António & VariaçõesMusic
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An EGEAC / CM Lisboa show
With: Ana Bacalhau, Conan Osiris, Lena d’Água, Manuela Azevedo, Paulo Bragança and Selma Uamusse
Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa conducted by Maestro Cesário Costa
Gospel Collective Choir
Accordian: João Gentil
Orchestration: Filipe Melo; Filipe Raposo and Pedro Moreira
Sound: Nelson Carvalho
Lighting and scenic design: Pedro Leston
Technical director: Eduardo Cunha
Artistic design and director: Luis Varatojo
Produced by Produtores Associados
If his passage through the world hadn’t been as fleeting as an incandescent star, António Variações would be 75 this year. Given his intense way of being, it’s impossible to imagine how far he might have gone. A unique figure in Portuguese music and a profoundly original artist who managed to create a perfect synthesis of pop, folk, fado and international pop-rock, he produced a collection of songs that is a reference point for modern Portuguese music. Variações’ rise was meteoric and ephemeral, with just two albums recorded during his lifetime: Anjo da Guarda (1983) and Dar & Receber (1984). But his creative frenzy can also be felt in the collection of unpublished works that he left behind (both home recordings and demos), which would lead to two more posthumous albums: “Estou Além” by Lena d’Água (1989) and “Humanos” by Humanos (2004). His songs are timeless and have influenced several generations of artists who often revisit his music looking for inspiration and references for their work.
At Festas de Lisboa, we’ll be celebrating the life and works of António Variações in a completely unprecedented show. Singers including Ana Bacalhau, Conan Osiris, Lena d’Água, Manuela Azevedo, Paulo Bragança and Selma Uamusse will be lending their talents to Variações’ songs, which will be arranged for the first time for orchestral instruments.
This concert will promote a meeting between the genial simplicity of Variações’ music and the instrumental diversity and richness of timbre provided by a symphony orchestra. The songs have been reinterpreted to fit the nature of the orchestra, but also subverting it and stretching its limits to the point that it gets close to the dynamics of a rock band. There’ll be no synthesisers, drums or electric guitars, but the exuberant feel of Variações’ music remains and will be heard in a new context, using instruments which, despite being classical, are capable of producing unusual sounds. What will “O Corpo é Que Paga” sound like when performed with bassoons, French horns and violins? Come and find out. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.