Opened in 1998, in an old bombing water station, the Museum presents over 12,000 pieces giving one an audio-visual insight of ... More
Fado and Portuguease Guitar House
Opened in 1998, in an old bombing water station, the Museum presents over 12,000 pieces giving one an audio-visual insight of the music of old Lisbon. The place has an auditorium, exhibition area, cafeteria, esplanade, and shop. It also has an archive which stores historical records using computing databases, a specialized library and sound archive. At the Portuguese Guitar house a music training is also imparted.
Cannot quite agree with the previous review. Security people are not known to be accomodating, and people at the till have stress. I walked in with a backpack without stopping, and I did not stop asking the knowledgeable lady in the shop for information, and I was immediately thrown by her patience and her knowledge, even if she could not give me the cds I had dreamed of finding. Still, I spent two lovely afternoons listening through the very accessible archives. Only starting to listen in to Fado, but hoping that on my return the information available has been upgraded and improved.
I looked forward to visiting Casa do Fado and came away disappointed. First, the welcome at the Casa was abrupt to the point of being rude; second the staff appeared bored by their job, and interested only in chatting to each other; and last, I was looking for information on the first fado diva, Severa, and there was nothing to be found except a small book in a glass case. Much of the material on the Portuguese guitar was good, and the film representation of fado singers was enjoyable. I would have enjoyed a map of Lisbon showing the four fado bairros together with the location of the fado houses.
I felt unwelcome in the museum and would hesitate to recommend it to other visitors, which is a pity since it has tremendous potential.
For those who like fado, Casa do Fado is a must. Situated in the Alfama district, this very modern museum offers an overview of the history of this melancholic and sensual music, so typical for the Portuguese soul. Film clips from long forgotten fado movies, old posters, even a re-created fado tavern complete with tables and chairs where you can sit and listen to excellent fado complete the picture. In the basement, a stupendous exhibition dedicated to Amalia Rodriguez, the Queen of Fado, deceased in 1999 (she lies in the National Pantheon - Panteao Nacional). In the museum store you can buy from a large selection of fado CDs (the very competent lady in charge will gladly assist you). Note: the make siesta between noon and 2 pm. Allow about 2 hrs for your visit.
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