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BORN IN LISBON ON OCTOBER 4th 1974, Mafalda Arnauth had a passion for music since she was a little girl but had never really aspired to be an artist. The entertainment world finally won her over, however, when she was still at university, completing her 5th year of Veterinary Studies. Purely by chance, Mafalda Arnauth suddenly found herself transported into the world of the stage, recitals, and the fado music clubs, where she grew artistically with the applause, the public’s appreciation, and the discovery of herself through song.

With the characteristic freshness of a youthful voice that had hitherto been unknown in the world of fado, she captivated listeners early on with her spontaneity and the memories awakened by her interpretations of old hits. In time her flame grew until it was a blazing fire, bringing her own natural style, personality, and original compositions to the fado music she makes and revealing herself in a more characteristic and genuine manner.


Mafalda Arnauth’s unique voice, and her unique style of fado, could not fail to captivate and seduce the recording industry. It was EMI, without doubt the label that represents the vast majority of the biggest names in the genre, which gave her the opportunity to make her first album.

"Mafalda Arnauth," her first record, came out in 1999. Thanks to the encouragement of her producer, João Gil, it contained many of her own compositions.

Almost immediately, the work became a commercial and critical success, earning Mafalda the “Blitz” Magazine Newcomer’s Prize at the age of 24. The following year she was nominated in the best singer category for SIC’s Globos de Ouro awards, and her popularity increased in line with her maturity.

Despite its enormous impact, Mafalda Arnauth’s debut album was only the corollary of the dozens of concerts that she had played all around the world. Nevertheless, it ended up being the push that was needed to give her performances their own, special character.

A year after the success of her first album, having returned to Portugal after a long tour playing on stages around the country and abroad, she finally gave her debut performance in Lisbon, the home of fado. This was in September 2000, and all the tickets for the difficult venue that is the great auditorium in the Belem Cultural Centre were sold out.

Completely won over, the public showered Mafalda Arnauth with the unrestrained applause of their joy and "made her" understand — if there were still any doubt — that what was to come would certainly have to be even greater and better. Such was the public’s demand, such was their will, and such was their hope.


As the saying has it, "poets never sleep, and neither does the creator;" and how true it is! In March 2001, Mafalda Arnauth returned to performing and released the second contribution to her discography: "Esta Voz Que Me Atravessa." [This Voice Passing Through Me]

Released simultaneously in Portugal and the Netherlands by EMI, the album, produced by Amélia Muge and José Martins, features Ricardo Rocha on the Portuguese guitar, José Elmiro Nunes on viola, and Paulo Paz on double bass.

A delightful follow-up to her first album, "Esta Voz Que Me Atravessa" was inspired by the poetry of Hélia Correia and the warm tunefulness of Fausto Bordalo Dias. Without doubt, the recording reveals the profound artistic growth undergone by the singer. Shortly afterwards, Mafalda became the first Portuguese artist to be internationally represented by Virgin Records.

In October 2001, she gave her second concert in Lisbon. One year after playing the Belem Cultural Centre, the artist was right at home in the imposing Culturgest music hall, which was sold out weeks before the show. That concert marked the beginning of yet another tour around various European capital cities.

Returning to Portugal an even richer and more mature artist, this time she played in the heart of the Northern region, in the ‘Unconquerable City’ of Porto. At the Porto Fado festival, an initiative sponsored by the São Bento da Vitória Monastery, Mafalda was the very embodiment of the theme “Fado, the New Generation”. Vastly exceeding even the most optimistic expectations, the artist added Porto to her list of conquests with a performance that conveyed almost as much mystery as fado is itself.


The year 2002 was an intense one for the singer. She gave a series of concerts almost without taking a break, the natural result of her growing fame and the growing receptiveness of the public towards the fado musical genre. Conferences and lectures took place everywhere and new values arose. It was at this juncture that Mafalda Arnauth’s new album began taking shape.

When she started work on her third album, "Encantamento" [Enchantment], the artist almost totally abandoned the fatalism, misfortune, and darkness normally associated with fado. Sadness became fuel to feed her hope; suffering became inspiration; difficulties became her strength and encouragement.

Precisely because of this, 2003 was an unforgettable year of joy. Mafalda Arnauth embraced the satisfaction of those who have found peace of mind, a peace that is possible only for those who have found what they have been seeking.

On stage, with the strength of a maturity born out of experience, certain changes were plain to see. With every performance, Mafalda Arnauth expressed her emotions in a way that was ever more visible, conscious, and uninhibited.

Her courage, enthusiasm, and love evolved, as did her awareness of the artist’s greatest obligation: to be totally generous with the public. Her repertoire became ever more varied, with her compositions always appearing at the pace required to meet the public’s constant need for renewal.


Since the release of her CD "Encantamento", Mafalda never stopped performing, playing almost 60 concerts in Portugal alone, and giving others in Italy (Rome, Stresa, Spilimbergo), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Belgium, France (Paris, Lyon), Greece, Macau, Sweden, Turkey, London and Spain.

Of all these performances, it was the one that she gave at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam that most clearly stood out, due to the significance and size of the concert and the fact that the venue is one of the most prestigious in Europe. Thanks to the enthusiastic response of the 2400 audience members, she experienced one of the most emotional and intense moments of her life.

On another level, Mafalda enjoys fondly recalling the week of concerts she gave in Greece at a nationally famous Jazz Club, where the ambience reminded her of the intimacy and cosiness of the Portuguese fado houses.

But the most impressive venue of all for Mafalda was, without doubt, the Royal Albert Hall. With its magnificent acoustics and exceptional architecture, it was quite a memorable performance...


2004 was a year that marked the beginning of a turning point in Mafalda Arnauth’s career. Leaving EMI was the result not so much of any disillusionment or displeasure with the label as it was the consequence of her taking a conscious and necessary step forward. However, their shared past, her prolific present, and her future, which, from her early days as a singer, was expected to be one of mutual collaboration and respect, gave rise to the release, in June 2005, of "Talvez se Chame Saudade" [Maybe It’s Called Missing You], "The Best of Mafalda Arnauth".

The release of that best-of collection, with which Mafalda Arnauth was actively involved, represented a new source of inspiration for the singer through the memories that it awakened in her. In particular, the compilation showed her the extent to which she had grown as an artist, and ended up serving almost as a kind of map of all the steps she had taken to reach that point; the joyous sharing of all the songs and sensations she’d created with all the people that had worked with her; her struggle to overcome her insecurities and uncertainties; and the clear and irrefutable choice she’s made to pursue music, her true vocation.

This album is also a moment that has been eternally crystallized in time, a tribute to the fado music which is now an undeniable part of the singer, even on those songs where the horizons of tradition and experience are less clearly defined – since it is on those songs that her greatest reflections, her greatest struggles, and the sensation of working with something truly mysterious come out.


For October 2005, Mafalda Arnauth prepared a new album of original songs: a disc that covered the inspirations in her life and was forged by the influences of her relationships (friendships, loves, both joyous and sad, separations, disillusionments); her encounters with people that had affected her in some way; artistic references (Amália, Bethânia, Aznavour, Piazzola.); her personal path; her partnerships; and her philosophy of life, her attitude and vision, and her choices, doubts and concerns...

The new disc was therefore a synthesis of Mafalda Arnauth’s life at that time and all the experiences that had made her into the self that she reveals, almost completely, in “Diário.” [Diary] In creative terms, the diversity of the themes that comprise the recording gives it a dual and certainly a unique nature. It is an album that has a highly traditional side as well as a very modern one, aiming as it does to demystify the dark, heavy concept of fado.

Such was her audacity – that she could say, out loud, "the dark fado is going; away with the obstacles of fear".

And it is precisely this fado that Mafalda Arnauth is taking to the next level, taking it further, going beyond people, beyond far-off lands, even beyond herself. The first entries in her “Diary” were made in August 2005 before an audience of 2400 admirers in the stunning Concertgebouw concert hall in Amsterdam. In November 2005, the debut performance of ‘Diary – the Concert’ took place at the Belém Cultural Centre and began a long series of revelations that were shared on stage and totally given over to the overall idea behind the album and the fado artist’s life. The music, and the true stories it contains, came out completely on stage, fulfilling the idea of establishing an intimate connection with the public, a public that the artist has tried to represent in the most varied of ways, in her songs and in her expression, giving voice to the life of each of them in moments of pure emotion.

With this decisive album and concert, the artist put together one of the most significant musical groups of her career, bringing in Paulo Parreira on the Portuguese guitar, Luís Pontes on the classical guitar, Ricardo Cruz on the acoustic bass, and a special guest musician who had an unquestionable influence on Mafalda Arnauth’s basic development as a musician, Ramón Maschio, an Argentinian musician and composer. Over the course of 2005 they played on stages in Ceuti, Seville, Italy and the Azores.

The tour of the Benelux area, at the start of 2006, along with the release of her new album in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, established the theme that would come to characterize the whole of that year. Within a period of a few months, Mafalda Arnauth performed in Costa Rica, Angola, various parts of Spain, and Tenerife. She also participated in the concert that formed part of the Iberian-South American Summit, and gave various shows across Portugal, of which those in Porto and Beja stood out. It was also in this year that Magic Music took over the management of the artist, and thus a new phase in her career was definitively started.

In 2007, the “Diário” album came out in Spain and France and was followed by tours of these countries. One of the most remarkable of these performances was the one she gave in Paris at the official launch concert for the disc at the Cité de la Musique, one of the most famous concert halls in Europe.

Also in 2007 the artist was invited to participate in a special show in homage to Piazzola, when she sang, for the first time, some of the greatest Argentinian tangos. Under the direction of Daniel Schvetz, and accompanied by Ramón Maschio on classical guitar, Damien on double bass, and Ariel on the bandoneon, "Adiós Nonino" [Goodbye, Nonino], "Balada para un loco" [Ballad for a Madman] and "Naranjo en flor" [Orange in Bloom] were just a few of the tunes performed exclusively on that particularly emotional night.


It was during this period that the "Flor de Fado" [Flower of Fado] concert began to take shape. The more particular nature of this artist, who feels ever more fadista in her soul and musical in her voice, on the stage, and on her journey. It is not a typical “live album”, as its connection with a live performance might lead one to expect, but rather a “living album”, the continuation and complement of her concerts, through which she intentionally seeks to invite the public to get to know the various aspects of a single idea, a single intention. And the human warmth that emerged so clearly in “Diário” can be found, in its absolute form, in this Flower of Fado...


The "Flor de Fado" album was recorded in the first quarter of 2008, and the decision to highlight the sound of the classical guitar on the album particularly emphasized Luís Pontes’s collaboration on songs written by him, arrangements for these and other songs, and his involvement in the composition and final mix alongside Ramón Maschio, a composer and arranger who also dedicated himself to working on a large portion of the tracks on the album. The group responsible for developing the project was joined by Fernando Judice, on the acoustic bass, who contributed not only his vast experience as a musician and producer on many other projects, but also the crucial vision of someone who, both in fado as a whole and on this project in particular, attempts to seek out new horizons, with the generosity needed to discover and add to them. The Pé de vento studio, and the man responsible for running it, the technician Fernando Nunes, became determining factors in the success of this album, which they managed to put toget
her in an ambience of immense satisfaction, friendship, and great professionalism.

Also invited to form part of this select group were the young Ângelo Freire on the Portuguese guitar, and Davide Zaccaria on violoncello. Furthermore, in a unique pairing, there is a song by Olivia Byington that is set to the poetry of Tiago Torres da Silva and interpreted by the two singers in a perfect spirit of togetherness. "Entre a voz e o oceano" [Between the Voice and the Sea] shows in an intentionally simple way the pleasure that can come from the coupling of a good poem, a guitar, and little more than a “good groove” and a desire to make music together.

In addition to the creations of the fadista, who once again reinvented herself on a number of tracks on the album, special mention is also due to Tiago Torres da Silva, a poet and primarily a lyricist, with his ever more inspired and profound vision of the Portuguese soul and his unrivalled ability to create words that beg to be sung. Also worthy of note is Mafalda Arnauth’s debut performance of a song by Ernesto Leite, set to the poetry of Tiago Torres da Silva, namely "O mar fala de ti” [Perhaps There…], one of the emotional and vibrant pearls to be found on this disc.

There was also room to include versions of "Tinta verde" [Green Ink] by Vitorino, "Flor de Verde Pinho” [Flower of the Green Pine] by Manuel Alegre and José Niza, and "Povo que lavas no rio" [ People Washing in the River], by Pedro Homem de Mello, to the music of the fado Vitória.

"Flor de Fado" was released in 2008. The theme of the album, according to quotations from the artist herself that were inspired by Eugénio de Andrade, is love. “É urgente o Amor!" [Love is Urgent!], as the great poet put it so well.


While in the process of creating her album, Mafalda Arnauth also continued to work on various other projects in which she has been invited to participate. Singer of the theme song of the remake of the first Portuguese soap opera, "Vila Faia", she also has a new song coming out on its soundtrack, "Amor abre a janela," [Love Opens the Window] by Tiago Torres da Silva and Luís Pontes.

She was also invited to participate on a project initiated by the Basque musician Kepa Junquera, singing traditional Basque songs in their original versions.

Her performing schedule remained just as intense as ever, and included significant dates such as a concert at the Bozar, in Belgium; her return to the Concertgebow in the Netherlands, followed by another show in the Hague; three concerts in Italy following the release of the “Diário” album in that country, including an especially important concert in Rome, in one of the country’s most prestigious concert halls; and finally, a trip to São Paulo for her debut performance at one of the most emblematic concert halls in the country: the Bar Baretto, where some of the biggest names in Brazilian popular music have performed.

As part of the fado festival that took place in June in Lisbon, Mafalda Arnauth played a debut concert entitled "Clássicos, Standards e Raros" [Classics, Standards, and Rare Pieces], which saw the artist performing some of the best-known songs in fado as well as a few unreleased numbers that primarily show the influence of fado on composers working in other areas, as well as her vision of that musical universe which is as unique as it is fascinating for the world at large.

Having got off to the best possible start, 2008 clearly looked to be a year full of many and significant events in the musical journey of an artist who continued to see her unique life as a rare blessing, and to find in that blessing the best possible reason, if any reasons were needed, to keep on going.

In August, Mafalda Arnauth performed with Pablo Milanés in SOS del Rey Católico, sharing the stage with the renowned Cuban singer in a rendition of one of his most famous songs, “Para Vivir”.

In a year marked by meetings with other artists, she and the Galician group Milladoiro celebrated music’s ability to cross borders in the best possible way. Featuring as a guest artist on the band’s “Quinta das Lágrimas” album, Mafalda Arnauth subsequently participated in several concerts with the band, further strengthening her ties with Spain.


In late September, the album “Flor de Fado” was released, an event celebrated with a live performance in October at the main auditorium of the Belém Cultural Centre. It was a moment of pure celebration and an indescribable reunion with her audience.

Throughout the rest of 2008, in addition to undertaking a busy promotional schedule for the album “Flor de Fado”, and playing several concerts in Portugal, she also managed to participate in the Atlantic Waves Festival in London and make a special appearance in a concert in honour of Totoio Cotunho, the great virtuoso of the Canarian timple.

2009 begun auspiciously: she participated in one of Italy’s most famous TV shows and her work was recognised by the Italian press. The year will culminate in the release of her latest album in Italy.

In April 2009, “Flor de Fado” was also released in France with a live performance at Les Trois Baudets, a venue where many great French musicians have made their debut.

There was also time for a small tour of Finland, which confirmed, in case there was any doubt, that Fado is enjoying special moments right now and that Mafalda Arnauth is able to discover new places and reach new audiences.

The “Clássicos, Standards e Raridades” [Classics, Standards, and Rare Pieces] concert performed at São Jorge Castle in 2008 represents the main focus of her career in the near future. Mafalda Arnauth has often stressed the importance of creativity and the need to create and share with the audience. But she also believes that we sometimes need to go back to our roots, to the essence that is within the Fado singer that enjoys composing. Mafalda Arnauth is always inspired by her creative spirit, and always has something unique to convey to her audience. In 2010, she will revisit the fado that surrounds her, the music which she increasingly feels to be her musical heritage, and from which she draws her inspiration.


2010 is the perfect year for the release of Mafalda Arnauth new wok, a celebration of her heritage. Fadas, the new album, is a creative and uniquely personal re-encounter with the fado that has always accompanied her, the fado that she increasingly clains as as inspiration, the fado to which she needs to return to draw her inspiration.

On the subject of her new album, scheduled to be released by Polydor/Universal Music Portugal on October 11, Mafalda says the following: “On Fadas I have chosen to sing some of the voices of these unique women, all of whom were key influences on my evolution and development as a fado singer, both the ones I had the privilege of meeting and those whom I didn’t. Amália Rodrigues, Hermínia Silva, Fernanda Baptista, Celeste Rodrigues and Beatriz da Conceição are just some of the artistic references I was able to evoke on this album. They are accompanied by some of the first songs I ever performed: Saudades da Júlia Menes, Tendinha, Madragoa, Hortelã Mourisca, Antigamente, without exactly knowing ‘what led me to what’: wheather the fados imbued with history, memories and longing led me to their voices, or the voices filled with heart, soul, and life led me to the fados.” With all this plus an astonishing version of an Astor Piazolla song, with lyrics by Eládia Blasquez, and other surprises, Fadas is definitely one
of the most keenly awaited albums of the year.

Mafalda Arnauth was one of the guests for the tribute concerts to Celeste Rodrigues and to Malangatana Ngwenya, conducted in Lisbon. She also participated in many solidarity shows, especially in the beginning of 2011 – the singer is always embracing the causes she believes.

After several TV shows and presentations all over the country, the album "Fadas" was released in Italy in April 2011, with three more live shows.

France, United Kingdom, Finland, Morocco and Spain are the destinations that follow, interspersed with moments that prove that Fado happens in the most unexpected places, striking, as well as participation as special guest in shows with Marco Rodrigues, Rui de Luna, Anjos and Corvos, the return to the "Festa do Fado" and the performance in "Allgarve 2011" with SHOUT! to show a completely new and memorable concert.

In order to improve the quality of her professional experience, Mafalda Arnauth announced, by this time, a new partnership with Associated Prrodutores Associados, which certainly represents a new cycle.

And, in late November, there were finally news of a greater glory for Fado: lift to Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Having always been firmly convinced of the feasibility and validity of this distinction, Mafalda Arnauth celebrated this moment with all those who took part and she integrated all the manifestations of pride and contentment. She participated in the Gala - Fado Heritage of Humanity at the Lisbon Coliseum.

From the meeting of Mafalda Arnauth with Argentine musician Ramón Maschio happened the story of a unique friendship that was made of Complicity and Music and which iwa going to be experienced on stage. A "first test" in Granada with Mafalda Arnauth, Ramón Maschio and the young pianist Hélder Godinho, invited to complete this special trio, the prospect for 2012 was one of the most exciting moments of Mafalda Arnauth career.

In 2012 the album "Fadas" was released in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile with distribution from Sony Music. The Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires received the "Positive Fadista" as a journalist from one of the most important newspapers in Argentina, “La Nacion”, called Mafalda Arnauth.

"Fadas" was also time for duets: Marco Rodrigues, José Antonio Rodríguez, Per7ume, Rui de Luna and Juan Carlos Cambas were some of the musicians with whom Mafalda Arnauth intersected at this point in her career.


In 2013, with the project "Pessoa" by Fernando Lameirinhas, Mafalda Arnauth joins with the musicians Eric Vloeimans, Juan Pablo and Michael Vatcher Doba a major tour through Netherlands and Belgium, dedicated to the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.

Translated by:
João Vilhena – Kennlstranslations SA
Bruno Magina – Mafaldarnauth Management

© 2013 MafaldArnauth Management
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