Symphonic Choir

In the 1960s, Porto Alegre was developing on a number of fronts, including culturally. The city was hungry for more art and, from time to time, there were discussions about forming a body of singers that could meet the choir needs of the largest local music entity, the Porto Alegre Symphonic Orchestra. Ospa was enjoying rapid growth and was desperate for a choir to participate in its operatic performances and concerts. The professional choir was established in late December 1969, with initial tests held with local vocalists. Initially, the conductors where maestro Nestor Wennholz and professor Helena Weinberg.

The Choir performed uninterruptedly until 1979, after which it was disbanded. During this period, it performed major works such as Fauré’s Requiem, Brahms and Britten, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s Coronation Mass, while also having taken part in a number of scenic operas, including “The Marriage of Figaro”, by Mozart, “The Tales of Hoffmann”, by Offenback, “La Bohéme”, by Puccini, “Carmen”, by Bizet and “Lo Schiavo”, by Carlos Gomes. At the end of 1983, with maestro Eleazar de Carvalho at the head of Ospa, the group was reinstated, re-debuting in 1984, at the inauguration of Ospa Theater, once again performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

The Choir currently features some 80 amateur singers, under the guidance of principal maestro Manfredo Schmiedt, who has held the baton since 1992. Besides spellbinding participation in Ospa’s program, the group also performs with other orchestras or instrumental groups. Its repertoire includes famous works by Beethoven, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Gounod, Brahms, Bach, Haendel, Haydn, Vivaldi, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Borodin, among other. During the Ospa 2016 season, notable performances by the singers included stagings of “Don Pasquale”, by Donizetti, and “Carmina Burana”, by Orff, as well as Mozart’s “Requiem” and “Choros n° 10” Villa-Lobos.