Mísia drawing tears in any language.*
Mísia is a pioneer, a free spirit, she had to build her own path in the genre, and that's probably why she is called by some: "the anarchist of Fado."
Mísia was born in Oporto, Portugal. She comes from a multi-generation family of artist. Her mother was a classical Spanish dancer and her grandmother was a music hall and burlesque artist, both were from Barcelona. She lived in her hometown until the end of adolescence. By which time she would sing occasionally as an amateur in Fado houses. At the age of 20, she moved to Barcelona for family reasons. In 1991 after working as a singer, dancer, in music hall and on television, she decided to return to Portugal. She settled in Lisbon and started to build her own Fado repertoire.
Nobel Prize winner, José Saramago wrote for her voice, the French film director Patrice Leconte directed the video (Duas Luas 2001), John Turturro chose Mísia for his film "Passione."(2010). William Christie programmed her at the Cité de la Musique in Paris (2004). For many years she has built an international career on the most prestigious stages, such as: Berlin Philharmonic, Festival d'Avignon, Ópera National Theatre of São Carlos in Lisbon, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Town Hall in New York, Festival d'Avignon, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Cocoon Theater in Tokyo, amongst others. Her work has been mentioned in the press worldwide: Billboard, New York Times, Libération, Die Zeit.... Mísia is a contemporary Portuguese singer, who is widely celebrated for the timeless and universal sentiments, which are part of her songs sung not only in her mother tongue but also in many other languages.
Mísia's career began in 1991, during a non-favorable time for Fado, which recently has been declared 'Intangible Heritage of Humanity'. At this time it only evoked the presence of the great Amalia Rodrigues, who introduced the World to this genre during a time when there was no talk about "world music". Mísia's personal and contemporary style did not gain her any audience during the time when Fado - with a few exceptions - Fado did not have the cultural and commercial prestige that it has nowadays.
She never forgot the place that the traditional Fado of her childhood came from. After her return from Spain, she decided not to start her career by following in the footsteps of great artist she admired rather, she decided to create her own repertoire. Thus began what Manuel Halperne appointed as the 'New Fado':
... "Tracing time is always difficult. But if we have to set a date for the start of the new Fado, it would be in March 1991, when Mísia released her first album. Whatever exists before, is a kind of prehistory." Manuel Halperne in: 'O Futuro da Saudade' (D. Quixote, 2004).
She personally contacted poets, composers, singers, writers, photographers, designers, and Portuguese stylists in order engaged them with her vision of Fado. Agustina Bessa - Luís wrote her only known poem especially for Mísia. World wide recognized Portuguese writer such as José Saramago, José Luis Peixoto, Lídia Jorge, Vasco Graça Moura, Mário Cláudio Paulo José Miranda, Hélia Correia, Manuela de Freitas, Jorge Palma, Vitorino, and Sérgio Godinho also wrote especially for her. Mísia created her own sound, she recorded with the traditional guitar trio and sometimes added instruments inspired by her childhood in the streets of Oporto, such as the accordion and violin. With her "contemporary" Fado, she achieved her first success in Spain, Japan, Germany and Portugal, where she has been recognized with the Medal of Merit and the award 'Amalia Rodrigues' in the category of international revelation.
In France she received the 'Vermeil Medal', the highest honor of the city of Paris, and she is the 'Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters' of the French Republic. The Chilean filmmaker Carmen Castillo made two films about Mísia for the Franco-German channel ARTE. The conceptual artist Sophie Calle invited her to participate in her piece "Prenez soin de vous" that has been presented at the French Pavilion during the Venice Biennale.
With her album Tanto Menos Tanto Mais (1995) she received the Grand Prix Charles Cros Academy in France, previously only achieved before by a Portuguese artist by Amalia Rodrigues with the album: 'Com que Voz'.
Garras dos Sentidos (1998) sold over 250,000 copies and was distributed in 62 countries.
Paixôes Diagonais (1999), enjoyed the participation of pianist Maria João Pires.
Canto was inspired by the music of Carlos Paredes with poems of Vasco Graça Moura, and also from Pedro Tamen and Sérgio Godinho. This album won an award of discography critics in Germany.
In Drama Box (2005) involves Fanny Ardant, Ute Lemper, Carmen Maura, Miranda Richardson and Maria de Medeiros.
In the double album Ruas (2009), in addition to the Fado (Lisboarium) she appropriates songs and performances from other countries (& Tourists) which also symbolize the tragic sense of life existent in Fado. Versions of Nine Inch Nails, Joy Division, Camaron de la Isla, Dalida...
In 2012, in Senhora da Noite Mísia returns to the musical inheritance of traditional Fado. In this album, for the first time in the history of the genre, the texts are written exclusively by women: 13 fados by 13 women - Writers, poets, Fado singers, singers. Namelly: Agustina Bessa Luís, Florbela Espanca, Manuela de Freitas, Helia Correia, Amélia Muge, Lidia Jorge, among others. For this album John Turturro made the music video for the song "O Manto da Rainha" (2011) according to a text of Mísia.
Mísia is a "character voice", who participates in various projects outside her career as a Fado singer. Examples of this eclectic personality include: The Soldier's Tale by Stravinsky, The Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Maria de Buenos Aires by Piazzolla e Ferrer, and her involvement with the baroque Mediterranean group Arpeggiata. In 2013, she participated as an actress in the play "The Invisible Abattoir" by Karin Serres. She is currently preparing a theater project from a text by Antonio Tabucchi.
Delikatessen Café Concerto (2013) - Is a dinner in times of crisis. The menu is composed by Portuguese music (Fado do Ciúme, Cha Cha Cha em Lisboa, Só nós Dois...), French and Spanish music too. At the head of guest table is the Neapolitan maestro Fabrizio Romano and then some special guests. There is the Mexican tenor Ramon Vargas, the Brazilian Adriana Calcanhotto, and the Portuguese Paulo Furtado, Legendary Tigerman, Melech Mechaya, Dead Combo. There is also a duet with Iggy Pop in the "Chanson d'Hélène" (from the movie The Things of Life), which has a video clip.
In 2014 Mísia will have her avant-premiere with two new shows: "Tribute to Amalia Rodrigues" - 4th Festival Fado Madrid and "São 3" (Caymmi, Lupicinio & Cartola) - 21th edition of the festival Porto Alegre em Cena, Brazil. Following the invitation of Adriana Calcanhotto Mísia will be singing the music of these three Brazilian composers that she translated into the musical language of Fado, accompanied by 3 guitarist.
In February 2015, Mísia will be accompanied by the Philharmonic Bremen to interpret a repertoire that encompasses not only Fado, but also Schubert lieder.
Mísia Fado 1993)
Tanto Menos Tanto Mais (1995)
Garras dos Sentidos (1998)
Paixôes Diagonais (1999)
Drama Box (2005)
Senhora da Noite (2011)
Delikatessen Café Concerto (2013)
* Johanna Keller, New York Times.
Venues presenting Fado for the first time with Mísia's concerts
France, Switzerland and Belgium:
Grande Cour d'Honneur du Palais des Papes, Avignon (FR) Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris (FR) Maison des Cultures du Monde, Paris (FR) Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris (FR) Midem, Cannes (FR) Dranouter Festival, Dranouter (BE) Palais des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles (BE) Salle Flagey, Bruxelles (BE)
Germany and Austria:
Philarmonie, Berlin (DE) Tipi am Kanzleramt, Berlin (DE) Alter Oper, Frankfurt (DE) Musikhalle, Hambourg (DE) Konzerhaus, Vienne (AT)
Portugal and Spain:
Grande Auditório da Culturgest, Lisbonne (PT) Festival de Capuchos (PT) Teatro Nacional Maria Guerrero, Madrid (ES) Palácio de Congressos, Madrid (ES) Festival El Grec, Barcelone (ES)
USA and Australia:
Berkeley Performance, Boston (USA) Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland (USA) Listner Audiotorium, Washington (USA) Ravinia Jazz Festival, Chicago (USA) Womad Festival, Adelaide (AU)
Teatro Gral. San Martín, Buenos Aires (AR) Le Carré, Amsterdam (NL) etc...