Coffee and Concerts (Translation of “Café e Concerto”)

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Theatro Municipal de São Paulo. Wikipedia Commons.

The magnificent Theatro Municipal de São Paulo is beautiful and tastefully adorned.

Theatro Municipal SP interior. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

Theatro Municipal SP interior. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

In comparison with Rio de Janeiro’s opera house, (Theatro Municipal do RJ) it is simple in its decoration, lacking the mix of ostentatious styles and materials based on the French opera houses. After all Rio was the capital at the turn of the 20th century, and experiencing its Belle epoque.

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

What distinguish the São Paulo theatre are its coffee leaf designs and the famous “X”, as symbols of the coffee industry. The Theatro Municipal was also the site of the “Semana de Arte Moderna” (the Modern Art Week) that happened on September 7, 1922, one hundred years after Brazil gained its independence. The Modern Art Week revealed new artistic styles and movements and defined the Brazilian modernist spirit.

Coffee symbols

Coffee symbols in the Theatro Municipal SP

The arrival of the coffee industry in São Paulo inserted thousands of immigrants into the state at the turn of the 20th century, and funneled revenue and construction into what would grow to be South America’s largest city and financial capital. Coffee was previously cultivated in Rio de Janeiro, but later plantations sprung up in São Paulo, once the railroad construction began. By the 1880s, planters were already seeking immigrant workers, as the push for the abolition of slavery was strong, but the work conditions were poor and European immigrants often returned home. Japanese and Italian immigrants, especially, came to Brazil to work en masse after slavery was abolished in 1888, except some of them had no idea where they were going to live or what exactly they were going to do. Nevertheless, from this industry arose a culture and the great metropolis of São Paulo, home today to nearly 12 million inhabitants and descendants of settlers from all corners of the earth.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Like the other stunning concert venue, the Theatro Municipal, the building that houses the Sala São Paulo, was also financed by coffee money. However, the hall was not in the original construction plan of the early 20th century, and the concert hall was not built until the 1990s. The Sala São Paulo sits inside a train station that was originally completed in the 1930s! Coffee barons constructed this station, which is a five minute walk from another, the Estação de Luz. The Estação de Luz has much more train traffic, but the other station, Julio Prestes, is still active, with one or two lines. The coffee symbols are visible in the floor design and the Xs in the decoration of what were once the waiting rooms in the Julio Prestes Station. The paintings on the windows also contain scenes from the coffee industry.

Floor in the Julio Prestes. (Photo by Celeste Dolores).

Floor in the Julio Prestes. (Photo by Celeste Dolores).

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Sala São Paulo. Photo by Celeste Dolores

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Sala São Paulo, view from the stage. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

Window in the Julio Prestes Station. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

Window in the Julio Prestes Station. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

The Sala São Paulo is really spectacular. The railway station is currently partly functional but there was never a real need for a station so big. The coffee industry never utilized as many trains that had been expected, and the people in the area did not need two full stations in the same neighborhood. The acoustics of the Sala São Paulo are fantastic. It also has a ceiling that goes up and down to change the acoustic depending on what kind of concert is taking place. This is a very rare luxury in a concert hall. The music world should be grateful to the coffee industry and its barons for this marvel of a venue!

Café e concerto

A chegada de uma nova indústria em São Paulo introduziu milhares de imigrantes ao estado no início do século vinte. O café era produto produzido anteriormente no Rio de Janeiro, mas logo a produção veio para São Paulo.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Imigrantes de Japão e Itália, especialmente, vieram para trabalhar. Não sabiam onde iam ficar ou o que iam fazer. Porém, desta indústria surgiu uma cultura de café e a grande metrópole de São Paulo, cuja capital abriga dois lugares importantes para musica em São Paulo.

Pode-se fazer visitas guiadas para ambos: o Theatro Municipal de São Paulo e a Sala São Paulo. A visita ao antigo teatro de ópera, perto do Viaduto de Chá, é de graça. Na Sala São Paulo, a visita só é gratuita nos fins de semana. Nos dias úteis, pagam-se 5,00 reais inteira e 2,50 meia.

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Teatro_Municipal_de_São_Paulo_2 By Wilfredor (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

O magnífico Theatro Municipal de São Paulo é lindo e enfeitado com gosto. Em comparação com o Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, é simples na sua decoração, faltando a mistura de estilos e materiais ostentosos do teatro carioca, baseado nos teatros franceses.

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

O que distingue o Theatro Municipal de São Paulo são suas marcas de café. Há desenhos de folhas de café e o famoso X, como símbolos da indústria de café. O Theatro Municipal também foi lugar da Semana de Arte Moderna, que aconteceu no dia 7 de setembro de 1922. Cem anos depois da Independência, a semana revelou novos movimentos/estilos de arte e definiu o espírito moderno no país.

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photo de Celeste. Símbolos de café

Como o Theatro Municipal, o prédio onde existe a Sala São Paulo foi construído com dinheiro da indústria do café. Os barões de café construíram uma estação de trens e só foi anos depois que foi colocada ali a Sala São Paulo. As marcas do café são visíveis no desenho do chão e os Xs nas decorações de algumas salas. As pinturas das janelas também apresentam cenas do mundo do café.

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Sala São Paulo, Interior. (Photo de Celeste Dolores)

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Sala de espera, Sala São Paulo.

A Sala São Paulo é realmente espetacular. A estação ferroviária ainda funciona mas já não havia mais necessidade de uma estação tão grande. A indústria nunca necessitou de tantos trens e o povo não circulava tanto para merecer duas estações no mesmo bairro. A acústica da Sala São Paulo é maravilhosa. Há um teto que baixa e sobe para mudar a acústica dependendo do tipo de concerto. IMG_3027

Onde se vê no mundo tal luxo?? O mundo de música só tem a agradecer ao café e aos barões dessa indústria.