduardo Melo, Sara Braga Simões and Sílvia Sequeira, countertenor Rui Vieira, tenors Leonel Pinheiro and Jorge Vaz de Carvalho, baritones José Corvelo and Luís Rodrigues, as well as the TNSC Choir and the OSP.

“Os Dias Levantados”, one of the four operas composed by António Pinho Vargas, is “the most important musical work dedicated to April 25”, the TNSC emphasized.

Also in the context of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Revolution, the TNSC, in partnership with the Imprensa Nacional, plans to publish the scores of Lopes-Graça’s piano songs in three volumes, with a critical edition by conductor João Paulo Santos.

Fernando Lopes Graça, who was born in Tomar, is one of the most renowned Portuguese composers of the 20th century, and has distinguished himself by developing an intense cultural, artistic, pedagogical and civic activity.

As a composer, he has created an extensive body of work that spans several musical genres and has earned him national and international recognition.

For more than 40 years, he founded and directed the Choir of the Academia de Amadores de Música, for which he wrote hundreds of arrangements of traditional songs, many of which had been recovered from oral tradition during his travels through “deep Portugal”, in collaboration with the ethnologist Michel Giacometti (1929-1990).

An opponent of the Estado Novo, Lopes-Graça was imprisoned, exiled, stripped of his teaching duties and even had his music banned in the 1950s and 1960s. It was only at the beginning of the 1970s that his music was heard again at the Teatro de São Carlos.

In the 1980s he received several decorations from the Portuguese state.

“This first set of initiatives is not exhaustive, nor does it end in 2024 since, as we remember, the official program runs until 2026,” the TNSC recalled.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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