Wednesday, 21/4/2021 | : : UTC+0

The Fado comes to the city

The Fado comes to the city

When it comes to its music industry, Portugal has made as many new discoveries, as the country’s founding fathers did sea routes. From pop to rock, to the evolution of its popular folk music, the industry is a constantly evolving creature. However, in Goa, when we think of Portuguese music, the word and idea that we associate with the concept is the Fado.

A genre of music that is (on record) traceable to the early 19th century (though rumoured to be much older), the Fado is ingrained in the very soul of Portuguese folk music. Though in time it has taken many forms, as it is sung differently in Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon, the Fado is, by self-earned right, the very expression of the Portuguese soul. While the Fado spent many a year being represented for decades on foreign shores by Amália Rodrigues, in more recent times, several other artistes have sprung to the fore, such as Dulce Pontes, Mariza and Katia Guerreiro, to name but a few. But when we think of the genre, closer to home, the household name that comes to mind is Sonia Shirsat.

Sonia’s latest endeavour, while working with the Fado has entailed dealing with a new concept called ‘Fado in the City’. Speaking on the concept, she says “I felt the need to do something that would aid in popularising the Fado and give it wider reach. The idea behind the ‘Fado in the City’ performances, was to bring the Fado to a host of venues that are easily accessible by the general public, and can be attended by all who are interested in further discovering all that the genre entails, absolutely free of cost.”

While the first show in the series, which acted as a preview, was held behind closed doors at the residence of the Consul, Rui Carvalho Baceira, the other performances will unfold as follows: Sunaprantha in Altinho on May 20, Maracas in Porvorim on May 26 and the ancestral house of the Figueiredo family in Loutolim on June 4. ‘Fado in the City’ will then be on a mini hiatus of sorts, before returning with another short string of 5 performances, before coming to a close at Nostalgia in Raia on October 1.

In addition to this, to further increase awareness, the string of ‘Fado in the City’ shows will be accompanied by a coffee table book by the same name. These will be handed out to members of the audience at the performances, also for free. “The volume has been compiled in a way that I believe will make it easy for first timers to understand the basics about the Fado. The topics will cover areas like the origin of the Fado, the various types of Fado, legends of the genre, like Maria Severa, Amalia and so on, instruments used in the Fado; Fado in Goa, etc,” says Sonia, while discussing the book.

For the entire series, Sonia will be accompanied by Orlando De Noronha on guitarra Portuguesa and Carlos Meneses as well as Dr Allan Abreu on the viola do fado. Whether you remain uninitiated in the Fado or you are a veteran, with an initiative such as this, there is no time like the present to be introduced /re-introduced to the genre in Goa.

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