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Cristina Branco

Cristina Branco - foto Augusto Brízio
Cristina Branco - foto Augusto Brízio

(Portugal, 1972) was singing jazz and Portuguese music when she became captivated by fado singer Amália Rodrigues at age 18. Since then she has become a major performer and innovator of this Portuguese folk tradition. With her voice, she is able to make even the melancholic fado sound cheerful. In 1996 she debuted as a fado singer in the Netherlands, the same year her first CD, Cristina Branco, was released here. She increased her Dutch fan base with the CD O Descobridor (2002), on which she sings translated poems by Dutch poet Slauerhoff. Later, she recorded the song Herinnering aan later (Memories of Later) with the Dutch group Bløf, and sang a version of their song Dansen aan zee (Dancing by the Sea). Branco also interpreted texts by Portuguese poets such as Camões, Pessoa, David Mourão-Ferreira, and José Afonso, as well as works by Paul Éluard, Léo Ferré, and Alfonsina Storni (among others). For the 2015 festival edition, Cristina Branco and pianist João Paulo have set the celebrated Dutch writer Remco Campert's Ode aan mijn jas (Ode to My Coat) to music.

(WU 15 GR)

Archive available for: Cristina Branco

  • Winternachten 2015

    The Writers' Fest

    With: Aad Meinderts, Bart Moeyaert, Bas Heijne, Calliope Tsoupaki, Cristina Branco, De Règâhs, Dimitri Verhulst, Francis Broekhuijsen, Ivo van Hove, Jan van Mersbergen, Joris Wijsmuller, Kees 't Hart, Luc Coorevits - Behoud de Begeerte, Lucky Fonz III, Maarten 't Hart, Maria Barnas, Mensje van Keulen, Piet Gerbrandy

    Francis Broekhuijsen hosts the festival's concluding celebration: the Writers' Fest, a varied programme centred around Dutch literature.

    Poet Maria Barnas begins the afternoon with an ode to poetry. Writer and critic Kees' t Hart introduces the programme with his views on the state of Dutch literature, a speech about the literary highlights of 2014. Writer Bart Moeyaert, artistic manager of special guests Flanders and the Netherlands at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair, presents his plans to promote our literature in the global context. Fado singer Cristina Branco sings songs composed specially for the occasion, based on poetry by Remco Campert and others.

    The core of the programme is the presentation of the Jan Campert prizes, the City of The Hague's prestigious literary awards, with inspired lectures by admirers of the laureates. For his poetry collection Vlinderslag (Stroke of the Butterfly), Piet Gerbrandy will receive the Jan Campert Prize and a tribute by composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Jan van Mersbergen, who will receive the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prize for his novel De laatste ontsnapping (The Last Escape), will be serenaded by singer-songwriter Lucky Fonz. Bas Heijne will receive the J. Greshoff Prize for Angst en schoonheid. Louis Couperus, de mystiek der zichtbare dingen (Fear and Beauty: Louis Couperus and the mysticism of tangible things). He will be addressed by Ivo van Hove, director of the Amsterdam Theatre, which will stage the work of Couperus in 2015. Writer Dimitri Verhulst will honour Luc Coorevits, the passionate founder of the Flemish literary organization Behoud de Begeerte, which won the G.H. 's-Gravensande Prize for exceptional literary achievement. The evening's crowning glory is the Constantijn Huygens Prize for a body of work. This will be awareded to Mensje van Keulen for her novels, stories, and poems. Fellow writer and contemporary Maarten 't Hart will sing her praises, as will De Règâhs.

    Presented in collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Jan Campert Foundation.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    The Text of My Life: Cristina Branco

    In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers and musicians present their favourite literary texts and Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Arjan Peters. In English.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Ode to Remco's Coat

    The spotlight shines on the poetry of Remco Campert in this festive programme. Portuguese fado singer Cristina Branco set Campert's Ode aan mijn jas (Ode to My Coat) to music especially for this event. She is accompanied by João Paulo. Mustafa Stitou, Hanneke van Eijken, and three poets nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize—Hester Knibbe, Alfred Schaffer, and Peter Verhelst—each dedicate a poem to Remco or write a poem inspired by his poetry. The Blue Moon choir concludes the programme with a song about a passage from Het leven is verrukkulluk (Life is Delightful). Hosted by Alma Mathijsen. A collaboration with Poetry International and the VSB Poetry Prize. In Dutch.