Fado De Goa

Sonia with her students

A joint initiative by Sonia Shirsat, Bagri Foundation and Deccan Heritage Foundation

The Fado de Goa initiative was launched by Sonia Shirsat and supported by the Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF) to help ensure that Fado’s future in Goa can be secured for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Sonia has performed around the world and educated over 200 Goan students in the genre over the past few years, as well as holding masterclasses on the history and theory of Fado. The first ever “Festa de Fado” sponsored by the DHF was held in 2018, featuring a masterclass by Sonia and a concert with performances by Sonia as well as students educated through the Fado de Goa initiative. The event was a resounding success, drawing a full house and was described by the Goa Times as “proof that the art form is seeing an unprecedented revival in the state”. 2019/20 is a particularly important period globally for fans of Fado as 2019 marks the 20th death anniversary of “Queen of Fado” Amalia Rodrigues and 2020 the centenary of her birth.

Over the course of 2019, Bagri Foundation and the DHF have continued the Fado de Goa project with Sonia Shirsat. An outreach programme of five sessions are held where attendees are given a brief introduction to the Fado and given the opportunity of joining a programme of ten study sessions. Over 188 participants took part in the initial five sessions, with over 434 students taking part in the ten lessons.

At the end of these lessons, Sonia selects the best 10-15 students, who will have mastered the singing of at least five Fados and learnt how to perform them on stage. All these singers will enter the Fado Competition organised by Semana de Cultura in October/November and Sonia will select from amongst these competitors, soloists to perform with her in their first concert in January 2020 at an historical venue in Panjim, Goa.

About Deccan Heritage Foundation

The DHF was co-founded by Mary Anne Cordeiro, who is of Goan origin with an ancestral home in Saligao and is passionate about her cultural heritage.

The DHF’s goals are to preserve, restore and promote the heritage of the Deccan region of India, and in particular its plethora of monuments, through conservation, cultural, and educational projects. A major part of our mission is bringing the Deccan’s rich heritage to a new generation of Indians as well as foreign visitors.


Sonia with graduating class
A student performing Fado
Study session
One-on-one tutorial with Anapurna and daughter