150 musicians on stage, a world-class creation with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra… This is the event that takes place in the Auditorium of the Maison de la radio et de la musique, with three performances (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) of “Amor Azul”, a song opera in two acts, signed by the Brazilian, former Minister of Culture under Lula, Gilberto Gil, and conductor Aldo Brizzi.
At 80, the musician, a pillar of Brazilian and now global culture, thus presents what almost represents the work of a lifetime, which celebrates love and brings together his passions: for symphonic music of course, but also for Indian spirituality and popular song. The concert will be broadcast on the Culturebox and France Musique sites, then broadcast on France 5 next January.
“I’ve always dreamed of this”
FRANCE INTER: Did you imagine one day playing with a philharmonic orchestra?
GILBERTO GIL: “I’ve always had the dream of joining a great orchestra, with a specifically symphonic project, as is exactly the case with this opera. I’ve always dreamed of that, since I was a little child.”
Your opera “Amor Azul”, brings together all your passions: the love of Brazilian music, Indian mythology and that of song…
“The opera is the meeting between poetry and music. In this sense, in the common sense of the word, “Amor Azul” is an opera. At the same time, there are the ingredients of popular music , from Brazil, the African influence, the rhythm, the Indian influence, the European influence. In the formation of popular music, this is the basis that we took as a founding element to have music written and produced. of this opera.”
How old is your interest in Indian culture and spirituality?
“When I was very young, a teenager, I was already very interested in spirituality, the different types of religiosity that can be found in the East. Not just religion, but philosophy as well. It’s something that has been of interest to me for a long time. Now I am an 80-year-old man. And so spirituality is something that belongs to my daily life.”
“Let be joy to him who meditates”, we can hear in your opera. Do you meditate daily?
“I understood that to meditate is to welcome the generality of life, in the sense of discourse, in the sense of speech. To meditate is to use language to open up interiority, the interior dimension of someone another, to the immensity of the Universe. So to meditate is to live.
“Love is more important than death”
Meditating helps to overcome the vicissitudes of life, was it the case during your incarceration?
“Yes, I took the opportunity to officially begin my meditation process. In prison, the year 1969. So we find a bit of that today in this room. (…) It’s a result of everything What I have experienced. “
Is love the main theme?
“Love, for all of humanity, for each individual. Love is more important than death. Death is perhaps the thing we fear most, a difficulty understand and accept. But love is all the same greater, deeper. Love is life, it is the very exercise of life, of the living dimension of existence. And death is after, that’s the mystery.”
You were Minister of Culture in Brazil. Is art a political act?
“Art is like all things in life. Life together, life in society, social life determine the political dimension of things. So everything we do, everything we produce, everything what is the result of life, of human actions, is political.”
After the fires, the management of the Covid-19 crisis, what is your view of Brazil, led by Bolsonaro since 2019?
“They took on the ideology of the hard right. And that, for me personally, is something that is not in my horizon. It was a very difficult period, I believe, for political, social and even economic in Brazil. We now have the possibility of returning a feeling and even a progressive action with the return of Lula to the presidency of the country. We are going to find a very difficult situation, but we have the arrival of hope, a once again.”
Your son is playing by your side. Is it a handover?
“Yes, he’s already been with me for a long time, with the pop group. But now, for him, it’s an experience. It’s a kind of challenge for him to play with an organization, with a big orchestra, with a choir. It will allow him to progress, to move forward.”
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Gilberto Gil, an opera and the philharmonic: “I have always dreamed of joining a great orchestra”
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