CULTURE

Fadista Ana Moura inaugurates music venue in the capital

«Leva-me aos Fados» (Take Me to a Fado House) is the title of the new album by Ana Moura, a 30-year-old Portuguese singer who has proved her respect for the fados tradition while also opening up to more contemporary sounds. A highly popular artist in her country, in the last few years Moura has managed to make a name for herself beyond Portugal through her association with the Rolling Stones and Prince. Deep, calm and unpretentious, Moura’s voice is moving without needing to rely on fancy vocal gymnastics. On Monday, June 14, the artist will undertake the role of inaugurating a series of summer evening performances at the newly established Proavlio at the Badminton Theater, a new music venue developed by Adam Productions and the Half Note Jazz Club with the Goudi Military Park’s natural surroundings acting as the backdrop. You could argue that the choice of nostalgic fados for the venue’s inaugural concert is a risky one – that is if you haven’t heard Moura sing. Though fado was born out of mournful melodies for lost seamen before earning a place as Portugal’s national music genre, Moura’s interpretations bring something fresh to the undoubtedly heavy song style. From her attractive, hip appearance to her selection of accompanying instruments and the geographical liberation of songs from traditional fado houses, Moura is leading the genre into the 21st century. «I’m not trying to consciously modernize the genre. At the same time, it’s only natural for me to add influences from my own generation to the music,» noted Moura a week before coming to Athens to perform, adding that «emotion is the key element of fado music. This comes out primarily through the artist’s honesty and dedication. It takes soul. And this is why I don’t believe fado singers should take a theatrical approach on stage.» Soul is what brought her together with the Rolling Stones a few years ago when Moura participated in «The Stones Project,» which saw various artists singing songs by the enduring English rock band in their own personal styles – Moura chose «No Expectations» and «Brown Sugar.» As for the rumors of a possible collaboration with Prince, she admits that the two are friends and admirers of each other’s work. She has visited Prince’s studio in Minneapolis and the future will tell. Running to June 19, Moura’s performances will be followed by those of Barbara Mendes, Nnenna Freelon, the Tiger Lillies, Tonino Carotone and Rupa and the April Fishes, among others. For the Proavlio schedule, call 211.108.6024 or visit www.badmintontheater.gr.