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2009 Event Media Release - Mariza

Issued 6 July, 2009

5 October, Concert Hall

“Her voice is a gorgeous evocative instrument, and she sings with bravura and power – the world has met its next great Portuguese fadista.” Billboard Magazine

The Portuguese sensation, Mariza, is back at Sydney Opera House for one show only on Monday, October 5 after her sold-out, spellbinding performances in 2007 and at the 2006 Sydney Festival.

With her striking looks, and a voice to rival Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, Mariza re-introduced fado to a new generation of music lovers in 2001. Now into her fourth studio album and third tour to Sydney, she returns to the Concert Hall with a new international flavour.

Mariza will perform tracks from her highly praised new album Terra (nominated for Best Folk Album and Best Producer at the Latin Grammy Awards), supported by a five-piece band.

Combining the style’s classical traditions with a charismatic modern freshness, Mariza’s guitar-based fado has been augmented by influences of folk, flamenco guitar, Cape Verdean morna and even some Cuban jazz.

But her sophisticated, spine-tingling vocals remain, holding the listener in the palm of her hand from start to finish. Her compelling voice, full of sensuality, possesses the essential ‘saudade’ – a soulful yearning that captivates the listener – and her live appearances confirm her beguiling talent.

Dressed in floor-length retro gowns, with coiffed bleached blonde hair, Mariza’s understated stagecraft gives her singing acres of dramatic space. Skimming lightly across the floor, her interpretations create a synthesis of passion and musical integrity.

Originating in the brothels and cafes of 18th century Lisbon, fado is arguably the oldest urban folk music in the world. A melancholic style of music that harnesses the Portuguese soul, it is the emotional cousin of the blues, tango and flamenco.

Literally meaning fate, fado is full of passion, sorrow, jealousy and grief: fusing the dichotomies of life – fervent joy and impossible pain.

Born in Mozambique, but bought up in Portugal where her parents ran restaurants in Alfama - Lisbon’s traditional neighbourhood - Mariza was encouraged to sing for the diners as a teenager. She would finish the evening with these traditional Portuguese laments.

Mariza has been honoured with a number of prestigious awards, including Best European Act at the BBC World Music Awards and Portugal’s illustrious Personality of the Year Award. She was the 2005 UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and recently received the Medaille de Vermeil from the Paris Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters.

Mariza’s concerts are truly great musical occasions and this one-off performance in the Concert Hall will give Sydneysiders another taste of the exquisite artistry of this extraordinary artist.

“Sophisticated, classy… her voice is as subtle and dramatic as ever.” The Guardian

Dates/Times: Monday 5 October at 8pm
Venue:  Concert Hall
Tickets: A Reserve $89 and B Reserve $74. Limited number of Premium seats at $115.
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or online at
Information: Online at

MEDIA CONTACT: Nathan McIlroy, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House
02 9250 7596 / 0434 146 121 /


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