Director Diogo Varela Silva accompanied the first part of Madonna’s US tour and knows all about the show that Madonna brings to Lisbon. In addition to authoring documentaries about Zé Pedro or Celeste Rodrigues, who is a grandson, he is the father of the youngest Portuguese guitar prodigy, Gaspar Varela, who at the age of 16 debuted as an escort for the American singer on the tour “Madame X” – the show that from sunday will occupy the Coliseum dos Recreios for eight nights
“It was a life lesson and a production lesson, to accompany the assembly of this show.” The statement comes from Diogo Varela Silva, Portuguese director, grandson of fado singer Celeste Rodrigo and father of Gaspar Varela, 16-year-old guitarist chosen by Madonna to accompany her on the “Madame X Tour”. The pop queen’s new tour arrives this Sunday at the Lisbon Coliseum – extending until the 23rd, in a total of eight concerts – and Expresso spoke with the filmmaker about what the Portuguese public will be able to see on stage. Recognizing that she attended almost half a hundred concerts on US soil between September 17 and December 21 last year, Varela Silva, who had never seen Madonna live before, says the artist “made no concessions, nor has given up any of the ideas he had “for the new show,” had an exhausting job. She’s a workaholic. ”
After moving arms and luggage to the Portuguese capital in 2017, Madonna fell in love with fado when she heard Celeste Rodrigues, who died in the meantime, and got in touch with her. “She was asked to choose the best place to meet and they ended up meeting at [Fado House] Mesa de Frades” in the Alfama neighborhood: “They spent a very nice night there and then they became friends. She invited us to spend her New Year’s Eve this year in New York, and that’s when things started. ” When the director’s grandmother, sister of Amália Rodrigues, died on August 1, 2018, the American artist left a loving message on social networks: “I’m very lucky to have met and sung with this absolute fado legend. Rest in peace”.
By this time, the artist was already working on “Madame X”, her 14th album of originals, and a year later came confirmation: Gaspar Varela, great-grandson of Celeste Rodrigues, would take his Portuguese guitar for the promotion tour to disco. “Things are going beautifully,” assumes the young musician’s father, “I’m sure it’s being a super rewarding experience for him. And it’s huge! His first world tour is with Madonna. I tell him, by joke, “If at 16 you are touring with Madonna, at 30 you are at the Artist’s House.”The few available images of the concerts, as it is forbidden to use mobile phones and other electronic devices that allow the capture of video or photography, are shared on the official social networks of the queen of pop, so the surprise factor is an important ingredient in the performances. that are coming closer. It is known from the reports of US publications that there is a strong Portuguese component on stage. “It’s a very rich show and, above all, a beautiful tribute to Lisbon”, assures Varela Silva, “I heard her talk about Lisbon outside, but I am dead to see what she says here, how the show will adapt to Lisbon.
In addition to Gaspar Varela, the Portuguese performers Carlos Mil-Homem (percussion) and Jessica Pina (trumpet), as well as Cape Verdean musicians (the Batukadeiras Orchestra and the singer and multi-instrumentalist Miroca Paris, former collaborator of Cesaria Evora).
After the big stadium tours, Madonna decided this time to present the fans with an “intimate” show. “There is a greater proximity to the public in these kind of shows”, defends the filmmaker, “the way she presents the album, it makes perfect sense to be this format and not in stadiums. Now maybe it’s more tiring, because she does more concerts in one place than it would if it were big arenas. ”
Regarding what this experience will represent for her son in the future, Varela Silva believes that “there are more people curious to see his work” and that his actions in his own name “maybe will work better”. “There are already some invitations, but there were also some dates confirmed abroad before,” he continues, “in fact, a few days before traveling to rehearsals for the New York tour, I was opening for Tomatito at a concert in Spain.” Diogo Varela Silva, who has in his curriculum the documentaries “O Fado da Bia” (2012, about the fado singer Beatriz da Conceição), “Celeste” (2015, about her grandmother) and “Zé Pedro Rock’n’Roll” (2019, about falecid
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