The Navhind Times Fado workshop with fadista Sonia Shirsat was held on Sunday, March 18 at Dempo house. The 3-hour workshop aimed at introducing the participants to the traditional Portuguese music genre and art form that can be traced back to the early 1800s and which has been a part of Goa’s art and music for over a century.
Sonia began with the origin of Fado and explained briefly its history and the various influences that make the genre unique. “Fado cannot be mentioned without Maria Severa’s name,” she said and went on to speak about the young fadista who fell in love with a viscount and died of a broken heart according to Fado legend. With video clips and her in-depth knowledge of the subject, Sonia had the participants completely engaged.
She then spoke about the queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigez. “Fado music was brought to the mainstream music world, by the queen of fado, Amalia Rodrigues who was born in 1920. We do not know if it is just a coincidence or a mystery that Amalia was born exactly 100 years after Maria Severa’s birth,” she informed.
In the final session, Sonia sang two Fados and even taught the participants a number. Most of the participants were non-Portuguese speaking however with her skill and keen understanding, she had all of them singing with the right pronunciation and zest! It was truly a Sunday to remember for those present.