A thousand laughs and tears – in silence

25. April 2013

Last night, around 1000 people attended Cláudia Aurora’s concert in Marina Pavilion. The sea of Tallinn was the perfect setting for songs about love, longing and life.


By Rute Barbedo


In a fado house somewhere in Portugal, there are two important rules from the moment the music begins: the first is that one should be silent; the second is that one must be silent. Probably, this wouldn’t bother any Estonian audience, as it is quiet at Cláudia Aurora’s concert in Tallinn, where much of the repertoire is from her debut album “Silêncio” (“Silence”).


“Fado means faith, but it doesn’t have to be dramatic”, notes the singer, so she skips from deep interpretations to joyful moments of “corridinho”, an accelerated kind of fado, unattached to tears. Strongly emotional, Cláudia proves to be endowed with a dominant energy. But there is a scientific explanation for this heat wave: the flowered long skirt, the black hair in red lips and the unusual company of a violoncello, a double bass and a Spanish guitar (besides the traditional “viola braguesa”) prove that this fado merges with something else.


In the tenth song, “Cigana” (“Gipsy”), no doubts remain: the Portuguese lyrics about a woman who falls in love with a “gadjo”, somewhere in southern lands, switch suddenly to Spanish. We are in the presence of flamenco and gypsy roots. “She was very happy in this community, living in a caravan, but then this man appeared. So, she doesn’t know if she should continue in this community or just go with him… The song doesn’t tell the end of the story. Maybe, it will be something for my next album”, details the singer and songwriter, always keen to explain and stress the lyrics of each song.


Flowing from traditional melodies to brand new compositions, the quintet brings stories from the sea, about love and life, and even a dedication to all mothers. Exactly in the middle of the show, the public enters on stage: Cláudia waves her black shawl and the compass is in their clapping hands. It is time to impress with “Mariquinha”, the story about a woman who (once again) falls in love with a sailor man. The singer proceeds: “They agreed to meet in a ball and so she bought herself a beautiful dress to the occasion… In the end, he didn’t show up, but she had fun anyways, because that night she drank really good wine…”


We began this article about Portuguese fado houses, these cosy little bars of low lights, old tales and red wine. And that is the atmosphere which closes the curtain. In the last song, “Primavera” (“Spring”), the musicians go down from the stage. There are no microphones, no wires, and no amplifiers. The story is between them and the audience and, certainly, a moment that none of them will forget. Cláudia sings: “No one should speak about the Spring.”


But it will come, for sure, because tonight there is a revolution*


Cláudia Aurora performed at Marina Pavilion on April 24th 2013.

* 39 years ago on 24-25 April, a revolutions happened which freed Portugal from 40 years of dictatorship. On the 25th, the country celebrates a national holiday.

Cláudia Aurora Quintet:
Cláudia Aurora – vocals
Andres Garcia – viola braguesa (acoustic guitar)
Javier Moreno – Spanish guitar
Kate Short – violoncello
Jon Short – double bass