Act I

Dream – Initiation – Desire and Impulse

In a way, an opera is the opposite of a mystery film. (That movie that you are not supposed to tell the end to your friends, so as not to spoil the experience.) In most opera one wants to know the story beforehand so that we can focus on how the plot and the music may be presented by each company.

That’s why I think it’s nice to have access to the whole story online, so even if one can’t understand every word the singers are delivering on performance, we can still appreciate the choices of the director, the emotion in the voices and the development of the characters.

For the full text, please download the Tamandua Libretto 9B
For the music: Tamandua – Vocal Score



Tamanduá – A Brazilian Opera – on Facebook.

|     Scene by Scene     |         Act I       |


|      A Prelude  to Tamanduá      |

MSU – 2009

A place from where spirits are born.
01 A Prelude to Tamandua – feat. Micha Haran on cello

|   Act I scene 1   |        Indiara       |

Taylor Kurilew as Carol – MSU, 2009.

Brazil – Tribal Ritual – Prophesies – Initiation. Water.
Dances, mystery, tropical ritual.
Carol, Aruanan, Pedro and Julia are in a trance, singing from within a dream.
Visions of change, paths to be followed, challenges to be overcome.

The witches pour ingredients into the cauldron. They start cooking the soup that will be served to the audience at the end of Act 2.

02 Indiara 2009

Taylor Kurilew as Carol. MSU, 2009.

|     Act I scene 2     |       Packing Escher     |

Amy Buckley as Carol, Guto Bittencourt as Editor. Casa do Brasil, 2008.

Catherine Shelley as Carol. MSU, 2009.

Carol in NY. She needs to leave the city.
She’s a journalist seeking new horizons.
The editors give her the assignment to go to Brazil.
03 Packing Escher 2009

|     Act I scene 3    |       Airport to Aeroporto      |

(not yet premiered)

Leaving New York. Arriving in Rio. Instrumental Ballet.


|     Act I scene 4     |         Cheiro de Mulher       |

Guto Bittencourt as Pedro. Casa do Btrasil, 2008.

Frank Hughes as Pedro. MSU, 2009.

Carol’s first night out in Rio, the explosion of life fascinates her.
Pedro and Aruanan are old friends, they hang out and talk about women.
Street Party – Lapa. Crowded streets, Forró. Dancing couples.

There is an alternative version for the lyrics of this aria. An adult version in Portuguese, it is called O Cheiro da Xereca. (I tend to think of it as my little Duchamp Fountain in the concert hall.) If you are curious, you can watch it on YouTube. Last time I checked it had over 207,000 hits, not bad for contemporary opera. 😉

This scene works very well on performance, as comic relief inside the opera. Out of context it generated much polemic and confusion. I decided to restrict access to the video from the general public. If you want to watch it, please introduce yourself and request a password.

|     Act I scene 5     |       Tamanduá       |

Claudio Mascarenhas as Aruanan. Casa do Brasil, 2008.

Change of mood. Anonymous death.
A kid comes running across the stage; a policeman shoots him in his back. Death.
The people surround the body. The police runs away.
05 Tamandua – May 2008

|     Act I Scene 6     |        Tell Me       |

Mia Pafumi as Carol, Alex Houser as Aruanan. MSU, 2009.

Aruanan meets Carol. Their eyes are fixed on each other, hypnotized.
06 Tell Me 2009

|     Tamanduá – Act I scene 7     |        Na Noite       |

(not yet premiered)

MSU, 2009.

Carol experiences the night with Aruanan.
Instrumental with Chorus – Ballet.

Alex Houser as Aruanan, Mia Pafumi as Carol. MSU, 2009.

|     Tamanduá – Act I scene 8     |         Making Out        |

(not yet premiered)

MSU, 2009.

Aruanan and Carol live in the moment.
Instrumental – Ballet

 End of Act I

to Act II

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Joao MacDowell, Jeremy Lamb, Jorge Amorim and Georgianna Pappas. Amazonia Exhibit, 2008.