Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fabulous Fado for the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

One of the world's top fado singers, Ana Moura from Portugal, is to appear at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music.  Ana Moura will be performing at the Batha Museum at 8.30 pm as part of the third evening of the Nights in the Medina series on June 12th

Ana Moura - not to be missed

Fado singer Ana Moura was born in 1980 in Santarém, Portugal. Her first album was the stunning Guarda-me a vida na mão (2003), followed by Aconteceu (2005). She sang in various nightspots in Lisbon such as The View from Fez team's favourite, Senhor Vinho, in the Lapa district.

Para Além da Saudade (2007), containing songs such as "Os Buzios" or "Fado da Procura", is the album that followed Aconteceu. Also in 2007, Ana Moura joined the Rolling Stones in concert at the Alvalade XXI stadium in Lisbon. She sang "No Expectations" with Mick Jagger.

After two big concerts in coliseums of Porto and Lisbon, Moura launched her first live DVD on November 24, 2008, which has enjoyed great success with the public.  In 2008, Ana Moura received the prize for "best performance Amalia".

Moura's next album, Leva-me aos Fados ("Take Me to a Fado House"), released on 12 October 2009 reached the Top 10 of best-selling albums. With songs such as "Leva-me aos Fados" (single presentation), "Caso Arrumado", "Rumo ao Sul" and "Fado Vestido de Fado" Ana Moura has given concerts in northern Portugal, London, Canada, Austria and Germany.

Ana Moura is currently one of the most prestigious fadistas in Portugal, known for her excellent tone of voice, attractive appearance and connection with her audience.


For those not familiar with fado, (Portuguese "destiny, fate") it is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. Fado historian and scholar Rui Vieira Nery says that "the only reliable information on the history of fado was orally transmitted and goes back to the 1820s and 1830s at best. But even that information was frequently modified within the generational transmission process that made it reach us today."

Fado came about in the 19th century and is by nature a hybrid form of music. In the taverns of the busy port areas of Alfama, Mouraria and the Moorish quarter of Barrio Alto, sailors introduced this melancholic style full of the hope and regret of their voyages. It stems from Arab songs and the ancient chants of African-Brazilian slaves.

Around 1870 the music gained widespread popularity under the influence of the great singer Maria Severa, who died at the age of 26 and later became the subject of Portugal's first sound movie in 1931. To this day, female performers wear a black shawl in her memory and her life story has been the influence of several Fado songs, poems, novels, and plays, fado also became a favourite of the aristocracy who fell in love with its poetic verve.

But it was Amalia Rodrigues in the 20th century who made Fado known beyond Portugal, performing all over Europe, Japan, South America, and even in the United States, in New York's "La Vie en Rose" in the 1950s. She's been credited with defining the style of the music, and when she died in 1999, the government declared three days of national mourning and awarded her a state funeral. As a national icon, she is buried in Lisbon's National Pantheon.

In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia. However, although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded, by many, as simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade (longing) which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage). Famous singers of fado include, Carlos do Carmo, Mariza, Mafalda Arnauth, Ana Moura and Cristina Branco.

On 27 November 2011, Fado was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

This should be a stand out concert at the Batha Museum - make sure you book a ticket early! 

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