The 10th of November 2017 saw the hall at Instituto Menezes Braganza come alive with excitement and anticipation. The eager audience present there was awaiting the melodious and familiar melancholic notes that the Portuguese fado is so famous for. The ninth edition of the Semana da Cultura Indo Portuguesa (Goa) hosted its “5th Concurso de Fado” or Fado Competition which saw an enthusiastic audience turn up to cheer for the state’s young talent.
What’s interesting about the Portuguese Fado
This genre of music has much earlier origins but is believed to have originated in the 1820’s in Portugal. Fado is generally known for being emphatically expressive in nature, as well as being profoundly melancholic.
Generally, in fado music, the singer will sing about the hard realities of the daily life, balancing both resignation and hopefulness that a resolution to its torments can still occur. It can be described by using the Portuguese word “Saudade”, which means “longing” and stands for a feeling of loss. This loss is generally a permanent loss and of long-term consequences.
Fado is generally listened to in pubs, cafes and restaurants specialising in hosting this genre of Portuguese music. Today, there are more than 40 fado houses sprinkled throughout Lisbon’s cobblestoned streets, and hundreds of fadista singers perform every night in the city’s Alfama, Mouraria, and Bairro Alto neighbourhoods.
The winners at The Annual Fado Competition at Semana da Cultura Indo-Portuguesa 2017
The Taj Hotels and Resorts have taken the initiative to spread awareness on the Portuguese fado and revive the uniqueness of this form of music. The competition saw participation from contestants in three categories; 10 to 15 years, 16 to 21 years of age and above 22 years.
The competition was judged by music aficionados Fatima Figueredo, Esmenia Viega Coutinho and Gilda Machado. Some of the state’s best talent competed onstage for the coveted prizes.
In the first category of contestants between 10 and 15 years, Poorita Vaz won the first place for her soulful rendition of the fado, while Kiana Zara Menezes and Eric J Pereira won the second and third place respectively.
Daniella Fernandes took home the first prize after her power-packed performance in the 16 – 22 age group. The second and third places were awarded to Sigrid Celestial Velusha Fernandes and Jeanette Camilla Barbosa Noronha respectively.
Linus Fernandes walked away with the first prize in the category for those above 22 age group. Loraine Ethel Barreto Alberto and Grisha Costa won the second and third prizes respectively.
To train the contestants and hone their skills, Carlos Meneses and Orlando Noronha mentored the participants at workshops held in Panjim and Margao respectively, prior to the contest.
Os Jovens de Don Bosco enthralled the audience with their magical performance.
You can have a look at the winners in the photographs below.