Joaquim Pedro Quintela, 1st Count of Farrobo, was born in Lisbon on 11th december 1801. A remarkable figure of the portuguese 19th century, heir to his father’s great fortune, the 1st Baron of Quintela, he was a cultured aristocrat, an expert connoisseur of the main european languages, a profound knowledge of music and literature, and an entrepreneur in several areas, including insurance.
Philanthropist, arts patrician, and promoter of artistic events, in 1820, at the age of nineteen, had the Thalia Theater built at Quinta das Laranjeiras, which in 1830 already had gas lighting, twenty years before the city of Lisbon. Stage of the most dazzling performances, it was destroyed by a fire in 1862. The building was insured by the Bonança Insurance Company, which fully supported the losses.
His participation in insurance activity was significant. In 1838, he took over the management of Companhia de Seguros Bonança, of which he became the main shareholder and, from 1851 to 1853, he presided over the administration of União Comercial e Bonança.
He was connected to the golden moments of the São Carlos Theater, which he directed between 1838 and 1840. He was also the main financier of the construction of the Dona Maria II National Theater, whose works were concluded in 1846, being the project of the Architect Fortunato Lodi, brother-in-law of Farrobo.
After the theatrical performances, in which the Count of Farrobo himself often performed, there were always lively and sumptuous parties, which given fame in Lisbon.
In simultaneous with his connection to the arts, Joaquim Pedro Quintela was a successful businessman, having been the driving force and financier, among other undertakings, of Barra da Figueira da Foz, Companhia do Gás Iluminante, Empresa Vidreira da Marinha Grande, Fábrica de Fiação de Sedas, Companhia das Vinhas do Alto Douro and Caminhos de Ferro do Norte e Leste.
The popular term FORROBODÓ is nothing more than an adaptation of the original name FARROBODÓ, associated with the pomp and animation of the feasts of the Count of Farrobo.