Manaus and the State of Amazonas

November, 2004:

Please note that the Villa-Lobos Website is no longer being updated.

This resource will remain on the RDPL server.


Picture: the Amazon River in the State of Amazonas. The photo is from the excellent website of Embratur, the official Brazilian tourist ministry.

During the period 1906 to 1910, Villa Lobos embarked upon a series of trips to Brazil's North-East and deep into the interior of the country. These trips took him to Bahia, Sergipe, Recife, Fortaleza, Belem and finally to Manaus. Villa Lobos had a tendency to tell tall tales, and his stories of being captured by Amazonian tribes have probably little truth in them. What is important, though, is that Villa Lobos kept with him, for the rest of his life, a very strong feeling for the landscape of the entire country, from the cities of the south to the desert of the Northeast and the great rain forest of the interior.

The Amazon region plays an important part in the music of Villa Lobos. The two symphonic poems begun in 1917, Amazonas and Uirapuru, both deal with the landscape, flora and fauna and the native instruments and tunes of the Amazonian tribes. Here is a link to a sound file (Música Kayapó com tiros e gritos) from the Amazon, on the superb Documentação Indigenista e Ambiental website.

The state of Amazonas would also be near to the region referred to in Villa Lobos' music for the film Green Mansions. The jungle of the original book by W.H. Hudson was referred to as being in "Guayanas," which would begin north of Amazonas.

There is an excellent website with an amazing amount of depth of information about Manaus and the State of Amazona maintained by Sergio Koreisha in Oregon: pictures, links and text. This is part of his very highly recommended Meu Brasil website.

Manaus is the home of the amazing Teatro Amazonas, the opera house inaugurated in 1896.

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