Ana Moura | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Of the wave of new-breed fadistas to emerge from Portugal in recent years, Ana Moura may be the one who puts the greatest emphasis on fado itself. While Mariza has allowed her dramatic persona to overshadow her impressive singing and Cristina Branco has veered away from fado proper, Moura maintains her devotion to the classic form without sounding like she's playing dress-up. Her second album, Aconteceu (World Village)--produced, like her first, by Jorge Fernando, former accompanist to fado grande dame Amalia Rodrigues--is a collection of 20 old-school tunes. Though mostly new compositions, they stick to themes that are solidly within the genre's tradition of melodramatic romance--nothing about MySpace or life in the trap house here. If you can't follow the Portuguese lyrics, there's of course plenty to appreciate in Moura's amazingly clear voice. Displaying flawless intonation and dynamic control, she glides through the rhythmic and melodic intricacies of these songs with a restrained, almost severe elegance, supported by intersecting lines on the sweet-toned 12-string Portuguese guitar and Spanish 6-string. And as anyone who's caught her previous Chicago gigs can attest, she's a riveting live performer. a 7 and 9:30 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $30, $25 in advance.

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