The History of Fado started spontaneously in the streets of Lisbon where Fado took the centre stage as a way to socialize and entertain. Here, individuals would narrate a series of events of the quotidian, of urban culture and singular stories, such as, for example, the mythical and famed episode of the relationship between the Count of Vimioso and harlot and Fado singer Maria Severa Onofriana. Every single Fado production would exude a sense of melancholy and romanticism.
In its beginning, Fado featured a more popular character, and, consequently, it was rejected by the groups of people who were perceived as intellectually superior. A few years went by and this musical genre plays a more interveinal role through theatrical pieces, such as the Revue, music festivals and other performative events. In the first decades of the 20th-century, Fado gains a more professional approach with the creation of a series of Fado companies. Nevertheless, the unique genre underwent a few moments where it lost a bit of its intensify and artistic expressiveness due to the censorship lived in Portugal during the Estado Novo regime. However, during the 40’s and 60’s, Fado had its golden years, being heavily featured in radio, cinema and television.
After the Revolution of the 25th of April, Fado started to gradually assume its pivotal figure in Portuguese culture. The legendary Amália Rodrigues, who created a whole new language around her skill, Carlos de Carmo, Alfredo Marceneiro, Anita Guerreiro, Fernando Maurício were some of the greatest Fado Singers of this time that completely redefined modern Fado and further enhanced the possibility for its ascension.
As a whole, Fado is a unique Portuguese musical genre comprised of a singular melodic personality and an extremely specific sound, thanks to the assistance of the Portuguese and classical guitars as well as the musical dexterity of Fado singers. Fado conquers any type of language barriers that may exist due to its pure emotion. Nowadays, Portugal has a new generation of Fado singer, led by the incredible talent of singers such as Mariza, Camané, Ana Moura, and countless other skilled artists. In 2011, UNESCO classified Fado as Intangible Cultural Heritage.
♦ The history of Fado: Discover all the Secrets from Portugal ♦