Rio de Janeiro Performing Arts
Theater, classical music (música erudita), and opera may be largely the preserve of the affluent upper classes in Rio, but tickets remain reasonably priced by international standards and can be purchased easily from box offices. Although understanding Portuguese may prove difficult for some visitors, musicals provide a good opportunity to catch the glitzier side of Rio, and the international
language of song and dance is considerably more comprehensible. Since many of the venues are in downtown or more out-of-the-way areas, use taxis to get to and from them, as the surrounding streets can feel dangerously deserted by night.
Cinema also remains big business in Rio, and the film industry benefited from one of the country's most talked-about films of all time when Tropa De Elite (named after the "Elite Troop" police force that patrols the favelas) hit movie theaters in 2007 and the favorable attention continued after the 2010 follow up was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Film. The annual Rio International Film Festival (www.festivaldorio.com.br) carries a huge buzz every September, when the city's numerous small, private cinemas are awash with avant-garde short films and homegrown acting and directing talent. Multiplexes showing mainstream films can be found in most big malls across the city, and new releases are usually in English with Portuguese subtitles.
Visual-art venues and museums are also very well endowed, with privately funded cultural centers hosting a rich variety of exhibitions, specific details of which are again best sought out in the Friday editions of the Rio press.
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