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FADO / An Introduction – Portuguese music selection


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
FADO - An Introduction

In attempting to find an appropriate introduction to Fado I found it necessary to wade through a plethora of opinion in Utube videos and online articles.
The difficulty came in attempting to sort through the various positions held by musicians, singers (Fado is not a strictly female voice preserve), historians, and others claiming a particular slice of the historical or current action.
I finally decided to use a source looking into Portugal from the outside, an independent exterior source, for whom we outsiders were the intended, indeed the target audience.
Enough blather then Gerard, except to say I hope you find this video entertaining as well as being informative. That is my only intention.

COMPASS goes to Portugal to discover FADO.

Further to the above I came across a video critique of Fado singing by the American vocal coach Beth Roars, which I felt was worthy of sharing.
The technique critiqued is that of the renowned vocalist Marisa dos Reis Nunes, known professionally as Mariza. More on Mariza in a future post.
Beth Roars reacts to Mariza singing – Gente Da Minha Twerra (People of My Land)
This song does appear to be a Portuguese favourite - Note the reaction of the audience as Mariza sings. Western audiences are not accustomed to displaying such emotion during a performance, preferring to save acclamation for the end. Or is it that the audience here can simply not restrain themselves?

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Wendy Werneth

Year of past OR future Camino
This is one of my all-time favourite performances by any fado singer. Perhaps it wasn't clear due to the edits in the vocal couch's video, but the reason the audience starts clapping mid-way through is because Mariza herself has become so emotional that she has to stop singing. As she wipes her tears and tries to regain her composure, the people in the audience show their support and appreciation.

It is indeed an emotional moment, and captures perfectly the raw nature of fado. It's often said that having a good voice is not that important as a fado singer. What matters is that you sing with conviction, from the heart.

The lyrics of the song Ó Gente da Minha Terra ("Oh People of My Land") speak of the sadness felt by all Portuguese people, how that sadness unites them, and how it's embodied in the sound of fado.

Here's the link to the full performance for anyone who may want to watch it:


This is my boy !
Year of past OR future Camino
Hi Gerard!
Thanks for posting this very interesting and informative video !
The historical elements around the birth of Fado linked with Portugal's history and revolution woke me up a bit.
In 1974 i was 20 years old; was i aware of Portugal's revolution at the time no i was to busy getting drunk and riding motorcycles! (not at the same time ha!ha!)

I know that when i go to Portugal i want to experience as much of the people and their culture as i can. Fado is one of them.
I don't speak Portuguese (Spanish i can cope with but i just cant grasp Portuguese pronunciation ) neither do i speak Italian; but that doesn't stop me enjoying opera if something is beautiful it lifts you.

I found a vid of Mariza singing people of my land without the voice coach!
It was beautiful and from the heart.
All the best

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