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 ( 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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Rio de Janeiro Performing Arts

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Acadêmicos do Salgueiro

The samba school Salguiero holds its pre-Carnival rehearsals only on Saturdays, from 10 pm. The school also runs Samba Experience events...


The several-times winner of Rio's annual Samba School competition, Beija-Flor holds public rehearsals on Thursdays at 9 pm in the months...

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Formerly the headquarters of the Banco do Brasil, in the late 1980s this opulent six-story domed building with marble floors was transformed...

Centro Cultural Municipal Parque das Ruinas

With a glorious view of Guanabara Bay and downtown, the Parque das Ruinas houses the remains of a mansion building that was Rio's bohemian...

Cidade das Artes

This enormous cultural complex and live-music venue opened in 2013 and is now the largest concert hall in South America, seating 1,780.

Citibank Hall

This huge venue hosts some of the biggest Brazilian and international names playing in Rio, such as Caetano Veloso, Adele, Smashing Pumpkins...

Escola de Música da UFRJ

The music school auditorium, inspired by the Salle Gaveau in Paris, has 1,100 seats, and you can listen to chamber music, symphony orchestras...

Estação Net Ipanema

The charming two-screen Estação Net Ipanema cinema is part of a lively area of small restaurants and bookstores, perfect for hanging...

Estação Primeira de Mangueira

One of the most popular schools and always a challenger for the Carnival title, Estação Primeira holds its rehearsals on Saturdays...

HSBC Arena

HSBC Arena hosts big-name rock and pop stars.


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