Fado de Goa

Fado came to Goa in the 19th century while it was still a Portuguese colony, but this unique form of music has risked becoming a lost art in modern India. The Fado de Goa initiative was launched by Sonia Shirsat and supported by the Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF) to help ensure that fado’s future in Goa can be secured for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Sonia has performed around the world and educated over 200 Goan students in the genre, as well as holding masterclasses on the history and theory of fado. The first ever “Festa de Fado” sponsored by the DHF was held in 2018, featuring a masterclass by Sonia and a concert with performances by Sonia as well as students educated through the Fado de Goa initiative. The event was a resounding success, drawing a full house and was described by the Goa Times as “proof that the art form is seeing an unprecedented revival in the state”. 2019/20 is a particularly important period globally for fans of fado as 2019 marks the 20th death anniversary of “Queen of Fado” Amalia Rodrigues and 2020 the centenary of her birth.

Over the course of 2019, Bagri Foundation and the DHF will be continuing the Fado de Goa project with Sonia Shirsat. The project consists of three strands of activity: awareness sessions, group lessons and one-on-one tutorials. The awareness sessions present the aims of Fado de Goa through talks and demonstrations including the art of fado and different aspects of the project. The group lessons, of which there are ten organised, are open to all and taught through demonstration and participation. Sonia Shirsat conducts the classes, who first introduces the essential features of fado before leading the group through traditional fado songs accompanied by a guitarist. At the end of the series of classes, students will be invited to sit an oral and written exam. From the classes, Sonia will select the best students for future one-on-one training. A series of six tutorials are provided for the selected students who are given instruction on breathing, stage presence and fado-specific techniques.

Sonia has also selected thirteen of her most promising existing students for one-on-one tuition. At the end of these lessons, they will have mastered the singing of at least five Fados and learnt how to perform them on stage. All these singers will enter the Fado Competition organised by Semana de Cultura in October/November and Sonia will select from amongst these competitors, soloists to perform with her in their first concert in January 2020 at an historical venue in Panjim, Goa.

About the Bagri Foundation

The Bagri Foundation joins the DHF in undertaking cultural events and educational programmes which have a strong social and community focus.

The Bagri Foundation, established in 1990, is a family foundation spanning three generations. The Foundation prioritises working collaboratively within a mutually supportive community of partners who share its vision. Through this dynamic and cross-disciplinary way of working, the Foundation is able to support a myriad of exciting artistic programmes that challenge, engage and inspire.