The first edition of the ‘Correntes de um Só Rio‘ festival starts on Thursday, with a program dedicated to fado and the song of Coimbra, at a moment that also seeks reflection and appreciation of the musical heritage coimbrão.
A concert of ‘Carlos Paredes para bebé’, a serenade in which the Coimbra song joins the Alentejo cante, on the stairs of Sé Velha, an exhibition that travels through the record edition of the Coimbra song, a sound installation and a conference on this genre coimbrão are some of the proposals of the festival that runs from Thursday to October 7.
The initiative is organized by the City Hall and has the San Francisco Convent as the main stage, a space where names such as Cristina Branco will play on Thursday, Vitorino will play Antonio Menano on Sunday and Pedro Jóia Trio (5th October).
In the São Francisco Convent, there will also be, on October 4, a ‘Great Night of Fado and Song of Coimbra’, where classical themes and new proposals will be presented on stage and, on October 7th, the festival will end with a performance by the group of fados ‘a cappella’ with the Classical Orchestra of the Center.
According to the Councilwoman of Coimbra Carina Gomes, all artists who are not from the city were asked to “take inspiration from Coimbra” for their show, also helping the city to reflect on the state of fado and the song of Coimbra.
“Coimbra already needed a great event dedicated to the fado and the song of Coimbra,” he told Lusa Carina Gomes, considering that the festival is also intended as a starting point for other challenges, namely the reflection on this musical genre, the way it should be promoted abroad or even the possibility of developing an autonomous candidature for the world heritage of humanity.
Carina Gomes also said that the project comes in the context of preparation for the city’s candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2027, and a “very clear” orientation was given to the municipal teams for a renewed bet on the Coimbra song.
Concerning the possibility of candidacy of the Coimbra song to world heritage of humanity, the councilwoman says that “it is still very early” to speak of this idea, although stressing that the festival will be a good time to discuss this issue.
“We are open and available to follow the generalized desire that comes out of this reflection,” he added.
For Manuel Portugal, one of the consultants of the festival and president of the association Fado Hilário, there was a long felt need to encourage the music of Coimbra to return to the stage.
“There were great moments in the music of Coimbra on stage, but now nothing was happening that would give Coimbra’s more or less traditional projects back to the big stage,” he said.
In this sense, the musician believes that this will also be a moment of reflection of the song of Coimbra, pointing also to the conference – whose date is yet to be defined – where “outsiders” will join together, such as musicologist Rui Vieira Nery or editor David Ferreira, to talk about the future of this genre.
For Manuel Portugal, the song of Coimbra “can not be reduced neither to tourist circuits nor to serenades twice a year”. “There must be another force and another regularity and encourage new paths” for this coimbrã cultural expression.
According to the president of the association Fado Hilário, the song of Coimbra “is far from what can be done”, requiring a joint effort of the city to give a new breath to a type of music that today seems to be reduced to the academic environment and farewell ballads.
“The Song of Coimbra is a much wider panorama, a galaxy much more full of stars,” he said.
The complete schedule can be found at www.coimbraconvento.pt/en/agenda/festival-curentes-de-um-so-rio