Joly Braga Santos’ Trilogia das Barcas (Trilogy of the Ships), based on Gil Vicente’s Act of the Ships (Hell, Purgatory and Heaven), remains the most represented opera by a 20th century Portuguese composer. It had its debut in 1970 during the XIV Gulbenkian Music Festival.
We are presented here with a hallucinating procession that seeks to illustrate all human vices, errors or virtues. Thus, from the Pope to the Shoemaker, we see Brízida Vaz (Procuress), the Bishop, the Nobleman, the Usurer, the Cardinal, the King, the Child, the Fool, the Emperor, the Procurator, etc. After death, everyone comes to account to the Devil and the Angel, waiting for their decision on the destination of their trip. Death also has a powerful intervention.
Trilogia das Barcas was released in São Carlos in 1979 under the direction of the composer. The musical front of this production will be defended by Joana Carneiro.