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Her songs had enormous success, yielding an international career and songs still commonly used. Actively flirtatious, she soon had her destiny concerted by her parents in an arranged matrimony. On November 5, , she married Jacinto Ribeiro do Amaral, the son of a commander and a member of a rich and distinguished family. Her paternal dowry was a piano and it became her main activity after the marriage.
But her husband hated the musical bend of Gonzaga's and bought a merchant ship freighted by the imperial government to be used in the Paraguay war to Expelled from her family, Gonzaga immediately became a dear figure in the musical and Bohemian circles. Two years after Callado's first composition, he released the polka "Querida por Todos" "Loved by Everybody" , dedicated to Gonzaga.
In , they return to Rio and in the following year, their daughter, Alice Maria, was born; this would be the same year in which Gonzaga abandoned the lover. Her friend Callado helped her find her first piano pupils.
In , her first composition, the polka "Atraente," was headlined at the Jornal do Commercio newspaper. The song was released and had 15 editions in the very year of its publishing. At that time, she had released several compositions in various genres like valse, polka and tango. Her fame of free woman, combined with her musical prominence, bewitched the popular imagination and covered her music with an aura of sensuality and passion, all the while she was discriminated against by society.
In , her polka "Sultana" sold 2, copies of its first edition, while the average composer used to sell only Soon, other editions were published. The Callado influence as one of the fundamental values of the nascent choro style later genre oriented her search for Brazilian expression in times of heavy French and Italian predominance.
In , the first operetta with distinctive Brazilian identity, O Rio de Janeiro em , opened in Rio. Gonzaga saw in that nascent genre a professional opportunity and in wrote a libretto in one act and two sketches and began to put music to it. In , she made a new attempt: she wrote the music for Artur Azevedo's Viagem ao Parnaso, but the impresario suspended the play for not trusting in a woman as a composer.
On January 17, , the piece opened under enthusiastic applause. The last dance was the hated Maxixe because of its sensuous rhythm and dance, the elite despised it. The play launched Gonzaga in the capacity of conductor, the first Brazilian woman at that, and a very successful one. Headlines acknowledged her as the " Offenbach in skirts. The applause to her songs yielded an homage where she played the piano in public for the first time. In that homage, a band played her songs and journalists congratulated her.
At that point, she began to enjoy extreme popularity and economic stability. The operetta opened in January The play, opening on January 29, , had great success.
In , she engaged herself in an active abolitionist campaign. She also contributed money to the abolitionist societies and did everything for the cause, from sweeping theaters to addressing her audiences. Soon, she also became a great supporter of the cause of the Republic. In the same month, A Mulher-Homem was replayed. In August of that year, Gonzaga promoted a concert in benefit of the great Brazilian composer and conductor Carlos Gomes, who wanted to enact his opera O Escravo for the commemoration of the independence, but had no endowment from D.
Pedro II. At that concert, Gonzaga received a photo with dedication from by Gomes, which she put over her piano and keept it there until her death. The latter wrote lyrics for it in , renaming the tune for "Corta-jaca. She also wrote music for several Portuguese plays in that period. Her last work was the music for the play Maria Viriato Correia. During commemorations of the years of her birth, the book Sofri e Chorei Listen to Chiquinha Gonzaga now.
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