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Julieta Estrela

(N. 13 December, 1938)

Her relationship with fado began in childhood, accompanying her mother and her aunt to the “Sabá” beer house (later renamed to “Cesária”) on Sunday afternoon and listening to them talking to other illustrious participants in these tertúlia gatherings, such as, Carlos Conde, Francisco Radamanto and Alfredo Marceneiro, among others.

Still a child, Julieta Estrela learned by heart all the fados she listened to, initially singing the fado at that beer house.

In 1955 fado singer Joaquim Cordeiro enrolled her in the contest “Rainhas das Cantadeiras e Azes do Fado”, organised by newspaper “A Voz de Portugal”. As she won the contest, ex aequo with Florinda Maria, she was offered a professional card. But she was too young and she only made her debut, as professional, in 1957, at “Salão Luso” and stayed there until 1961. There she met great names of fado, like Filipe Pinto, Fausto Ribeiro and poet João Linhares Barbosa. In her youth Julieta Estrela was a promise in the fado universe.

After that period she performed in many shows all over Portugal – namely at Casino da Póvoa, with Tristão da Silva – and participated in radio programmes, in particular at Emissora Nacional, until she opened her own fado house in 1967, called “Guitarra da Madragoa”. The fado house closed down one year after, in 1968, and Julieta Estrela decided to quit singing.

But her love for fado remained and eventually led her to sing again, ten years later. On occasion of a trip to Porto, she met Fernanda Baptista at restaurant “Mal Cozinhado”, who challenged her to sing that night. From then on she performed sporadically until she opened her fado house in 2000, called “Fado Maior”. At this house, located at Largo do Penereiro, in Alfama, Julieta Estrela fulfilled her old dream of having a place of her own where fado lovers can meet with their friends and feel as if they were at home.

Julieta Estrela frequently participates in the meetings of the Advisory Board of Museu do Fado. Since 2001 she belongs to the faculty of the Museum’s School by being responsible for the Singing Rehearsals Department.

Julieta Estrela owned "Fado Maior" fado restaurant for several years and currently, she i the president of APAF, the Portuguese Association of the Friends of Fado, founded in 1994. Together with its members, she vitalises research and dissemination projects on the fado universe.



“A Voz de Portugal”, 1 October 1957;
Museu do Fado – Interviewed on the 13 July 2007


Julieta Estrela O Luso

Julieta Estrela O Luso

Florinda Maria, Anita Guerreiro, Julieta Estrela Clube Atlético de Campo de Ourique, 1955

Florinda Maria, Julieta Estrela, Joaquim Campos, Carlos Conde, Azinhal Abelho Clube Atlético de Campo de Ourique, 1955

Julieta Estrela

Julieta Estrela

  • Não Digas Adeus Julieta Estrela (Domingos Silva / João Maria dos Anjos)