Last Saturday, was the presentation of the book “Amália – Ditadura e Revolução (A história secreta)”, (“Amália – Dictatorship and Revolution (The secret history)”, by Miguel Carvalho at São Luiz Teatro Municipal, with the participation of Sara Pereira, director of Museu do Fado, who accompanied and supported the project from the beginning, Nuno Pacheco, journalist from Público, whom Miguel learned a lot from, and Frederico Santiago, music researcher, responsible for the full collection of Amália Rodrigues, and also Miguel’s great accomplice throughout the project.
“Amália – Ditadura e Revolução (A história secreta)” is a rigorous and objective journalistic investigation that crosses two regimes, several continents and gathers close to a hundred exclusive interviews and testimonies, unpublished recordings by the fado singer Amália Rodrigues and personalities who with her lived, thousands of pages of documents never revealed, in addition to letters and unknown photos of the singer.
Called the “singer of the regime” by the people, Amália was one of the first victims of “fake news“, was accused of serving the dictatorship and collaborating with the political police (PIDE), was persecuted and ostracized after April 25, 1974, reconquering then unanimity as Portugal’s voice in the world.
This book tells the secret life story of Amália Rodrigues. Telling several perspectives of the same story in an objective way, Miguel Carvalho describes Amália as a free spirit, authentic and faithful to herself and her vocation. We can also see the permanent dialogue of the regime’s opposition in her life, often singing poems written by opponents of the regime, helping political prisoners, and donating money to opposing parties.
“If we understand this book, we will understand Portugal” – Nuno Pacheco
The journalist and author, Miguel Carvalho, has over 30 years of career and has had this project in mind since Amália’s death. Over the years he kept records and documents, and with the help of the Gulbenkian Research Scholarship, the project began. Miguel learned and wrote about the life that Amália had off the stage, the perceptuals she suffered, the people she helped due to the regime, all this while singing verses by prohibited authors, incarnating the voices of all people.
“Amália – Ditadura e Revolução (A história secreta)” is an excellent and rigorous journalistic work and a beautiful tribute to Amália Rodrigues, in this year that marks the centenary of the artist.