When in Rio in November 2018, we ventured down to the waterfront of Guanabara Bay near to Santos Dumont Airport, the main domestic hub for the Brazilian city, where we had landed from Iguazu and had witnessed planes taking off and landing whilst we were up Sugarloaf Mountain.
As we walked along the water’s edge, we suddenly heard music coming from an underpass in the near distance…….
Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Everybody knows the fabulous music, colourful & outrageous costumes and general party atmosphere of the Rio Carnival that takes place before the beginning of Lent every year.
Well, as soon as one carnival ends work starts on the following year’s event. Tableaux are created, costumes designed, dance routines developed and music composed or reworked.
We had stumbled across the Orquestra Voadora practicing for the 2019 carnival three months hence.
A huge horn section scattered around the underpass and upon the steps leading to it, a couple of dozen drummers & other percussionists, together with a woodwind section as big as the Royal Philharmonic, all piped up under the watchful gaze of the whistleblowing conductor.
We stood and watched several numbers performed with gusto, including a rendition of Michael Jackson’s well known classic ‘Beat It’.
You can view some videos on my Youtube channel by clicking below:
Also take a look at a dramatic plane landing over the water and onto the runway of Santos Dumont Airport: