Celeste Rodrigues

Celeste Rodrigues is one of the most highly regarded traditional fado singer’s in the Portuguese musical universe, being considered a reference by the young generation of interpreters. Celeste was born in Fundão on March 14, 1923, and today with a carrier of 73 years she is the fado singer’s dean.

Celeste was one of the first fadistas to truly internationalize herself starting soon after her debut in 1945. She performed in varied countries and in big world stages where we can highlight, among others, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Carnegie Hall in New York or the Cité de la Music in Paris.

Over these 73 years of career she was always an assiduous presence of the best fado houses in Lisbon, and was a integral part of the cast of famous houses like Café Luso, Adega Mesquita, Tipóia, Adega Machado, Márcia Condensa, Embuçado of fado singer João Ferreira Rosa, and Parreirinha de Alfama of fado singer Argentina Santos. In 1957 along with her husband the theater actor Varela Silva, she has become the owner of one of the most prominent fado houses of the city, the well-known Viela where famous fado singers performed like Alfredo Marceneiro and Berta Cardoso, and was as well a mandatory stop for poets, artists, and intellectuals of the time who found the perfect space for entertaining.

In 2005, Ricardo Pais, invited her to participate on the show “Cabelo Branco é Saudade” along with three others great fado voices: Argentina Santos, Alcindo de Carvalho and Ricardo Ribeiro. That show turned out to be an enormous success on all the European cities where it was presented.

In 2010, at the closing of Lisbon’s Fado Festivity, a documentary about her life was released under the name of Fado Celeste directed by her grandson Diogo Varela Silva. In 2015 and as a homage for 70 years of carrier the section Herat Beat of DocLisboa Festival opens with a directors cut of the very same documentary called only Celeste.

In 2012 the President of the Republic awarded her with a medal of the Order of Infante D. Henrique, degree of Commander, and the City of Lisbon awarded her with the Gold Medal for cultural merit.

Currently, Celeste Rodrigues keeps singing regularly at Café Luso in Bairro Alto every Fridays and Saturdays, and at Mesa de Frades in Alfama every Wednesday.