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The Royal Theater of São João
The Royal Theater of São João, then in Largo do Rocio (now Tiradentes square), was the place for great stage plays and music in Rio de Janeiro, after 1813. 1


On the first day of 1812, Marcos Portugal directed the music for the feast of Epiphany in the Royal Chapel, for which he composed the "Matins in Epiphania Domini" 2.

On January 27, it was left to Nunes Garcia the music for the octave of the feast of St. Sebastian, celebrated in the church dedicated to the saint, the old cathedral on the hill of the Castle. The Municipal Senate paid him only the amount of 72$000 concerning the unpaid portion of the salary of 200$000 referent to 1811, and did not help him to pay the musicians. In July the composer charged them two and a half doblas (32$000) for the advance payment and four more doblas (51$200) by the advance made in the end of 1808, by which he was not reimbursed, a total of 83$200 3. On November 7 the Municipal Senate repaid him only the 32$000 relating to 1812.

On February 13, 1812, he received a new relief in his duties being replaced in the post of organist at the Royal Chapel, along with the Portuguese Joaquim Xavier Felix, nicknamed Baxixa 4, by Simão Vitorino Portugal 5 and João Jacques 6, respectively.

On May 26 died Pedro Carlos de Borbón and Braganza, Infant of Spain, Admiral General of the Portuguese Navy and husband of the Infanta Maria Teresa of Braganza, Princess of Beira. The funeral was held on 26 June. On the eve, at seven-thirty at night, it was presented the "Funeral Office" composed by Marcos Portugal 7, The next day at eleven o'clock in the morning there was Mass, with music by Zanetti 8, also conducted by Marcos. Then there were heard five responsories, the first written by Fortunato Mazziotti, and the remaining by Marcos Portugal.

In July 1812 Nunes Garcia was able to pay off the debt incurred in 1810 and so avoid losing the house of the Marrecas Street 9.

Only one of the chapel master's works is of 1812: the motet "Tamquam Aurum" (CPM 56), or "Motet for the Holy Martyrs", written for the "Royal Estate" of Boa Vista. The work was written for the musicians of the Royal Chamber Orchestra and the slave chorus of the Royal Farm of Santa Cruz. Comparing it to the "Motet to Saint John the Baptist", written in 1810 to the same set, it demonstrates the remarkable technical progress of the singers 10 which also sung that same year the farce "The Saloia Enamorada" by Marcos Portugal.

On December 17, 1812, the Queen's birthday, the opera "Artaserse" by Marcos Portugal was staged. It was originally composed in 1806 for the Royal Theater of São Carlos. Complementing the show, the ballet "Apollo and Daphne" in three acts was presented by the Louis Lacombe company.

From 1813 on, the ceremonies outside the liturgy began to be financed by the "Royal Privy Purse", not by the Municipal Senate; they were reserved for the music master of Their Royal Highnesses. That was the only financial loss to Nunes Garcia with the arrival of Marcos Portugal; the priest but got rid of the frequent delays in payment and breaches of contract, which greatly harmed him financially.

From June 1813 are the first works that mark the predominance of compositions under commission in the repertoire of Nunes Garcia, made possible by the relief of his functions in the Royal Chapel: the two psalms "Laudate Dominum" (CPM 76) and "Laudate Pueri Dominum" (CPM 77) for the funeral of infants, to the church of the Carmelite Thirds at the request of his friend José Baptista Lisboa. The dedication, rather curious, to a "Mr. Bidoloretes" 11 pressuposes that the "compadre" earned a nickname. The reference to the "winning" result for being short the number of musicians shows that Lisboa used them in the music auction to the Brotherhood ceremony.

In this same year, for the church of Our Lady of the Good Death, Nunes Garcia orchestrated the "Matins of the Assumption of Our Lady" (CPM 172) written in 1808, and composed a "Little Mass" (CPM 109), to the feast of Saint Therese.

After the arrival of the court, the old theater of Manuel Luís was regarded as shy by royal entourage, accustomed to the São Carlos, considered one of the best theaters in Europe. Soon someone had the idea of building in Rio de Janeiro a larger theater, to allow the assembly of great operas. A proposal came from Fernando José de Almeida, hairdressing servant of Fernando José de Portugal and Castro, the Earl of Aguiar. "Fernandinho," as he was best known, initially acquired the land in front of the church of Lampadosa to then obtain from wealthy merchants funding for the construction of the new theater. He finally managed from Field Marshal João Manuel da Silva to made the plant. Everything prepared, he presented the project to the Prince Regent, who authorized the building in a decree of May 28, 1810 12 In the building were used the granite blocks originally assembled to the construction of the new cathedral, in the time of Gomes Freire Andrade and abandoned shortly afterwards. The construction lasted three years. The impressive building was designed to comfortably accommodate 1,200 people in the audience; it also had 112 cabins. On 12 October 1813, the Royal Theatre of São. João, still unfinished, was opened to the public. The inaugural play, in the birthday of Prince Dom Pedro, was the drama in music "O Juramento dos Numes" by Gastão Fausto da Câmara Coutinho, with music by Bernardo José de Sousa Queirós, appointed conductor and composer of the theater 13.

Although not mentioned in the account books of the brotherhood of St. Peter of the Clerics, there is a high probability of having Jose Mauricio been commissioned to compose and conduct the music in the festivities of the Holy Patriarch in 1814, for which he earned 100$000 14. For the occasion he would have written the "Novena do Apóstolo São Pedro" (CPM 66). From 1814 there's just another Mauritian known work: the "Bendito e Louvado Seja" (CPM 12), to the Royal Farm of Santa Cruz. After November 22 of that year, he was granted from the Prince Regent's "Royal Privy Purse" an annual amount of 25$000 (25,000 réis), prize awarded to build his "clerical heritage".

On December 17, 1814, celebrating the birthday of Queen Mary I, there was at the Royal Theatre of São João the Brazilian premiere of the opera "Axur, King of Hormuz" by Antonio Salieri. With scenarios by Jacomo Argengio, of the opera of Vienna, and interpreters Carlota Donnay, Marianna Scaramelli, João dos Reis Pereira, Luís Inácio, João Estremeira, Maria Candida, Miguel Inácio and Gerardo Vaccani.

In 1815, despite having taken the direction of music Father João José de Faria, Nunes Garcia composed for the brotherhood of St. Peter of the Clerics the "Matinas do Apóstolo São Pedro" (CPM 173). He wrote to the Royal Farm of Santa Cruz another "Bendito e Louvado Seja" (CPM 13), according to the subtitle, "Smaller and abbreviated." The 1815 works of which there are only record are: the motet "Si quæris Miracula" (CPM XLIX), a responsory of St. Anthony for 4 voices, bassoon and organ; a "Dixit Dominus" (CPM LXXVI) for 4 voices and organ; a "Laudate Pueri" (CPM LXXXIII) with no indication of voices and instruments; a bass solo "Prætiosa" (CPM LXXXVII), to sing in the middle of the psalm "Credidi" of the Second Vespers of St. Sebastian; and the "Vespers of St. John" (CPM ICXLV / CXLVI), for 4 voices with orchestral accompaniment.

Missa dos Defuntos (CPM 185)
First page of the bassoon part of the Requiem (CPM 185). 15

In December 1815, in order to claim a seat in the Assembly of the Holy Alliance in Vienna, the prince regent promoted Brazil from colony of Portugal to an autonomous kingdom, united to Portugal and the Algarve. In early 1816, Nunes Garcia conducted the music of the Mass for the event, held at St. Francis of Paula, in the Sé Velha Square.

From this year there is also the records of a "Magnificat" (CPM XI) and a "Motet for the consecration of the Illustrious Bishop of the Royal Chapel" (CPM L), ceremony on March 15. This latter indicates that the doors of the Royal Chapel did not close for him as a composer.

On March 20, 1816 died, coincidentally, the Queen, Mary I, and Victoria Maria da Cruz, Nunes Garcia's mother. The queen's death, which occurred in the Convento do Carmo, moved the city. The funeral procession passed through several streets to the Convent of Ajuda for the burial, accompanied by the people in silence. A month later, on April 22, the funeral mass in her memory was solemnly celebrated in the Royal Chapel, with a "Requiem Mass" and an "Office of the Dead", both composed and conducted by Marcos Portugal 16.

To promote their own ceremony, the Thirds of the Carmel commissioned to Nunes Garcia a "Requiem" (CPM 185), clearly influenced by Mozart's famous last work, and an "Office of the Dead" (CPM 186), both considered masterpieces. He received 26$000 for both works.

On July 4, 1816, a second chapel master, Fortunato Mazziotti, was admitted to the Royal Chapel. Shortly thereafter, on July 9, he conducted the "Mattutini dei Morti," of the Neapolitan David Perez, in a second ceremony in memory of the deceased Queen 17.

Convent of Ajuda
Convent of Ajuda, put down in the beginning of the 20th century, place of the funeral of the Portuguese Queen Mary I.
Her coffin would be kept there until 1821. 18

1 DEBRET, Jean Baptiste. Viagem Pitoresca e Histórica ao Brasil [A Picturesque and Historical Travel in Brazil]. Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia, 1992. v.3, pr. 45.

2 The autograph manuscript scores of these "Matins" are in the Palace of Ajuda Library, cota XV-44-6 to 8, in three volumes of 41, 55 and 34 sheets, respectively. SARRAUTTE, Jean-Paul. Marcos Portugal - Ensaios [Essays]. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1979 180p. P. 126.

3 "Gentlemen of the Senate / Fr José Maurício Nunes, present master of the Royal Chapel states he had already paid the musicians the the feast of the octave day after St. Sebastian up in the Old Cathedral on January 27, that the same Senate attended, and he spent two doblas and a half, and also that in the first year that the Senate sponsored this annual feast in the presence of HRH the applicant spent four doblas of his own money in adding Musicians, and as the Senate did not pay him back, that made HRH consider enough the money spent, then raised the Senate to 200$000 but there is 51$200 not yet paid, and as the same Senate no longer has to make expenditure on music that is done in the Royal Chapel, because the HRH took it upon himself, so / He asks the same Senate is served to pay the supplicant the 83$200 owed as stated above / ERM". MATTOS, Cleofe Person de. José Maurício Nunes Garcia - Biografia [Biography]. Rio de Janeiro: National Library Foundation, 1997, pp. 103-104.

4 "BAXIXA, great pianist, as good as the previous [Nunes Garcia], provided, however, with a more delicate taste. He worked first in the Royal Chapel of Lisbon and then in that of Rio de Janeiro, where he became deranged. His madness did not prevent him from exercising his extraordinary talent, this seemed to have increased after he lost his mind". BALBI, Adrien. Essai statistique sur le Royaume de Portugal et d'Algarve. Paris: Rey et Gravier, 1822. 658 p. P. 490. Born in Lisbon in 1775, Baxixa entered the Royal Chapel on February 11, 1811, shortly after arriving in Rio de Janeiro, with an annual salary of 300$000. After a year in the post, he was replaced just to have the mental faculties affected.

5 "SIMÃO PORTUGAL, brother of the previous [Marcos Portugal]. Composer of isolated pieces such as arias and duets". BALBI, op. cit., p. 487. Simão Vitorino Portugal (1784-1842), born in Lisbon, studied, like his brother, in the Patriarchal Seminary, admitted on 14 April 1782. He became organist of the Patriarchal, and devoted himself to teach piano and singing. He wrote some works of religious music. He accompanied his brother to Rio de Janeiro in 1811, and in 1812 he was admitted as organist at the Royal Chapel, and then at the Royal Theatre of São João. In 1830 he was appointed by D. Pedro I master of music of the Imperial Chapel, vacant due to the death of Nunes Garcia. He published in 1841 the waltz "Saudades do Rio de Janeiro".

6 "Father João Jacques. Organist. Appointed to the Royal Chapel, on February 10, 1812, to the place of Baxixa. Member of the Brotherhood of St. Cecilia in 1819. Professor of organ, piano and singing from 1848 to 1852. Deceased on 2 August 1852. He was Knight of the Order of Christ". ANDRADE, Ayres de. Francisco Manuel da Silva e Seu Tempo: 1808-1865: Uma Fase do Passado Musical do Rio de Janeiro à Luz de Novos Documentos. Rio de Janeiro: Edições Tempo Brasileiro, 1967, 2v. (Coleção Sala Cecilia Meireles), v. 2, p. 182.

7 "... The Responsories were sung by the musicians of the Royal Chamber and Chapel, led by the outstanding Marcos Antonio Portugal, master of HHRHH, who with this excellent composition sustained the great reputation he had acquired, even in foreign countries. (The same newspaper [Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro], on July 1)". ANDRADE, op. cit., 1967, vol. 1, p. 33.

8 Francesco Zanetti (ca. 1740-1790), Italian composer and conductor. His operas "Antigono" and "Didone" had great success in Italy. His instrumental compositions were published in London in 1790.

9 "Let all those who read this public Termination Deed Instrument know, that in the year of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand eight hundred and twelve on July 6 in the city of Rio de Janeiro in my office before me, the Notary, appeared as grantor lender Mateus Francisco Gomes who lives in farming and resident on the island of Sapucaia, parish of Inhaúma, and as given debtor Father José Maurício Nunes Garcia professed in the Order of Christ and Master of the Royal Chapel recognized this from me Notary, and that the two witnesses later named and signed and for them I was presented the ticket distribution as follows = D. Carvalho Mateus Francisco Gomes made another Distrate Scripture of the priest José Maurício Nunes Garcia on July 6 thousand eight hundred and twelve. Brates = Saying Myself the grantor before the witnesses said that the grantor [given] was liable to pay the sum of four hundred thousand reis who asked him borrow, and because he had received the sum of one hundred thousand reis and more three hundred thousand reis before me as I state it faithful gives him total discharge of four hundred thousand reis, and its relevant interests to the date, and promises not require him anything, and be exonerated as guarantor of the guarantee, and the mortgage by disclosed. And soon it was taken for granted was told that accept this settlement in this way. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have asked them to do this Instrument to read them and they have accepted and signed being the witnesses present: Father Firmino Rodrigues Silva and José Luíz Garcês. And I José Antonio dos Santos Armeno wrote. Signed: Mateus Fran.co Gomes, Father José Maurício Nunes Garcia, Father Firmino Rodrigues da Silva and José Luíz Garcês as witnesses". MATTOS, op. cit., 1997, pp. 104-105.

10 Given the large amount of Mauritian works undated we consider hasty the conclusion that 1812 was not a very productive year for the chapel master.

11 "Illustrious Mr. Bidoloretes here is your Laudate Dominum omnes gentes. I believe it comes out to your liking, and it is a winner, beacuse it is too small and for a few people. Hail, hail, hail, hail, Mr. Bidoloretes:.. Your house on July 11 1813 ". [...] "Illustrious Mr. Bidoloretes; here is the Laudate Pueri, and now has Y.E. two psalms of ellegant angels; both with rondo motif and small, and suitable for the voices you want" MATTOS, op. cit. 1997, p. 108.

12 "By becoming absolutely necessary in this capital to erect a decent theater and proportionate to the population and the greater degree of elevation and greatness in what I now think for my residence in it and by competition from foreigners and other people who come from the extensive provinces of all my states: I was served to instruct the doctor Paulo Fernandes Viana, of my Board and Superintendent of Police, care and diligence to promote all means to erect it, without the spending of public revenues and not by means of some new contribution to charge my most faithful vassals, who desire ease before them all;"

13 "On tuesday 12 of the current month, a very happy day for being the birthday of the Most Serene Lord D. Pedro de Alcântara, Prince of Beira, occured the first performance at the Royal Theatre of São João, which HRH was served with the honor of His Royal presence and its August Family. This theater, located on one side of the most beautiful square of this Court, drawn with great pleasure and built with magnificence, wore that night a pompous perspective, not only by the presence of HRH, and the huge, bright contest of the nobility and other more distinct classes, but also by the apparatus with beautiful decorations and the pomp of the scenery and clothing. The show begun with a lyrical drama, which is entitled 'O Juramendo dos Numes' (The Oath of Numes), composed by D. Gastão Fausto da Câmara Coutinho, and alludes to the comedy that was to follow. This drama was adorned with many composing pieces of music of Bernardo JosÚ de Sousa e Queirós, teacher and composer of the same theater, and funny dances in the intermezzos. It was followed by the ostentatious piece entitled The Battle of Vimieiro. The outdoor Illumination, decorated with exquisite taste, emphasized the spectacle of splendor. It represented the letters J.P.R. alluding to the name of the August Prince Regent Our Lord, whose liberal hand protects the Arts, as perennial sources of wealth and civilization of nations". Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, October 16, 1813.

14 As recorded in the Livro 3░ de Receita e Despesa da Irmandade de S. Pedro (Third Book of revenues / expenses of the Brotherhood of St. Peter), p. 200:
1814- Que paguei de Música da Novena, Festa e 2 Te Deum ... 100$000
DINIZ, Jaime. A Presenša de José Maurício na Irmandade de São Pedro. In MURICY, José Cândido de Andrade et alii. Estudos Mauricianos. Rio de Janeiro: INM/FUNARTE/PRÓ-MEMUS, 1983. p. 51.

15 School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, manuscript 4110. In MATTOS, Cleofe Person de. Catálogo Temático das obras do padre José Maurício Nunes Garcia. Rio de Janeiro: Conselho Federal de Cultura, 1970. Photograph section, p. 32.

16 "At 7 and a half hours began the solemn Office, being chaired by The Illustrious Bishop and Chaplain, and accompanied by great music, composed and directed by the outstanding Marcos Antonio Portugal, for which rushed an immense crowd, and lasted until the end of that day. / The next day at 10:30 entered the Illustrious Bishop and Chaplain together with its entourage, and after the ritual bows, he headed to the Main Chapel, where he celebrated Pontifically the Holiest Sacrifice of the Mass, being the assistant the Illustrious Monsignor Dean, and being the entirely new the pieces of Music, composed also by the aforementioned Master, who seemed to excel himself in this masterpiece". Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, April 27, 1816. p. 1.

17 "At 7 o'clock in the afternoon of the 9th day began [the] Matins, officiated by commission of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Illustrious Dean, who made his entrance to the ceremony n the Royal Chapel. Directed this celebration a Master of Ceremonies of same Royal Chapel, which was sang with great orchestra, and all the musicians of the Royal House and Chapel, the responsories of the never exceeded David Peres, conducted by Fortunato Mazziotti, composer at the service of HRH. The next day, deigned HRH whose Royal Heart never ceases to give the most decisive evidence of longing, respect and reverence to the most worthy of all Mothers, and the best of all sovereigns, receive the condolences of the members of the Senate, whose desires could only match the royal magnificence. HRH was served to order that the Illustrious Bishop Chaplain offer to the HIGHEST the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in solemn pontifical". Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, [?] July 1816. p. 3.

18 HEINRICH, Georg. Watercolor. In MACEDO, Joaquim Manuel de. Um passeio pela cidade do Rio de Janeiro [A City Tour of Rio de Janeiro]. Rio de Janeiro: Garnier, 1991. Photograph section, p. 112.

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