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Ana Sofia Varela

(28 March, 1977)

Born in Lisbon, Ana Sofia Varela grew up in Serpa, in the Alentejo. She began to sing quite naturally and fell in love with Fado, while listening to Amália and Nuno da Câmara Pereira. She never stopped singing it since then, in Fado nights, at popular associations and in other nurturing atmospheres. She sang in several bars in Southern Portugal, she participated in local and nation-wide fado contests and was a finalist of the RTP programme “Selecção Nacional” and of the “Festival da Canção” (1995), in which she was considered “the most beautiful and interesting voice” of that year’s competition. Later on she returned to Lisbon to study.

After participating in a Grande Noite do Fado, she rose to new challenges. In 1997 she was invited through Carlos Zel to sing at a Fado house. Then she began to perform at “Clube do Fado” in Alfama, the fado house owned by Portuguese guitar player Mário Pacheco, a place where Ana Sofia Varela charms people with her voice every night. She has performed in several European countries, also with Mário Pacheco — Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. She has also performed in Macao and Japan.

She gradually gained fame, without rushing. Also Ana Sofia Varela has participated in the unique outstanding project of António Chainho “A Guitarra e Outras Mulheres” (1998), an album recorded together with Marta Dias, Teresa Salgueiro, Filipa Pais, Nina Miranda and Elba Ramalho. This gave rise to a European tour.

Ana Sofia Varela was a member of the cast of show “De Sol a Lua – Flamenco & Fado”, singing with Camané at the stage of Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon. This show was later presented in other stages, namely in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

In 1999 she accepted the invitation of João Braga to participate in a series of concerts that would lead to the publication of the “Cem Anos de Fado” CD, with Carlos Zel, António Pinto Basto and Maria Ana Bobone.

In 2002 she recorded “Ana Sofia Varela”, an album that marks the beginning of a new stage in her career – i.e. recognition by the general publica of a “long awaited fado”. The album would be presented on many stages.

Considered one of the most representative voices in fado, Ana Sofia Varela was invited to participate in the project of a CD to pay tribute to Carlos Paredes, “Movimentos Perpétuos”, for which she recorded a fado with lyrics by José Luís Peixoto and music by Fred Mergner. In October she was selected to represent Portugal at “Womex - The World Music Expo”. A concert that charmed the international community of “world music” and generated several invitations to perform abroad, as mentioned by the Press.

Once her value was recognised and she gained a place of honour in fado, Ana Sofia Varela toured the world in many shows, with concert halls sold out in countries like Algiers, Belgium, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, England (Festival Atlantic Waves), Japan and Norway.

In 2005 Ana Sofia Varela won the “Amália Rodrigues” Award, in the Best Female Singer category.

She belonged to the cast of the 2007 Carlos Saura film “Fados”, singing with Vicente da Câmara, Ricardo Ribeiro, Maria da Nazaré and Carminho.

She releases, in 2009, the acclaimed "Fados de Amor e Pecado".

 

Source:

“Expresso”, 19 September 1998

“Semanário”, 15 October 1999;

“Público”, 29 March 2007.

 

“I Grande Gala dos Prémios Amália Rodrigues” (2005), program, Lisboa, Teatro Municipal S. Luís.

Halpern, Manuel (2004), “O Futuro da Saudade – O novo fado e os novos fadistas”, Lisboa, Dom Quixote.

 

Ana Sofia Varela s/d.

Ana Sofia Varela Festa do Fado, Castelo de São Jorge 2005

Ana Sofia Varela e La Macanita Festa do Fado, Castelo de São Jorge 2005

Ana Sofia Varela Lançamento do filme "Fados" de Carlos Saura Museu do Fado, 24 de Novembro de 2008

Ana Sofia Varela Lançamento do filme "Fados" de Carlos Saura Museu do Fado, 24 de Novembro de 2008

Ana Sofia Varela e José Pracana Ciclo "Memórias do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa" - Evocar Alfredo Duarte (Marceneiro) Museu do Fado, 1 de Outubro de 2007

Ana Sofia Varela Ciclo "Memórias do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa" - Evocar Alfredo Duarte (Marceneiro) Museu do Fado, 1 de Outubro de 2007

Ana Sofia Varela e José Pracana Ciclo "Memórias do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa" - Evocar Alfredo Duarte (Marceneiro) Museu do Fado, 1 de Outubro de 2007

  • Vivendo Sem Mim Ana Sofia Varela (Amália Rodrigues / Mário Pacheco)