As a late manifestation of grand opera conventions and particularly in its 'exotic' setting Gomes' Il Guarany is sandwiched between two other late grand operas: Meyerbeer's valedictory L'Africaine first performed, posthumously, on 28 April 1865 in Paris, and Verdi's Aida, famously commissioned by the Khedive of Egypt as part of the celebrations for the opening of the Suez Canal and first performed on 24 December 1871 in the new Cairo Opera House.
35) The new version was performed at La Scala 27 February 1869, a year before Il Guarany.
Gomes's Il Guarany is therefore the only mid-nineteenth-century grand opera to enjoy great contemporary acclaim while offering a successful interracial relationship which was to survive the events of the opera itself.
After his study at the conservatory in Milan, Gomes began to gain fame with his revue Se sa minga (You Never Know), but it was with Il Guarany that he achieved his "overnight" success in 1870.
172); to the public, though, Fosca was less successful than Il Guarany because of its Wagnerism.