Carlos Gomes (1836-1896) was born in Campinas, near Sao Paulo. He was a very musically gifted child, so it was quite logical that his parents pushed his musical education. He studied at the Rio de Janeiro conservatory and became a celebrated opera composer. As a prize for one of his compositions, he won a study trip to Italy, the land of the Opera. His stay in Italy won him some reputation in Europe. Unfortunately, his stay in Italy appeared to be a money pit, causing him to run off to the Brazilian state of Belem. They liked him over there and gave him the post of director of the local conservatory. He passed away in Belem in 1896.