AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas Chamber Singers will perform in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro May 21-June 1. At the heart of the program is the Missa de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Mass of Our Lady of the Conception), a Brazilian masterpiece composed by José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767-1830). Director of Choral Activities James Morrow will direct the UT Chamber Singers and their joint performances with the Universidade de São Paulo Orquestra de Câmara.
Nunes Garcia was Kapelmeister in the court of Portuguese emperor João VI, who fled Lisbon with his court to escape Napoleon’s armies. The Missa, first performed in 1810, was long buried in a Rio archive until the late 1990s, when young Brazilian musicologist Ricardo Bernardes found sections of the score and painstakingly put it back together.
Bernardes brought this “lost” score to The University of Texas at Austin, where it was performed by the Chamber Singers under the direction of James Morrow last spring. The performance was part of ArtesAméricas, a UT Performing Arts Center program, and was the crowning event of a two-day symposium: Music and Culture in the Imperial Court of João VI in Rio de Janeiro.
The Chamber Singers are traveling to Brazil in May as guests of the Universidade de São Paulo’s Orquestra de Câmara, one of the leading orchestras in the state. They will perform the Missa throughout São Paulo, and finally at the Capela Real in Rio de Janeiro, where the piece was first performed for Dom João VI nearly 200 years ago.
For more information on the Chamber Singers’ tour, contact Jennifer Potter-Andreu at the Brazil Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 512-471-8418.
For more information contact: Leslie Lyon, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7033.