Carlos Gomes (1836 - 1896)

Antônio Carlos Gomes, Brazil’s leading opera composer, also played a key role in the Italian opera scene in the second half of the 19th century. His work paved the way for the emergence of verismo, a movement that turned away from the Romantic aesthetic and flourished into the early 20th century in the operas of composers such as Catalani, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Mascagni, Cilea and Giordano.

Gomes was born in 1836 in Campinas, where his early musical education was based around church music and his experience playing in wind bands, with a repertoire including operatic transcriptions and whose stylistic reference point was Italian music. After a brief period in São Paulo, Gomes moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1859 and took up a place at the Imperial Conservatory, where he was taught by the Italian Gioacchino Giannini.