It was November 27, 2021, that 10 years were celebrated since the date on which Unesco declared Fado as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The group of artists who listened to each other and who may well represent the Legends of Fado were brilliantly presented by another Legend, one from Portuguese Radiotelevisão, Júlio Isidro. In a mix of professional and humour, Júlio Isidro made known the eight Legends, as well as Fado itself.
The presenter said that the lyrics show everything that has been happening over so many years in the construction of fado, noting that this show is a natural tribute to all those who wrote and performed Fado, musicians or poets, and also that Congratulations to everyone who cultivated Fado.
Alexandra had the privilege of starting a magnificent night of fado, interpreting themes such as “Perseguição”, “Fado Menor do Porto” and “Se os Meus Olhos Falassem”, with this last song she committed the feat of taking Júlio Isidro to sing the chorus.
She thanks saying “it was an honour, a privilege to have invited her to be in the middle of Legends of Fado“.
About Alexandra, the presenter, said that he is someone who says a lot to him, he started listening to her when he came from Mozambique to Portugal and he remembers perfectly the 5 times she participated in the Festival da Canção. She never won, but her songs were always in the audience’s ear. He says that few people will know that she participated in the choir of “Esteves” (Herman José), however, he invited her to be the resident singer of his program “Regresso ao Passado“, to sing essentially Fado, a role that she reluctantly accepted. It went so well that in 1999 she was invited to play the role of Amália in the musical “Amália“, a role she played for 6 years at Teatro Politeama.
António Pinto Basto was the second Legend to perform and the presenter refers to this: he started by listening to fado at the age of 13 at a Salesianos party in Évora, it was love at the first ear, so much so that he told his parents “I liked to have a fado house at home”, and they improvised a fado house at home “A Toca”. He graduated in Engineering but came to the conclusion that the only engineering that was in his soul was Fado, and in 1988 he recorded “Rosa Branca“, a song that was “only” certified platinum, which corresponds to more than 100 000 records sold and in that same year he had 170 shows, I am a great admirer of him, I like him a lot and lately, I have caught the “eléctrico 28”, the name of his last work.
O Fadista enchanted with “Rosa Branca”, “Aquela Névoa” and “O Homem do Ribatejo”, the latter theme with verses by Rosa Lobato Faria.
About this show, he mentions “how a cold night like this can become such a hot Fado night”, and says goodbye.
He was born in Marinha Grande and at the age of 16, he was already singing in Emisores Norte Reunidos. He has perhaps the highest number of participations in Festivals, he participated twice in Festival da Canção, but it was in international festivals that he stood out the most, he was in Spain in Aranda Del Duero (2 times at least), in Poland, in Mexico, in Greece, where she received the award for Best Performer, she also received the Interpretation Award given by the Amália Rodrigues Foundation, has the Gold Medal of the City of Lisbon and jokingly tells that She always brings many “little golds” always many “big rings” fingers, that it has a very special essence, a cologne that is fascinating, that he smells and passes out habitually, generating jokes and laughter from the audience. She has the greatest pleasure to present not only a great friend but a huge “Fado singer who says she needs space”, and what She needs is “Space to sing”.
That’s how Lenita Gentil introduces us, the voice that doesn’t need a microphone, the third Legend to take the stage at the Coliseu, who can’t resist showing the audience her mousse, thus generating more laughter.
She sings “Preciso de Espaço” and about the event says “it is a great pleasure to be here, at the Coliseu, in one of the most emblematic Houses in Lisbon, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the elevation of Fado to the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Fado is really our song, the Portuguese Guitar is usually associated with Fado but, as for her fado singer, the Portuguese Guitar is one of the most beautiful instruments she knows, an instrument that plays all kinds of music”.
This was followed by “Fado Pechincha“, which is an old Fado from Mouraria, and “Tarde Triste no Campo Pequeno“.
Between presentations by Legends, Júlio Isidro presented the fantastic musicians who accompanied the Legends, on the Portuguese Guitar Bruno Chaveiro, on Viola, João Filipe and on Viola Baixo Francisco Gaspar, young and full of quality.
One of the most beautiful moments of the night followed, the presentation of the fourth Legend of Fado, João Braga.
And about this fado singer, Júlio Isidro says: He started by singing in the choir of São João de Brito, then he went to Cascais and began to sing as an amateur in an amateur fado group, he won his first Cachet at the Coruche parties, it was 1000 escudos (5 euros ) in 1965, and in 1967 he debuted on a RTP program by a guy named Júlio Isidro (laughs) a young man who was there presenting new talents and also found him in a very important record release of his career, at the house of Fados “O Empossado”. He would like to be a lawyer, but left law and turned to fado, with an absolutely brilliant career, in addition to all the qualities he has, he is also an extraordinary Sporting player. He says that it was Alfredo Marceneiro who set the tone for “É tão bom ser pequenino”, but it was peremptory for him, João Braga, Fado is “so good to like Fado, it’s so good to sing Fado”.
And on stage, João Braga, visibly weakened, but with an extraordinary voice, sang and enchanted with “Fado Lisboa”, “Fado Carnaval”, a poem by Alexandre O’Neil and “Fado do Estudante”.
João Braga told us how happy he was to be there (in the Coliseu), he tells us that Fado is a transmission of emotions, 65 years ago since the first album, and when the audience applauds him with applause, he says who doesn’t want to start clapping but after being confined for so long it’s great to be onstage.
Júlio Isidro returns to the stage to present the following Legend of Fado, saying: the next one to come is also an extraordinary Voice of Fado, he was recently on the program “Inesquecível” on RTP Memória, and this lady sings extraordinarily well and particularly sang in a magazine “Meninos vamos ao Vira” in 1978 the theme “Bia da Mouraria“, it was the time when the Magazines started at 9:00 pm, the first session ended at 3, 4:00 in the morning and repeated themselves continuously, now because they were good, very good or bad. In the case of the theme of “Bia da Mouraria”, this lady sang the theme 8 times, because it was very good. In addition, she also sings in collective with great voices, in the project “4 Cantos” with António Pinto Basto, with Zé da Câmara and Teresa Tapadas and with “Entre Vozes“, a project with only women, Maria Alice and Lenita Gentil.
She has a record with exclusive lyrics by José Carlos Ary dos Santos, “Pão Caseiro”, which is a really extraordinary record. The presenter said that he often asks her to sing a fado, which he will not sing today, but which is very tasty is the “Fado do Cozido À Portuguesa“, with a serious face, he says that it is extraordinary for a poet to be able to, by the way, from “farinheiras” and chorizos and sausages (lots of laughter) make an extraordinary poem, it only happens to a few chosen ones and Júlio says that he only starts to like Portuguese stew after having heard this fado (more laughter).
She speaks of Maria Armanda who, after having sung the Fado “Lençóis da Lua“, addresses the audience saying: “It’s good to see so many people, it was in this large room many years ago that I started singing songs… I hope you have a pleasant evening” The songs “Fado Primavera” and “Bia da Mouraria” followed.
The sixth Legend of Fado to appear on the Coliseu stage was Paulo de Carvalho and the presenter refers the only thing he can say is that they known each other since the times of Vavá, considered a cathedral of music and the new Portuguese cinema, they had 16, 17 years old and also played right away on a TV show, there’s a flower with no time in his lapel, and I won’t say he’s a fado singer, because he’s everything, if I tell him to sing opera, he’ll sing, if it’s folklore too if it’s blues too because he has magic in his voice, and regardless of that, we also owe him to be able to be here at ease because he also sang to us “E Depois do Adeus”. He also writes things, one of the best presentation shows on an album I’ve seen was “O Homem da Cidade”, with Carlos do Carmo and has the signature of this gentleman there, poems such as “O Homem das Castanhas”, “Os Putos” or these “Putos à Volta da Fogueira”. Well, I can’t say anything else, as it would be absolutely redundant with someone who has a 60-year career and continues to be very active, and who doesn’t even see the day of “E Depois do Adeus”.
And, on stage, Paulo de Carvalho gave it all with “Os Meninos à Volta da Fogueira”. Paulo said it’s wonderful to sing with musicians on stage, that it’s a pleasure to sing with new people, very important for our fado, that respects the past but with an eye on the future.
The artist says that, “and it’s not a casual conversation, but I’m very, very proud that you remembered me because, even though I’ve written some songs that you consider fado, I’m not a Fado singer, I’m I like to sing music, but I like fado a lot and there are fados that stay in people’s memories, some sung by me, others sung by fellow professionals, who made them famous, but today I had to challenge myself and sing in their own way, in what you think you know is the tone of women (Re)” the fado “Uma Canção”, “Lisboa, Menina e Moça” followed.
About the seventh Legend of Fado to take the stage says the presenter, he came from Porto, went down to Lisbon, conquered Lisbon and from there conquered Brazil, conquered Hollywood where he starred with Robert Wagner where he sang the fado “Cantarei até que a Voz me Doa“. She has made notable performances in her Fado House “O Senhor Vinho” and it must be said that she is a kind of Júlio Isidro do Fado because in her Fado house she has premiered great fado singers who later have great careers. she said Vasco de Lima Couto: “To the North, you opened your voice to the South you found it in a Fado, the one you gave yourself body and soul” and David Mourão Ferreira also said about her: “Fado is Maria da Fé”.
And Maria da Fé performs on the Coliseu’s stage to sing “Valeu da Pena”, “Fado Errado”, a scent of “Cantarei até que a Voz me Doa” ending with “Divino Fado”.
Between fados, the fado singer reveals that she is 79 years old, has 60 years of fado, that she feels very happy to be stepping on the Coliseum stage saying to an audience, surrendered to so many Legends, that she accepted this project because “my life it’s a Fado, I’m all Fado“.
In the presentation of the last Legend, Júlio Isidro says getting old is very unpleasant but the opposite is much worse. in other cities, because these Fado Legends have to be enjoyed until the last moment of their lives, because that’s what living is all about, and above all, it shows here there is no decay here, there is a cadence of Fado.
The next Legend did not win competitions at 12 years old, worked in a car factory, and at 19 he went to France, and later sang in a group 5 Reis, sang Latin folk songs, then ended up in Cascais, where he sang in gatherings with Teresa Tarouca, with João Braga, Carlos Zel, and so many other names of fado and there she stayed where she opened Fado houses, the most notable being the one that stayed in our memory O Forte Dom Rodrigo, where it received the greatest names from Fado until now, some of those who sang here today debuted at Forte Dom Rodrigo.
He’s not a fado singer, he’s a fado teller. I’m suspicious, because I’m his friend and I’m a neighbour, and he’s a King. The last Legend to come on stage is Rodrigo.
“Marcha do Marceneiro” and “Morena dos Olhos Verdes” are the two fados with which the fado singer begins his performance.
The fado singer is very cherished by the audience, who return this affection by talking to him a little. About him, he says that he has been singing fado for a lifetime, 62 years old and that if there is anything I know how to do it is to sing fado.
He has a word to say about the musicians who accompanied the Legends, who have a posture on stage, respect the audience, they (guitarists) were in the front row when the talent was distributed.
About the audience present, he says that what they want is to go out, they want to party, they want to know about the virus. Artists have been out of action for two years, without being able to work, without earning a penny. Now everyone is having parties, today is the day of the show, it’s the urge to hear someone sing, because we’re fed up with hearing someone crying.
And the fado singer continues to confirm that there is Legends of Fado, that people consider all his colleagues who sang there today, and he, Legends of Fado. He says: “I like to be a Legend, everything I’ve done. Fado gave everything. I don’t know what else I could have given and he jokes about it, look at it give me health, if you can, I’ll be grateful.”
He reveals that in his life’s journey he was invited to a Porto of Honor with the Queen of England, I and over 80 say (laughs), but the fado singer concludes: in a country with 10 million, for some reason these 80 were chosen, and it wasn’t because I owed someone money (more laughter).
Keep talking to the public, do you know that I have a stamp at the Post Office, me and Maria da Fé, with our face? “Things we’ve achieved, for whatever reason… so see the satisfaction it gives me to be here tonight, with you.” Rodrigo ends his performance with “It’s so good to be Little”.
In the final stretch, the presenter ends with a special thanks to all the technicians who are behind the artists, to those who make the artists shine.
All the fado singers are called to the stage, for a special treat by the production of the event.
The presenter says that Legends of Fado are there, these eight participated, there could be many more to participate, but these are really remarkable, I just wish this show would be repeated and in particular if there were some cameras from the three televisions that could as well have been there.
To end an excellent night of fado, we had an unprecedented moment, the eight Legends of Fado paid tribute to Lisbon with two themes, “Lisboa Antiga” and “Lisboa à Noite”.
It was the time of the consecration of the Legends, as all received standing ovations, from an audience that loudly demonstrated their satisfaction at such a good show.
A word to the audience, without a doubt, Fado lovers and connoisseurs, who, without exception, gave all their affection, lent their voice to the eight Legends of Fado who performed on the Coliseu stage, thus contributing to an excellent night of fado, on such an important day, the commemoration of 10 years of Fado as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.