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Amália in the theatre

To be or not to be?

She was already a big success in fado houses, and, because of that, she was quickly called to Theatre.

In 1940, Amália has her debut in the Teatro Maria Vitória (Lisbon) as the attraction of the revista (sort of vaudeville theatre) Ora Vai Tu!. She was already a big success in fado houses, and, because of that, she was quickly called to theatre. Between 1940 and 1947, she continues to do some revistas and operettas. Amália would rather sing in theatres than in fado houses – as she was shy, having the audience in front of her gave her a certain comfort. Besides that, the amount of public was greater in theatres and the applause that Amália loved was heard in a different way. “A whole theatre clapping their hands gives much more pleasure”, says to Vítor Pavão dos Santos in the biography.

In 1941, she is the main attraction to the revista Espera de Toiros. In 1942, she performs in the revistas Essa é que é essa and Boa Nova. It is in this year that happens in the encounter between Amália and one of her great composers, the maestro Frederico Valério, according to what Amália explains in her biography “(…) the most important one, in my passage through theatre”. He was the first to truly understand her voice, its beauty, and its extension. Amália “had a great tenderness for him, a great gratitude”, and from this connection came out several successes, such as “Fado Ciúme”, one of the first to run around Portugal.

In 1943, she is part of the cast of the revista Alerta está!. In 1944, she stars in the revista Rosa Cantadeira, where she sings “Fado Ciúme”, and, for four months, she acts in the Copacabana Casino in the show Numa Aldeia Portuguesa, conceived especially for her. She went for the first time to Brazil in 1944 and “it was such a great success that I never stopped going back”, says Amália in her biography. The show Numa Aldeia Portuguesa was a big hit and Amália was immediately hired for Rádio Globo and invited to theatre. “But I did not accept, because I was already there for more than two months and I had never been outside of Lisbon for so long. I was homesick and I wanted to come here for Christmas”. Later, in 1945, she ends up accepting to return to Brazil and remains for ten months in Companhia de Revistas Amália Rodrigues in the Teatro República and in the Copacabana Casino. Performs, firstly, in the revista Boa Nova, in a very different version from what was presented in Lisbon, and then, in the operetta Rosa Cantadeira, where she played a role made by Hermínia Silva.

In 1946, Piero, a great businessman of the time made a new assemblage of the operetta Mouraria aimed purposely at Amália. In the same year, she enters the revista Estás na Lua as the main attraction. In 1947, she is the attraction of the revista Se aquilo que a gente sente.

Amália in "A Severa"

In 1955, she is the protagonist of the play A Severa, by invitation of Vasco Morgado. Amália accepted the invite, but she was afraid, she thought that she would not make it, she thought that that character had nothing to do with her, and so, fifteen days later, she tries to leave. However, she was told that the Companhia was in need and that money had already been spent on the sets, and she ended up staying. “I decided to stay and make an amaliazada. I called Severa to myself. I did not know what Severa looked like!”, tells Amália in her biography. And it was at that time that Amália realized that she was capable of a lot more in theatre than in the revistas.

“Then, there were a lot of projects, but nothing came true. And I always had a feeling that if I had someone to direct me, I could have done good things. Maybe not extraordinary, but I felt like I was a natural. I was never lucky to find someone to direct me. They only cared about my name for the poster.”, says to Vítor Pavão dos Santos in her biography.