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Q&A: Ramana Vieira

The international fado star performs Saturday at the Honolulu Museum of Art's Doris Duke Theatre

Hawaii Independent Staff

Fado – which shares the same root as the English word “fate” – is a traditional Portuguese style of mournful singing, around which Ramana Vieira is orchestrating a new modern sound. We caught up with her for a few brief questions.

How did you become interested in Fado?

I grew up listening to my mother singing the songs of Amalia Rodrigues, but it wasn’t it until I took my trip to Portugal during my late teens and was dared to sing in a Fado House in Lisboa how deeply ingrained and fulfilling it is to sing Fado.

Fado is an incredibly cathartic, emotional genre. What do you tap into for your performances?

I’m naturally passionate because I’m after all Portuguese!

Also I studied theater at the famous American Conservatory Theater. In that theatre training we were coached to tap into life changing moments. I have a deep well of emotional experiences from which to tap into and I use them when I sing the music. Its deeply fulfilling for me and I find very carthardic as you best said. Its a purging of the soul in an artistic way.

Hawaii has its own history of Portuguese migration in the 19th century. Do you have a special message for Hawaii’s Portuguese community?

I relate because my own parents from Madeira migrated to California. I greatly appreciate the warm welcome I have received on previous tours to Hawaii from SCOPO which stands for State Convention of Portuguese Organizations,Trigo from ADEGA restuarant in Honolulu, and other people in the Portuguese community. I think it is wonderful that the Hawaiian Portuguese community is interested in preserving our roots. It gives me great pride to be a part of the celebration of our heritage.

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