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Accompanied by Enzo D’Aversa, accordion, and Raul Abreu, Portuguese guitar, bass, piano, and percussion, Dona Rosa presents a new kind of performance. In contrast to her first CD Historias da Rua there are only two solo pieces on Segredos, and she even speaks about her own memories and experiences. Besides Fados Dona Rosa sings traditional Portuguese songs that have been significant for her life.
Dona Rosa is not your typical dolled-up Pop-Fado star, luring the chic society into concert halls with ethereal beauty and an enchantingly upcast gaze. With her live presentation at the World Music Fair WOMEX in Berlin in the year 2000, a whole new experience of life began for Dona Rosa. This was the first audience that was interested in her, as a person, for her own sake. She was confronted with all kinds of things that affected her life, disconcerted her, raised doubts in her mind: Her life changed dramatically. Dona Rosa was no longer accepted as a street singer in Lisbon. The other street and survival artists told her she was a star, expecting her to have lots of money now. Her story appeared on the front page of the Portuguese newspaper Publica (12/2000), Germany’s Channel 1 (ARD) produced a documentary on her for its television programme “Kulturreport”, concerts in Germany, France, Italy, England, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland followed. Since then, Dona Rosa has given 200 concerts in Europe and become familiar with things that were a total mystery to her in her previous life, things like airplanes.
Our understanding of the world is influenced strongly by what we see. Dona Rosa had to learn to trust things, people and situations that are taken as a matter of course for those with the power of sight. This over 40-year-old singer had to learn things other people are entirely familiar with – for example the strains of a life on tour, far from one’s habitual surroun- dings.
Following one of her concerts, in the dressing room of the concert hall, the conversation once again revolved around her blindness. Dona Rosa said: “What I like to do best is dream; in my dreams I can see and I never want to wake up.“
Rosa Francesca Dias Martins is an extremely alert musician, who plans to learn English as soon as possible so she can communicate with the many people who come to her concerts.