Imagem card

Valdemar de Oliveira

Birth Date:

Death Date:


Actor, Composer, Doctor, Theaterlogist



Valdemar de Oliveira

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 07/06/2022

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation - Specialist in Scientific Documentation

He was born on March 2, 1900, in Imperatriz Street, n. 46, Recife city, son of Bianor de Oliveira and D. Maria da Penha.


He studied at Pritaneu College, then transferred to Pedro Augusto and Salesiano. In 1917 he entered the Faculty of Medicine of Bahia, where he graduated in September 1922. The following year he received his doctorate, defending with brilliance the thesis Music Therapy.


While working as a doctor at the State Department of Immigration in Recife, in the late 1920s, he met Esmeraldina da Rosa Borges (Diná), whom he married in 1929 and had two children: Reinaldo and Fernando.


Besides being a doctor, he taught, did theater, and played the piano in recitals. For this reason, he was called the man of the seven instruments.


In the 1930s he decided to leave the clinic and hospitals and dedicate himself definitively to teaching. He taught in most of the major schools of Recife, among which, the Gymnasium of Recife, Oswaldo Cruz College, Liceu Pernambucano, Vera Cruz, Regina Pacis, Escola Normal, Ginásio Pernambucano, and the Faculties of Federal Philosophy and Philosophy of Recife.


In 1936, he joined the Pernambuco Academy of Letters, being its president between 1949 and 1961.


During the years 1939 to 1950 he was director of the Santa Isabel Theater, in Recife.


Journalism was also one of his chairs. He collaborated in several newspapers such as Jornal do Recife and Jornal do Commercio. In the latter, for 40 years, he directed several columns.


In 1970, he retired from journalism, without abandoning it, however. He sporadically wrote his articles in the papers.


Theater and music were also two great passions. He is the author of several plays: Os três maridos dela, Eva na política, Tão fácil a felicidade, Mocambo, O Mistério do Cofre.


He was a member of the Academy of Medicine, Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Institute of Pernambuco, and the State Council of Culture.


He also wrote two memoir books, Mundo Submerso (1966) and When I was a Teacher (1973) and is the author of other works such as Frevo, Capoeira and Passo; Eça, Machado, Castro Alves, Nabuc… e o Teatro; Castro Alves e o Recife; No tempo de Amaury, Oswaldo Cruz: paixão, gloria e morte; Pernambuco e a Independência.


He died on April 18, 1977, at the Emergency General Hospital of Recife, as a result of aggravated kidney failure after a fall in the gardens of his home, which occurred on February 10, in which he had fractured the iliacus.


A month before he died, he received the first prize of a monograph competition promoted by the National Theater Service, with the essay O Capoeira: um teatro do passado.



Recife, July 3, 2003.


sources consulted

RIVAS, Lêda. Valdemar de Oliveira: o homem e o sonho: uma reportagem sentimental. Recife: AIP, 1983.

SILVA, Jorge Fernandes da. Vidas que não morrem. Recife: Secretaria de Educação. Departamento de Cultura, 1982. p .451-454.

how to quote this text

GASPAR, Lúcia. Valdemar de Oliveira. In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2003. Available from: Access on: Month. day, year. (Ex.: Aug. 6, 2009.)