Gisela João on the return of foreigners to the Macau Music Festival

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After a three-year hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Macau International Music Festival (FIMM) will once again host foreign artists, including Portugal’s Gisela João, it was announced today.

On October 28, the Macau Cultural Centre will host Gisela João, described today as a “renowned fado singer” by Leong Wai Man, president of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) of the Chinese special administrative region, which is organizing the festival.

According to the program of the 35th edition of FIMM, Gisela João will present a selection of songs from her third album, “AuRora”, released in 2021, “her most personal and intimate record and which represents a new chapter in her career”.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to invite musicians and groups from abroad” since the beginning of the pandemic, said Leong Wai Man at a press conference, who expressed hope that the festival would attract “many visitors from neighboring regions”.

“In an international festival, we have to have international guests,” said FIMM’s program director, conductor Lio Kuokman, also at the press conference.

FIMM returned to the stage in 2022, after a two-year break due to the pandemic, with a program that included two shows by foreign guests, but only through recorded performances, one of which was by the Portuguese António Zambujo.

In December, Macau announced the cancellation of most of the prevention and containment measures, after almost three years of strict restrictions, which included a ban on the entry of foreigners without resident status.

Among FIMM’s 16 programs, Lio Kuokman highlighted the first performance in Macau by Japan’s Joe Hisaishi, known for having composed the 100 soundtracks for almost all of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s films.

Leong Wai Man mentioned the concert by American “jazz diva” Stacey Kent, who will perform classics and original songs, including “Tango In Macau”, a collaboration with her husband Jim Tomlinson and Japanese Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 2017, Kazuo Ishiguro.

The IC president also recalled the return of opera, as this year’s edition kicks off on September 30 with “The Barber of Seville” by the Italian Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), “reinvented” by the Royal Danish Theatre.

The festival closes a month later, on October 30, with “Echoes of Life”, a show that combines a recital by German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott and video installations by Turkish architect Hakan Demirel, around the “24 Preludes” by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849).

With the return of foreign artists, FIMM’s budget has more than doubled, from 13 million patacas (1.5 million euros) in 2022 to 33 million patacas (3.8 million euros), which Leong described as “a slight increase”.

FIMM took place for the first time in 1987, during the Portuguese administration of Macau.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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