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By Culturekiosque Staff

LISBON, 26 DECEMBER 2011 — The tradition of singing the Te Deum on 31 December as a form of giving thanks for the year gone by was one of the most impressive ceremonies of liturgical music of eighteenth century Lisbon. The splendour of the ceremony, held in the presence of the king in the richly illuminated and decorated Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch), conferred to the function the allegoric signification of an apotheosis of both secular and spiritual power, symbolically united in the monarch.

Built according to the plans of the Italian architect Filippo Terzi in the second half of the 16th century,  the Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) was one of the few buildings in Lisbon to survive the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. As one of the world's first Jesuit churches, it served as the Society of Jesus’ home church in Portugal for over 200 years, before the Jesuits were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula nation.

This Saturday's 2011 New Year's Eve concert at 17:00, with direct transmission on the Portuguese state television network RTP, will recreate the ceremonial atmosphere, including the interpretation of the Te Deum composed by João de Sousa Carvalho in 1769.

 Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch)

In addition to the Te Deum, the 2011 programme includes a performance of a Bach New Year's cantata. 

J.S. Bach: Fall mit Danken, fallt mit Loben (Cantata de Ano Novo), BWV 248

João de Sousa Carvalho: Te Deum (1769)

Gulbenkian Choir
Diviono Sospiro
Jorge Matta, conductor

Sandra Medeiros, soprano
Terry Wey, countertenor
Fernando Guimaraes, tenor
Hugo Oliveira, baritone

Marisa Figueira, soprano
Carolina Figueira, contralto
Frederico Projecto, tenor
Manuel Rebelo, baritone 

Te Deum em São Roque
Saturday, 31 December 2011 at 17:00
Igreja de São Roque (no reserved seating)
Largo Trindade Coelho
Bairro Alto
Lisbon, Portugal

Tel: (35) 1 21 323 53 81

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