Ópera do Malandro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ópera do Malandro (1978) is a Brazilian musical play, written by Chico Buarque and directed by Luiz Antônio Martinez Corrêa.

The play is inspired by the classic Beggar's Opera of John Gay and the Threepenny Opera, of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. It is also a posthumous tribute to Paulo Pontes (1940–1976) (pt).

Synopsis and analysis[edit]

The Ópera do Malandro reveals past features of Brazilian culture that still persist.

A pimp called Duran disguises himself as a successful salesman. Vitória was a madam who also lived by selling her own body. Her daughter, Teresinha, had fallen in love with a high status citizen, Max Overseas, a man that lived off wrongdoing in complicity with the chief Police officer, Chaves. The other characters are prostitutes, presented as saleswomen in a clothes store, and the promiscuous transvestite Geni, who was frequently attacked with rocks; people used to say she was "useful" because of this.

The play's action takes place in the 1940s; its theme: gambling prohibition, prostitution and smuggling. Then it shows a context similar to the third millennium, with piracy and other undergrounds.

Max Overseas really works in overseas business, even on the threshold of legality, in collusion with a pimp and the chief Police officer.

All of the songs are composed by Chico, who, due to his brightness, manages to make them in harmony with the text. The song Geni e o Zepelim (the ouverture), tells about a transvestite whose only gift or skill is to be good as a victim of hostility. This fact, that is only revealed to spectators of the show, means that she has no value.

Nevertheless, when the captain of a bright zeppelin intends to bombard the city, accepting to change his mind only if he had a night of love with the transvestite, all the citizens ask her to consent to the captain's desires.

The songs follow the pattern of rhymed and metrical verses, according to the intellectual tradition of the author's family.[1]

Technical staff (first performance)[edit]

The official source gives the following information:[2]


  • General director: Luiz Antônio Martinez Corrêa
  • Assistant to the general director: João Carlos Motta
  • Scenography: Maurício Sette
  • Scenography assistant: Rita Murtinho
  • Musical director: John Neschling
  • Assistant to the musical director: Paulo Sauer
  • Arrangement: John Neschling, Paulo Sauer
  • Interpretative vocal director: Glorinha Beutenmuller
  • Corporal director: Fernando Pinto
  • Lighting: Jorge Carvalho
  • Script: Maurício Arraes

Cast - in order of appearance:

Track list[edit]

Songs used in the play are:[3]

  • O malandro (Mack the Knife) (B.Brecht, K.Weill)
  • Hino de Duran (Chico Buarque)
  • Viver de amor (Chico Buarque)
  • Uma canção desnaturada (Chico Buarque)
  • Tango do Covil (Chico Buarque)
  • Dez anos (Chico Buarque)
  • O casamento dos pequenos burgueses (Chico Buarque)
  • Teresinha (Chico Buarque)
  • Homenagem ao malandro (Chico Buarque)
  • Folhetim (Chico Buarque)
  • Ai, se eles me pegam agora (Chico Buarque)
  • O meu amor (Chico Buarque)
  • Se eu fosse o teu patrão (Chico Buarque)
  • Geni e o Zepelim (Chico Buarque)
  • Pedaço de mim (Chico Buarque)
  • Ópera do Malandro (Adpt. e texto de Chico Buarque sobre trechos de "Rigoletto" de Verdi, "Carmen" de Bizet, "Aida" de Verdi, "La Traviata" de Verdi e Taunhauser de Wagner)
  • O malandro nº 2 vem aí (Chico Buarque)


Most critics were positive, complimenting the veracity of its portrayal of the hypocritical Brazilian society of the 40-70's.[4][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Machado, Paulo (1 January 2003). "A Ópera do Malandro de Chico Buarque de Holanda". Usina das Letras. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  2. ^ Chico Buarque (1 June 1978). "Ópera do Malandro". Site Oficial de Chico Buarque. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Ópera do Malandro - Trilha Sonora da Peça Teatral". Ciquemusic. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  4. ^ Castro, Ruy. "Só Deus sabe até onde o Chico acertou". Site Oficial de Chico Buarque. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  5. ^ "O que é a Ópera do Malandro". Universidade Estácio de Sá. 5 September 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  6. ^ Monteiro, Rodrigo (9 February 2009). "Ópera do Malandro". TeatroPoa. Retrieved 2 December 2011.

External links[edit]