ABEL ROCHA Conductor
From 2011 to 2012, Abel Rocha was the artistic director of Teatro Municipal de São Paulo and leading conductor of the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal (the symphonic orchestra of the city).
Rocha is an expert in opera whose dedication to this genre did not move him away from other forms of music making. On the contrary, his prominent position in the Brazilian scenario is due precisely to a versatile and diversified performance: Rocha was responsible for the musical direction of many different musical and theatrical productions such as ballets and plays, and also made a striking passage through popular music, in various shows and musicals.
With an intense performance in the opera world, he was responsible the musical direction and for conducting works from the most important composers of the genre, from Monteverdi’s baroque to the modernity of Schönberg and Debussy, through Händel, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet and Puccini, among others. He worldwide premiered Brazilian works– Anjo negro (Black Angel), by João Guilherme Ripper, and A tempestade (The Tempest), by Ronaldo Miranda – and also worked as voice director and resident conductor of the Cia. Brasileira de Ópera (Brazilian Cia. of Opera).
Between 2004 and 2009 he had a remarkable performance as artistic director and principal conductor of the Symphonic Band of the State of São Paulo, where he undertook a thorough work of artistic and administrative restructuring, which had tremendous repercussion and recognition in the Brazilian classic scene.
In his activity as an orchestra conductor, in recent years Abel Rocha conducted many symphonic programs with the most important Brazilian orchestras, such as Sinfônica Brasileira (OSB - Brazilian Symphony), Sinfônica de Porto Alegre, Filarmônica de Minas Gerais, Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro (Brasília), Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Osesp) and Experimental de Repertório (OER), among others. In 2010, he debuted as a guest conductor with the Symphonic Orchestra of the Sodre of Montevideo.
Besides numerous commitments, from 1983 to 2010 Abel Rocha conducted the Collegium Musicum choir of São Paulo, a group that has been active for 43 years and always reaffirms its versatility and its eclecticism, and is often invited to participate in television and radio programs, shows, symphonic concerts and operas, besides producing its own concerts, choir meetings and festivals.
In addition to his artistic career, Abel Rocha is also renowned for his pedagogical activities, being one of the most requested professors of conducting in Brazil. He was a teacher and conductor in various music festivals, and is currently the professor of conducting at UniFIAM/Faam and at the Art Institute of Unesp (São Paulo State University).
Abel Rocha graduated from Unesp, and later specialized in opera conducting at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule in Düsseldorf, Germany. He then obtained his doctorate from Unicamp researching the modern interpretation of the opera L’Orfeo, by Claudio Monteverdi. During his formative years he was guided by Hans Kast, Robert Schnorrenberger and Eleazar de Carvalho.