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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » P » Portugal, Marcos Antonio



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Marcos Antonio Portugal (3/24/1762 - 2/17/1830)

Marcos Antônio da Fonseca Portugal was born in Lisbon in 1762 and died in Rio de Janeiro in 1830. He studied under the composer João de Sousa Carvalho at the Patriarchal Seminary, the only music school in Lisbon at that time. He began his career as an opera composer in 1786, when he was appointed maestro at the new Salitre Theatre in Lisbon. In the course of the six years he occupied this post, he composed a series of Portuguese operas, modelling his compositional style on the operas of Cimarosa and other contemporary Italian composers.

In 1792 Marcos Portugal travelled to Italy with a scholarship from the Portuguese Crown. It appears, however, that he never actually undertook any studies, but rather embarked on a series of operas for Italian theatres which, within a few years, brought him recognition as one of the leading opera composers of his day. When he returned to Lisbon in 1800 to take up the post of director at the Teatro de São Carlos and mestre de capela of the Royal Chapel, he was at the peak of his career, his operas being applauded in all of the principal European theatres.

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