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Le Balcon invites you to experience the beating heart of Portugal – the poignant sound of fado.

Fado – “fate” – is the quintessential music of Portugal. With heartrending melancholy, it expresses saudade, the sense of bittersweet nostalgia for something lost, or desired but never possessed. Born in Lisbon’s working-class bars and cafés in the early 19th century, this musical genre features deeply emotional singing accompanied by guitar and mandolin. It established itself as the national music of Portugal during the Salazar dictatorship, and it is now recognized as part of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage.

Le Balcon brings you the sorrowful sounds of fado with Marta Raposo. A native of Torres Novas, in central Portugal, Marta has lived in Montreal since she was 9. She began her artistic journey as a teen when she joined the local Portuguese ensemble Prestige. She would later bring fado to the wider community by participating in numerous international events. She enjoys combining classic fado sounds with African beats, and performed with Toumani Diabaté, a Malian musician who is considered one of the greatest kora players in the world, at the World Music Festival in Sines, Portugal, in 2006. 
Marta Raposo sees fado as a transformative art form. “Fado brought me home, to my country and roots. I felt the nostalgia of a person who is far from home, and above all I discovered a visceral connection with my culture.”

Photo: © Carlos Gouveia


Quartier des Spectacles - Montreal