DECEMBER 2022 | Volume 222


Production image

Derek Ford.

FADO - The Saddest Music in the World
by Elaine Avila
Firehall Arts Centre & Puente Theatre
Firehall Arts Centre
Jan. 14-Feb. 5
From $25 or 604-689-0926

Written by Elaine Ávila, Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét, and Featuring Live Music by Fado Singer Sara Marreiros

A Firehall Arts Centre & Puente Theatre Production

Produced by the Firehall Arts Centre and Victoria's Puente Theatre, FADO – The Saddest Music in the World returns to The Firehall stage from Saturday, January 14 to Sunday, February 5, 2023.

Acclaimed Portuguese-Canadian playwright Elaine Ávila's play, FADO, is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon. This musical, which premiered at The Firehall in 2019 and enjoyed a wildly successful run, tells the story of a young woman confronting her country's Fascist past. Her own identity is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as Fado, which means "fate."

The hit of the Victoria Fringe in 2018, FADO won the award for Favourite Musical, with B.C.'s own beloved Sara Marreiros playing the ghost of Amália Rodrigues, the queen of Fado. In 2020, FADO won the inaugural JAYMAC Outstanding Production Award at the Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards.

The Firehall's Artistic Producer Donna Spencer says, "It is great to be bringing this show back to our audiences as it was such a wonderful success when we last produced it in 2019. I am delighted that all of the original cast members are able to join us for this production run and to be working once again with our partners at Puente Theatre."

For a taste of Fado music, listen to Amália Rodrigues singing "Abandono" here.

"FADO is a triumph. Its raw emotion echoes long after the final notes are sung." 
– Showbill Canada

"...resonates and pulls at heartstrings in inexpressible ways. FADO is another triumph for Mercedes Bátiz-Benét and Puente Theatre." – Janice Lacouvée

"Fado may not literally be the world's saddest music, but it carries the weight and fate of a remarkable people." – Vancouver Sun

"Marreiros and Napoleão sing with gusto and passion." – The Georgia Straight

Credits for FADO – The Saddest Music in the World

Written by:  Elaine Ávila
Directed by:  Mercedes Bátiz-Benét
Performances by:  Sara Marreiros, Natércia Napoleão, Lucia Frangione, Judd Palmer, Pedro M. Siqueira, Chris Perrins, and Dan Weisenburger
Costume & Set Design by:  Patricia Reilly
Lighting Design and Stage Management by:  Emma Dickerson
Sound Design by:  Aidan Dunsmuir

January 14 – February 5, 2023 | Firehall Arts Centre| 280 E. Cordova Street
Opening Night:  January 18 at 7:30pm 
Preview:  Jan 14, 7:30pm | Jan 15, 3:00pm | Jan 17, 7:30pm | Jan 18, 1:00pm 
Performance Times:  Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30pm | Saturday & Sunday, 3:00pm | PWYC on Tuesday at 7:30pm & Wednesday at 1:00pm
Tickets:  From $25 at | 604.689.0926
Post Show Talkback:  January 19 & 26 | February 2

For more information on The Firehall, please visit the following platforms:




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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews