Sofia Escobar was born in Guimarães. She finished the singing course at Oporto Conservatory and later, she travelled to London where she studied singing and acting at Guidhall School of Music and Drama.
Sofia has performed in musical theatre shows at Rivoli Theatre in Oporto and São Carlos National Theatre in Lisbon. In London, she was selected to perform the main character Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. She has also played the role of Mary in the production celebrating the 50th anniversary of West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein in London’s West End, followed by touring in the UK, France, Italy and Malaysia.
Sofia Escobar has been much praised by London’s reviews and has received the musical best actress award of Whatsonstage Theatregoer’s Choice Awards and was nominated, in the same category, for Laurence Olivier’s Awards due to her performance in West Side Story.
In 2016 she joined the cast of Eusébio, a Hymn to Football at the Coliseum of Lisbon. Currently she divides her life between London, Madrid and Lisbon.
Nelson Ebo was born in Angola in 1984 during the civil war. Since childhood, he struggled against that war and illness which claimed the lives of both parents and several siblings. With his powerful tenor voice and musical soul, Nelson was able to lift himself out of hardship while inspiring all those who heard him.
At the age of 14, Nelson was first introduced to choral music in his local church. His fascination with opera began by chance when he heard a CD of opera luminaries Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo and taught himself to sing like them. He began to sing in Casa 70 in Luanda to pay for his own education and family’s wellbeing. In 2001, Nelson was invited to sing at a human rights song contest organized jointly by the UN and the Angolan Ministry of Justice. Impressed with Nelson’s extraordinary talent, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation supported Nelson to pursue the study of music in Spain. It is there where Nelson had the extreme honor of singing for the King of Spain as and having a private coaching session with Maestro Plácido Domingo.
In 2008, Nelson moved to the United States as a scholarship student at the Hartt School of Music where he studied with Wayne Rivera. In 2011, Nelson auditioned for and was accepted as a “resident artist” at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he studied with the renowned voice teacher, Bill Schuman. Nelson has won awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation and Opera North and has performed in concerts in the United States, Europe, and Angola. In 2011, Marcello Giordani, an acclaimed tenor, invited Nelson to perform with him in concerts in New Jersey and Sicily. From September 2011 until May 2013, Nelson Ebo sang at various music events of the Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia.
In 2012, 12 years after leaving Angola to study singing abroad, Nelson was invited back to Angola by Carlos Cunha to perform at the 14th anniversary of Casa 70. Through this concert, and the support of the First Lady of Angola, Nelson has returned numerous times to give concerts in Angola and Portugal. Nelson has appeared numerous times on television, radio, and newspaper in Angola, Europe and the US documenting his extraordinary journey out of poverty by virtue of his captivating voice and engaging spirit.
From 2013 to 2015, Nelson continued his professional studies in Italy and Germany. During this time, he participated in a Master Class with Mariella Devia, lessons with Janet Williams, and gave numerous concerts around Europe. Nelson recently moved back to the United States where he now studies and sings in New York City. He has debuted as Cavaradossi in Tosca, Pollione in Norma, and the lead Knight Antonius Bloc, a new contemporary opera, The Seventh Seal in 2016. Nelson was also invited to be an artist with the Opera Singers Initiative (OSI) Vocal Institute in New York City for 2016. In 2017, he debuted as Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and the Tenor Soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, and he also returned to Italy for the role of Pollione in Bellini’s Norma.
José Eduardo is a resident conductor of the Clássica do Centro Orchestra, associated to the Clássica do Sul Orchestra and of FEUP Clássica Orchestra . He also teaches at ESMAE – Escola Superior de Música e das Artes do Espectáculo do Porto, being the leading maestro of the Orchestra.
He was recently awarded with the 2nd Prize of Young Musicians Award Contest at the category of Orchestra conducting, as well as with the Orchestra Prize and he was semi-finalist at the 1st Concorso Citta di Brescia Giancarlo Facchinetti (Italy).
He began his musical studies with the clarinet in his hometown, V. N. Famalicão. Later, he pursued his studies at ARTAVE e ESMAE, where he graduated in the class of Prof. António Saiote. He proceeded his studies in Orchestra Conducting at Haute École de Musique de Genève (Switzerland), with Laurent Gay and Choir Direction with Celso Antunes.
José Eduardo Gomes has been invited to work with the main Portuguese orchestras. He has been Principal Conductor at the Chambre de Carouge Orchestra in Switzerland and resident conductor of the Choir of Círculo Portuense de Opera in OPorto.
As far as opera is concerned he has already taken part in several productions, such as Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte, Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Haydn’s Lo Speziale and Marcos de Portugal’s La Donna di Genio Volubile.
He also develops an important work with young orchestras in various music schools throughout the country.
José Eduardo is a founder member of Quarteto Vintage and with this ensemble he plays regularly in Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan and Canada. He is also a founder member of the Serenade Ensemble.