Saturday, June 04, 2011

Maria Bethania - fails to engage

Maria Bethania was a great star in 1970s Brazil. Sister of the well-known musician Caetano Veloso, she led the 'tropicalista' musical movement of protest in her country along with her brother and Gilberto Gil, and came to be known as the 'Greta Garbo' of Rio. These days she is known as Abelha-rainha, or Queen Bee.

The backing singers giving their all.
Unfortunately, the operative word here is 'was'. The 1970s was 40 years ago and she's no longer a great star. Her delivery of her material was perfunctory and failed to generate the passion for which she was once known. From the moment of her appearance on stage, she did not attempt to greet or engage with the audience and the feeling was one of getting the gig over as soon as possible so she could go home. But it was this failure to acknowledge the audience that riled many in the audience.

There were far few people in the audience than on opening night and the evening was best summed up by a visitor who suggested it might have been a better idea to put this aged 'star' on at the Batha Museum (if she had to be there at all) and have the scintillating Elena Ledda Quintet at Bab al Makina.


aycha baitaite said...

Hier soir, la chanteuse brésilienne avait un plus grand concurrent : le match de foot Maroc - Algérie d'où la désaffection du public pour la musique...
Bon dimanche lumineux!

Anonymous said...

It was a bit "pop" for me. I wondered why she was included in the program.
I agree with your review of Elena at the Batha. It was moving.

Sandy McCutcheon said...

@Aycha - Yes, the match between Algeria and Morocco was a bigger drawcard! What a win for Morocco! And 4 - 0 what a scorecard.

Maria said...

Good review. She was a bit tired and not very engaging