The gastronomy, the wine. The literature, the fado. These are some of the characteristics that best define Portugal and the Portuguese, and it is with these characteristics in mind that the first themed gastronomic event will take place at Tasca da Memória, a restaurant open to the public and located inside the five-star boutique hotel Wine & Books Lisboa.
Always connected to literature, fado – which means fate – was not always well-received by everyone. Due to its more popular nature, it tended to be rejected by groups of people considered to be intellectually superior. So much so that, in its beginnings, fado was only heard in taverns and in the more modest neighbourhoods of Lisbon, like Alfama and Graça, for example.
In the mid-20th century, fado underwent several changes, becoming a professional musical genre after being included in theatre revue shows.
Despite this evolution, all lyrics and poems – often with revolutionary messages – were subject to censorship. Portugal was living the Estado Novo dictatorial period and many songs were never published until the April Revolution.
Until the 25th of April, 1974, fado mirrored the national soul represented by the sadness and anguish of the Portuguese. This was reflected in the dark clothes worn by fado singers and guitarists, in the usually sad lyrics and the mostly sombre atmosphere of the performances, which still today transport the Portuguese to a musical style associated with feelings like longing (saudade) and melancholy.
After the Carnation Revolution, intervention songs began to appear that now appealed to the hope and freedom of a people that had been oppressed for so many years.
It was in this period that names like José Afonso (known to all as Zeca Afonso), Carlos Paredes or Carlos do Carmo emerged, for example.
We could not talk about fado without mentioning Amália Rodrigues, recognised as the “queen of fado”. Amália played a key role in taking Portuguese culture around the world, having performed countless shows throughout Europe and the United States.
It was from that moment on, in the second half of the 20th century, that fado became a world-renowned Portuguese symbol. If abroad she was always applauded, in Portugal, during the dictatorship, she, like so many other artists, faced censorship.
Mariza, Ana Moura, Camané, Carminho and Gisela João are the references of the fado that is sung today. Free Fado, disruptive, but that maintains themes such as loss, love, resignation or the struggle of the Portuguese people with a total commitment from the fado singers and the guitarists that accompany them. Since 2011, fado has been declared by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
But better than writing about this musical style, is to invite you to listen to live fado and enjoy a cultural moment while you dine. Therefore, the Tasca da Memória restaurant has created a thematic event, with guest artists and musicians, which will take place on the 23rd of April, starting at 7.30pm.
This special event – which promises to be the first of many initiatives – is accompanied by an exclusive menu for an also very special evening.
For more information and reservations, contact us at:
+351 211 566 266