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Maria Amélia Proença

(21 October, 1938)

Maria Amélia Marques Proença was born in lisbon, at Campo de Ourique, on the 21 October 1938. As a child she listened to many radio shows and learned all the fado songs, especially those by Amália Rodrigues, which she would sing at home and on the street.

At only 8 years old, she enrolled "Grande Concurso Portugal", an adult competition organized by the newspaper "Ecos de Portugal". Her presence is noted and she receives the competition’s Amália Cup.

In 1948 she debuts before an audience at Teatro Casablanca (Parque Mayer), owned by the entrepreneur José Miguel who has to get a special permission from the Work Ministry in order for her to sing, since Maria Amélia is not old enough to be a professional.

Maria Amélia Proença performed at the most different places since her debut at Teatro Casablanca, Parque Mayer, at nine years old, in 1948.

From this date (1948) on, she regularly performed at the houses owned by the entrepreneur José Miguel: Solar da Alegria, O Mondego, Café Latino and Vera Cruz.

Maria Amélia Proença also performs in shows and night feasts around the country, in collective presentations common at the time. She also records her first record, a 78 rpm, with the young Jorge Barradas.

The fado singer gets married at 16 years old, on the 2 November 1954, and has two children, one of which Carlos Manuel Proença, plays Fado guitar and often accompanies her.

In the 1970s she does her first performances abroad, staying in Macau for 7 months and singing in Thailand, Japan and Singapore.

She performed in Germany, France, the Netherlands, England, Angola and Cabo Verde. On a national level, she entered the shows organized by Lisboa Capital Europeia da Cultura, in 1994, and EXPO' 98.

Simultaneously, the fado singer continues singing at several fado houses. The last permanent cast she joined was at Taverna do Embuçado, and then she did irregular performances at Luso.

She performed with fado’s great names such as Amália Rodrigues, Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Fernando Farinha and Carlos do Carmo.

Most recently, despite not being a permanent artist in any fado house, she sings at Luso and at different shows.

The fado singer does not have a broad discography; it is mostly composed by EPs and cassettes recorded from the 1960s to the 1990 and only one LP, "Fados", released by Riso e Ritmos in 1979.

Her most recent record, already in CD format, was released by Ocarina in 2006 and is called "Fados do meu Fado".

The fado singer’s career is very connected to the fado houses and she was part of the cast of the most important houses, such as Luso, Faia, Taverna do Embuçado, and most recently Senhor Vinho. Even so, she travelled several times to tour in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Angola and Cabo Verde.

At her career’s 60th anniversary, celebrated in 2008, Maria Amélia Proença transformed from a “child revelation” into one of the bearers of the Fado tradition, representing a generation of singers that have long retired.

In 2005 Maria Amélia Proença received the “Career” award in the competition "Grande Noite do Fado".

After all these years, we can still listen to the fabulous voice and style of Maria Amélia Proença at "Parreirinha de Alfama", where she sings almost every night.

 

  • Gota Abandonada Maria Amélia Proença (Maria de Lurdes Carvalho / Martinho d`Assunção)