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Antônio Carlos Gomes is a Modern Era Great Musician in Civilization VI.

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Born in July 1836 AD in Brazil, Gomes was the first composer from the “New World” whose work was considered acceptable to the Europeans. A contemporary with Verdi and Puccini, he was the only non-European of the time to successfully offer new operas in Italy, and his work spread outward across civilization from there.

Of Brazilian-African descent, Antônio was born in Campinas, son of maestro Manuel Gomes and also younger brother to José Pedro, himself a successful conductor. With their support, Antônio was accepted to study at the Conservatory of Music in Rio de Janeiro; he graduated with honors … and soon after composed his first opera. In 1861, his 'A Noite do Castelo' premiered in Brazil to modest success and critical review. Two years later, a second opera was more successful. So much so that the Emperor of Brazil offered him a royal scholarship to study in Italy at the Conservatory in Milan.

Completing his studies and thus becoming a “Maestro Composer,” Gomes premiered his third opera – this based on the work of Brazilian novelist José de Alencar in 1870. It was a huge success; Antônio was even decorated by King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. The opera toured Europe and Gomes returned to Brazil a celebrity, and moderately wealthy. But he returned to Italy within the year to marry Adelina Peri, a pianist he had met there while studying.

When Brazil declared its independence in 1889, Gomes declined the invitation to compose the national anthem. Instead, he divided his time between Brazil and Italy, composing new operatic works, as well as authoring three song books. Although in poor health, Gomes agreed to take up the position of director for the musical conservatory in Belém, but he died shortly after arriving there in September 1896.

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