Despite the language barrier there is no doubt at all that this is a heck of a show, and a display of superlative singing power and grace, from the statuesque Portuguese star Mariza returning to the Edinburgh International Festival in style after a ten year hiatus.
At times dropping the mic and singing without amplification in the vast hall, shows the immense power of her voice, and her confidence in it. Singing songs in Portuguese, in the Fado (translated as destiny or fate in Portuguese) tradition, a style thought to have originated in Lisbon in the 1820s, often associated with pubs and cafes, and renowned for its expressive and profoundly melancholic character.
Launching into Loucura, the first song from her first album all of 24 years ago, she reminisces that at that time there was no twitter or Instagram, but that she has now full embraced these, so all of the audience should follow her! , I want to be the most famous Portuguese singer, as famous as Ronaldo! Belying her almost 50 years, she is playful and joking.
However, the last few years during COVID have not been easy, when we had to stop I had a breakdown, she explains, but came to realise that the most important thing in life is, Love, Love for your children, for others, but most of all Love for yourself.
Mariza signs off the evening with a toast To Life, to Love and to Music, and clearly emotional she promises her Portuguese friends in her mother language that she will be back soon. We all hope so.
Reviewer: Greg Holstead
Reviewed: 15th August 2023
North West End UK Rating: 5