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Original, passionate Portuguese blues singer
Ana Moura is a singing sensation in Portugal. She has taken the traditional art of 'Fado' and converted it to the mainstream. For those of us 'baby boomers' she is a younger version of Nana Mouskouri. She combines an intense, passionate crooning with a vibrant dynamic stage presence and an excellent highly musical supporting group.
There was more than a touch of the Eurovision song contest at this Melbourne International Festival performance at the Recital Centre. Swirling clouds of dry-ice and dramatic lighting accompanied the dramatic entrance of the star, clad in a tight-fitting gold lame outfit. The adulation of the adoring audience was never in doubt as they sang along and clapped through what were clearly well-known favourites. Who knew that there were so many Portuguese speakers in Melbourne?!
Fado (meaning 'fate' or 'destiny') is a singing style and tradition that dates back centuries in Portugal and is their equivalent of the Blues in the southern USA. The music is characterised by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and is infused with a sentiment of resignation, longing and melancholia.
Despite that, Moura's style tends towards the upbeat. She has transcended a highly popular Portuguese singing style to establish an international reputation - appearing with Prince, the Rolling Stones and opening the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
Here in Melbourne she was accompanied by a highly skilled and musical backing group including several exquisite solos on the Portuguese guitar.
This one-night-only concert was delivered with verve and polish and didn't disappoint Moura's huge Melbourne fan base. There was a lot of love in the Elisabeth Murdoch hall last night, and it wasn't all one way. Ana Moura was clearly enjoying herself, singing well beyond the allotted 75 minutes. And the crowd went wild.