Almost as popular as football in Brazil is another theatrical event: a Brazilian soap opera or novela. But rather than a stadium, this one takes place on a studio. A distraction from the fast-pace life in Rio, half of the nation in Brazil tunes in to watch the popular performances on television.
Novelas play a very big role in the Brazilian culture, influencing everything from fashion to politics. CCTV Correspondent Stephen Gibbs visits to bring us a behind-the-scenes glimpse.
Role of soap operas in Brazilian cultureNovelas, or soap operas, play a very big role in the Brazilian culture influencing everything from fashion to politics. It’s just outside the city where Brazil’s soap operas are made at the headquarters of Globo, Brazil’s most dominant TV network. CCTV Correspondent Stephen Gibbs visits to bring us a behind-the-scenes glimpse.
The Brazilian mix of reality and fiction has been a staple of television entertainment for the last four decades. With over 40 million viewers tuning in each night to watch these telenovelas, actress Taina Muller says watching telenovelas is a common routine for Brazilians.
“I think that Brazilians know how to do a novela like they know how to play soccer.” Muller says telenovelas help unify Brazil. “It’s a huge country with a lot of different cultures inside the same country,” she says. “Through the novelas, people can identify themselves as Brazilians.”
However these soap operas are not only entertaining. Duca Rachid, a soap opera writer says telenovelas mirror what is seen in their community. “We try to reflect the changes that are happening in society.”
Professor Maria Immacolata Cassallo de Lopes from the University of Sao Paulo, says she cannot predict the future of telenovelas in Brazil, but she knows they are here to stay.
“The future of soap operas is an open question, but I don’t believe that they will disappear,” she says. “They have always evolved, and moved with society. So why stop now?” The professor actually teaches a university course on Brazilian soap operas, a testament itself of the reverence Brazilians have for their beloved novelas.