Last night we took K. to Benaroya Hall for her birthday present, seeing Fado singer Mariza in concert. I have never been so mesmerized, thrilled, moved, inspired, and completely in awe of a performer in my life.
From the moment she walked out on stage (tall, willowy, graceful, lithe), the audience responded to her with an eruption of applause and cheers that delighted me–clearly we were in company with a packed house of Fado and Mariza aficionados.
Although she was self-deprecating about her command of English, she was quite fluent throughout the show and endearing from the beginning, saying in her deliberate way, “Thank you for inviting us. Thank you for receiving us.” She struck me as being uncommonly gracious. That in combination with her dramatic, passionate performance makes for a riveting stage presence. She makes masterful use of pauses, letting all sound and movement slowly die away, waiting, and coming back with an electrifying sound. Her range and timbre are the vocal essence of what it is to feel and to be human. And the sheer power of her voice (at one point, with microphone behind her back, she sang out to the back of the hall, over the applause) is simply amazing.