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Esmeralda Amoedo

(N. 19 May, 1936)

Ever since she was a small child Esmeralda felt the urge to sing. She would sit by the radio listening to fados. But her mother, a seamstress, didn’t want her to sing. However Esmeralda’s will was strong. The neighbours encouraged her and gave her a small shawl she would wear every afternoon to sing some of the fados she had learned in the radio. One day her father took her to a party at the "Casa Apolo" club where two guitar players encouraged her to sing two of the fados she knew by heart: "Fado Manuel Santos" and "Fado Santa Luzia". That was the beginning of a long career.

At 14 she was already a well-known amateur, and – after some microphone and recording tests – she decided to apply to a place on “Serões para Trabalhadores”, at Emissora Nacional, and to take singing lessons with Prof. Mota Pereira.

Throughout her artistic career Esmeralda Amoedo did shows in almost all the popular associations and charity events in Lisbon and its surroundings, and entered a fado competition organised by the newspaper "Ecos de Portugal".

In representation of the Campo de Ourique quarter, she won the first “Grande Noite do Fado”, organised by Casa da Imprensa in 1953. In 1957 she gave her support to the Grande Concurso de Fados organised by the newspaper "A Voz de Portugal".

Her career was progressing well and she was invited to tour the country and sing in Casinos. She had her debut at Teatro ABC in a Portuguese vaudeville play (Teatro de Revista) starring Ivone Silva but soon performed in other stages, and in several fado houses in Lisbon, in clubs, and all the major stages.

Her first fado house performance was at "Solar da Hermínia", followed by "Viela", "Tágide" "Adega Machado", "Luso", "Adega Mesquita", "Toca", "Mal Cozinhado", and all the major Portuguese casinos, namely Casino da Madeira.

One of her most important travels was made to Canada to participate in the “Festas do Senhor Santo Cristo” as guest artist. She performed also in Australia, Canada, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.

Rádio Clube Português awarded her the “Microfone de Ouro”.

In 2003 she celebrated her career’s 50th anniversary and won the Prémio Carreira at the Grande Noite de Fado at Teatro de São Luiz.

In 2004 Metrosom released the CD "Fado no S. Luiz" in which Esmeralda Amoedo recalls her greatest hits, as "Açores - nove lágrimas" with lyrics written by herself.



Museu do Fado – Interview done on August 10, 2006.


  • Juras Esmeralda Amoedo (Pedro Bandeira Freire / Alfredo Mendes)