Brazil songwriter Buarque axes musical over political spat


Rio de Janeiro (AFP)

Legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Chico Buarque has blocked the use of his songs in a musical after the show's director lashed out at the left-wing government during a performance.

Director Claudio Botelho, who also performs in the show, caused a fracas Saturday in the middle of "All the Musicals of Chico Buarque in 90 Minutes" when he went off-script and called President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva "thieves," a local newspaper said.

Part of the audience in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte broke into boos and shouted "There will be no coup!" -- the rallying cry of government supporters who protested the day before against a growing movement to oust the embattled Rousseff.

Theater managers intervened, calling off the rest of the show as well as Sunday's performance, the last of the play's run, said newspaper Estado de Minas.

Buarque, a long-time supporter of the ruling Workers' Party, then barred the director from ever again using his songs.

"When he found out what happened Saturday, Chico was first dumbfounded and then deeply disgusted by the actor and director's attitude," said the singer's spokesman, Mario Canivello.

"Chico couldn't stomach the fact that his work could be contorted to the point of endorsing right-wing opinions," he told AFP.

Like Rousseff and Lula, Buarque opposed Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, which censored his songs. He is known for his strong political views as well as his songwriting talents and velvety voice.

Botelho lashed out at Buarque's decision, telling journalists he felt "censored by the songwriter" just as Buarque was during the dictatorship, when regime agents once forced him from the stage during a 1968 show.

Rousseff is embroiled in crisis as she fights off impeachment proceedings in Congress, a painful recession and an explosive scandal at state oil company Petrobras.

Rival protests for and against the government have swept the country, where the Workers' Party has ruled for the past 13 years.