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Brazil
Eva Sopher

Eva Sopher
Photo: Tiago Trindade

Eva Sopher, the president of the Theatro São Pedro in Porto Alegre, made a fundamental contribution to the cultural landscape of Porto Alegre with her passionate commitment to the performing arts. With the renowned theatre, she created a unique international meeting place for performers of all stripes. Sopher was born in Frankfurt in 1923. As the daughter of a German-Jewish family, in the late 1930s Eva Sopher fled from the National Socialists and found refuge in Brazil. After saving the Theatro São Pedro from demolition in the mid-1970s, she created a venue that continues to stand out for its vigorousness and internationality today. Greats of German dance and theatre such as Pina Bausch, Susanne Linke and Hanna Schygulla, the internationally successful pianist Nelson Freire and musician and composer Tom Jobim performed here. Eva Sopher was unable to attend the ceremony in person but appeared via video from Brazil. “Art is my religion,” is Sopher’s credo, as actor Hanna Schygulla explained in her speech. “She made it her mission to open wide the gates for other artists from around the world and, of course, the arts that came from Germany.” Considering her personal history, the latter was by no means a given. “She allows space for the innocence of new relations,” said Schygulla.

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