Entertainment in Sao Paulo

Theatre, Opera, Museum in Sao Paulo

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Theatre, Opera, Concert

The Carioca Club is a major venue for live rock in Sao Paulo (Address: Rua Cardeal Arcoverde 2899, Pinheiros; Phone: 011/3813-8598).

If you have more classical tastes consider one of the many shows offered by the Teatro Municipal. This elegant 19th-century building hosts ballet, concert, and opera performances. Lunchtime concerts as well as evening performances are available. The impressive Sala São Paulo is a cultural centre housed in a renovated 19th century railway station. The acoustics are marvellous and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, with its new maestro Yan Pascal Tortelier, now makes its home there and it’s a prime opera venue too. The inexpensive Saturday afternoon concerts often sell out.

Ibirapuera Park is the largest park in the city and is a popular venue for free outdoor concerts. Since it’s opeing the Teatro Imprensa (tel: +55 11 3241 4203 ; Address: Rua Jaceguai 400) has been a favourite among Sao Paulo residents hosting serious theatre as well as comedies and other cultural events. Teatro FECAP is a modern theater with a seating capacity of 400 and hosts some of the city’s finest theatre productions and famous Brazilian actors. For some experimental theatre head to the Teatro Commune. This small, intimate theater conducts workshops and hosts literary events in addition to presenting plays.

Reopened in 1997 following a financial crisis the Teatro Augusta presents plays, musicals, and literary events like talks and discussions.

The Centro Cultural São Paulo has a program of lunchtime classical music concerts from national and foreign performers. Location: Centro Cultural São Paulo Sala Adoniran Barbosa Rua Vergueiro, 1.000 - Liberdade - Centro. Tel: 3397 4002.

The Auditório do MASP, a space reserved for artists and instruments on Avenida Paulista, presents free classical music concerts every Tuesday lunchtime. Location: Av. Paulista, 1578, Bela Vista.

If you’re a lover of chamber music the Espaço Promonã will be of interest: Av. Juscelino Kubitschek 1830, Itaim Bibi, Phone: 011/3847-4111. The recently renovated neoclassical Teatro São Pedro (Rua Barra Funda 171, Barra Funda) is the second-oldest theater in São Paulo. It's one of the best venues in the city for chamber concerts and operas. It also organises free morning events on Sundays and Wednesdays.


The Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP) is certainly one of the most important art museums in Latin America. On display are some 8,000 works by such timeless greats as Rafael, Bellini, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh, as well American artists such as Calder, Torres Garcia, Diego Rivera and Flávio de Carvalho.

The Museu do Futebol is one of the finest of Sao Paulo’s new generation of museums. You don’t have to be a football fanatic to enjoy it: it’s located inside Pacaembu Stadium, one of the city’s icons, and tells the story of how the sport of football has risen almost to the status of a religion in Brazil. The emphasis is less on artefacts from the past than on multimedia displays and virtual reality effects. After your visit take a relaxing break in the museum café, which faces the fine Pacaembu Square.

The Museu Paulista (Museu du Ipiranga) is a modest but charming museum known for its beautiful garden and fine old architecture. What to do in Sao Paulo on a rainy day? Well you could do much worse than heading for the Catavento Cultural. This science museum is divided into four main sections: the universe, life, engineering and society. It offers hands-on exhibits explaining principles of physics as well as a virtual flying tour of Rio da Janeiro. A visit to the Catavento can easily be combined with a visit of the municipal market (Mercado Municipal) which is also in the area. The only drawback of the Catavento musuem is the fact that it’s in São Bento, one of Sao Paulo’s dodgy neighbourhoods. Don’t go wandering off the museum site unless you know exactly where you’re going!

At the Memorial da America Latina you'll find an impressive complex of buildings designed by the great modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed Brazil’s capital Brasilia, among other famous buildings and sites. There you’ll find an archive of the Latin American peoples’ struggle for democracy, the headquarters of the Parlamento Latino-Americano (Latin American Parliament), a library, exhibition pavilion, museum and auditorium.

The Pinacoteca do Estado art museum offers a fine retrospective of Brazilian Art. It comprises both an impressive permanent collection and temporary exhibits. Keep safe: stay on the museum side of the park surrounding the site. If you’re tempted by off-the-beaten track options then give the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo a try. Located near the Clinicas metro station it has fine works by Picasso, Leger, Kandinsky, Modigliani, Diego Rivera, Emilio Di Cavalcanti, Tarsila Do Amaral and Candido Portinari on display.

Update 13/12/2010


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