8 March 2008

The Barefoot Diva

I couldn't go on vacation and leave Louis up in the air about the concert that I attended the other night - especially after I visited his and Catherine's blog to boast about it!

I've been a longtime fan of Césaria Évora ever since I chanced upon a CD of hers in an Auckland music store and took it home. Her singing is incredibly poignant and just gets under my skin. I have to just stop and listen. So I could never put on her CDs when I wanted to work!

When I read in the local paper that she was coming to Melbourne to perform, I couldn't pass up on the op to see her as it's most likely to be the only time that I will.

The Melbourne Arts Centre is built on the south bank of the Yarra River which runs through Melbourne city. The round building that you see in the image is Hamer Hall and this is where Césaria Évora was performing.

Let me tell you something. The incompetence that we complain so bitterly about in Dubai is spreading itself around the world, as service people are apparently not paid to think anymore. From the 30 min wait (I was #7 in the queue) in the pre-paid ticket queue as the cashier went in search for the tickets which hadn't arrived at the box office, to the ushers who closed down any sense of fun that people wanted to have to better enjoy the show (dancing and moving closer to the stage), it was a bloody miracle that we all enjoyed the concert as much as we did.

Thankfully, Césaria and her most competent and entertaining 8 man backing combo were at their best. They salsa'd and balladed until we were on our feet begging for encores which were willingly given.

Because of the overzealous ushers, I had to be very careful about getting any images - especially as it is haram to do this at concerts. So my results weren't that wonderful.

This is Hamer Hall as the crowd vacated after the concert. It's a great venue, and the balcony seat that I had was almost on top of the stage because of the way in which the balcony level came down at the sides of the hall.

On the way back to the tram, I stopped to take this image, but as it was a Sunday night, not many of the building lights were on, so I'll have to go back and take some during the week.

Here are some YouTube vids of Césaria in concert.


Petit Pays

Besame Mucho


Seabee said...

Nice stuff, especially because you included one of my all-time favourite tunes 'Besame Mucho'.

A world of Symphony said...

Thank you very much for this post, videos, music, and pictures.

I thought Tania Libertad's Big Band version of 'Besame Mucho' was the ultimate until I saw Césaria here. She sang, and took my breath away.

Now, she's what I call a class act!

Is it true that she performs barefoot? If so, she's got quite a following in Kelly Clarkson & Joss Stone. Although I doubt either could render 'Besame Mucho' as passionately, as her!

nzm said...

Greetings from the Gold Coast where we're having a blast! All this surfing and swimming and sightseeing is too much!

Seabee: it's a favourite of mine too.

Louis: yes, she came out on stage with no shoes - my kind of people!

Pandabonium said...

Wonderful. Thanks for the pics and videos. As with Seabee and yourself, NZM, Besame Mucho is a favorite of mine. I used to enjoy playing it in a big band (unfortunately without a vocalist).

I was not familiar with Césaria until now. Thank you for sharing this. She is terrific.

Aussie said...

Lovely music. I wonder though how it works in a large concert hall. It has a really intimate, warm sound. It would be beautiful in a small bar - though of course that wouldn't be a sufficient money spinner. Damn economics!

We saw the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra here in Al Ain the other day. They held an outdoor concert in a fort. It was a lovely venue, but it didn't work for me. There was no intimacy. It seemed to me that it would have worked much better in an indoor venue where the sound could have lingered giving a richer experience. As it was the orchestra was incredibly good and the musicians incredibly competent, but I got an overwhelming sense of the 'so-what's?' as the sound drifted into the night air. If they'd been replaced by a DVD it would have had a similar impact.

It left me wondering if I'm just a child of the TV era in need of something entertaining to look at or if it was actually the case that the venue was just wrong.

Anyways, back to your blog, sorry for the digression. Lovely music. Thank you.

meg said...

wonderful music, thanks for sharing!

kaya said...

No Shoes huh?
Definately an earth mamma kinda woman.
My kind too.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

You are lucky to go to this gig. Melbourne can turn on some good shows can't it!
No shoes. My kind of human being. I've been obsessed this week with shoes or no shoes!

BuJassem said...

oh oh oh NZM.. ohhhh
Cesaria is one of my all time fav artists! she is just brilliant and so relaxing and musical.
thanks for this gem of a post..

sodade and petit pays are some of my all time favs :)

Sandie said...

Fantastic...That is what I miss mostly...A bit of culture