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The Brazil Ensemble is back!

The King’s Brazil Institute’s flagship orchestra returns with Brazilian soprano Gabriella Di Laccio, performing the world premiere of Catarina Domenici’s opera in progress, Abertura Anita Garibaldi, written for the ensemble and Di Laccio.

As part of the King’s Brazil Institute 29th of September online event ‘Celebrating Anita Garibaldi’s 200th birth anniversary’, King’s Brazil Ensemble, will present a short programme of works by Brazilian female composers. Together with a short piece by the composer Chiquinha Gonzaga, the concert will include the world premiere of renowned Brazilian composer Catarina Domenici’s opera in progress Abertura Anita Garibaldi, dedicated to the Brazil Ensemble and renowned Brazilian soprano, Gabriella Di Laccio. The orchestra will play the first and last movements of the work. The opera chronicles the enthralling, but also tragic, life of Anita Garibaldi. In the spirit of women’s leadership, the work will also be conducted by the ensemble’s director, Rita Fernandes.

The concert will take place at 7:30pm on the 29th of September in the King's College Chapel and audience members are warmly welcomed! 

The concert will be also livestreamed on the King’s Brazil Institute’s Facebook page.

Catarina Domenici:

Catarina Domenici is a renowned Brazilian pianist, composer, and researcher. As a composer she was twice nominated for the original score for dance, and was a prize winner for Calliope’s Call “There is no Plan(et) B” concert in the US, having her song “Amazônia” premiered in the US in 2021. Her song “Healing: Lullaby for my younger self” was recently featured as the Song of the Day on BBC. The first recordings of her songs in the CD Homage: Women composers from Brazil and Italy were enthusiastically received by one of the most prominent music critics in Brazil who wrote “both [the songs] are impactful”, and “[Catarina’s music] has the courage to commit to social change and demonstrates that contemporary music is able to speak to broader audiences”. Recognised as a leading performer of new music in Brazil, she has collaborated with several composers in recordings and premieres at contemporary music festivals and concerts in Brazil, Europe, the USA, and Central America. Her recordings have received prizes from the São Paulo Art Critics Association and she was twice the recipient of the Açorianos Prize for best instrumentalist. She holds a Master and a Doctoral degree in Music Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate and the Lizzie Teege Mason Award. She was twice the recipient of a full scholarship from the Brazilian Government Agency CNPq, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University at Buffalo. Domenici is a Full Professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Her research on composer-performer collaboration in contemporary music has been presented in several symposiums in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Gabriella Di Laccio:

Gabriella Di Laccio is an international award-winning soprano, recording artist, curator and activist, who has become one of the leading voices on the fight for equality in classical music. Listed as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspirational and influential women in the world in 2018, and recognised by Sir Charles Mackerrras as “a singer of outstanding talent”, Gabriella performs regularly as a solo recitalist and as a member of various chamber groups covering a wide-ranging repertoire. As well as being a celebrated opera singer, Gabriella is also the founder and curator of the Donne, Women in Music Foundation, an internationally recognised initiative that celebrates, advances and amplifies women in music. Donne’s website features more than 5000 women composers on a fully searchable database, as well as educational videos, curated playlists, a CD collection dedicated to women composers, live sessions with equality and diversity advocates from around the world, and much more. Visit and

Rita Fernandes:

Rita is a first-class music graduate from King's College London, as well as a violin graduate with distinction from the Conservatoire de Lausanne in Switzerland. She currently works as a music journalist at The Strad magazine. As an orchestral violinist, she has played in venues such as the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Sydney Opera House and Beijing Arts centre, and with artists such as Simone Young, Ray Chen and Manfred Honeck. As a conductor and orchestral manager, she has organised full-scale operas and led symphony orchestras. As the King's Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor and the King's Opera Society and King's Modern Music Society music directors, she has conducted, among other pieces, Weill’s Threepenny Opera, Sibelius’ Finlandia, Strauss’ Metamorphosen for 23 Strings and Britten's Les Illuminations. As a violinist, she has also led several leading London ensembles. She acts as lead violinist, conductor and event organiser of this concert. Rita has been a member of the Brazil Ensemble for several years, having, in recent years, taken on organisational duties together with the Brazil Institute's Director, Vinicius De Carvalho. Recent projects include 2020's Brazil Week concert, and collaborations with London's Brazilian Embassy.

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Event details

King's College Chapel
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS