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In 2008 João MacDowell premiered scenes from Tamanduá (The Anteater) in New Your City. The debut concerts were followed by staged productions in 2009 and 2014. Until any new information surfaces about another work that may lie in forgetfulness, we believe that Tamanduá was the first opera sung in Portuguese produced in the USA.
Before MacDowell we had operas by Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes, most notably “Il Guarany” and “Fosca”. But these were operas sung in Italian, as it was appropriate for a composer from the Golden Age of Opera.
Villa Lobos also had “Magdalena” sung in English and “Yerma,” in Spanish.