• Amalia Baraona

Portuguese around the world (Portugueses pelo Mundo)

Updated: May 7


In April 2010, 5 months after I moved to Croatia, I received an email from a production company inviting me to participate in a TV show broadcast by RTP 1, one of the national Portuguese television channels. Total surprise! Why? How? What for? A million questions and above all an uncontrollable excitement led me to saying yes and I had the time of my life! The show was called "Portugueses pelo Mundo" and became a huge success in my country. The concept was to show 5 to 7 stories of Portuguese living somewhere in the planet and my story was included in the 6th episode of series 1, in Zagreb. The main question was: what on earth could I talk about having been in Zagreb for 5 months only? Well, the answer was simple: music :)

Last night, while wasting life in front of the computer, I stumbled into an extract of the show and it instantly awakened my lethargic senses following 8 weeks of COVID quarantine!

10 years went by since the episode aired, and on the verge of turning 54, I couldn't have taken a better memory lane!

Dinko Stipaničev who appears in the 1st scene playing saxophone with "Billie and the Kids" and later at my place on double bass, married me 2 years after this episode was filmed (am I a lucky girl or what?!), later graduated as a classical double bass player and is now working at the orchestra at HRT (the national Croatian Radio Television).

Sanja Šantak, who says that "Croatian people love Amália", remains one of the sweetest people I ever met and is the person who actually introduced me to Dinko! I still regret that the production did not include the scenes shot in her house about the amazing animation work that she did with her husband...

Borko Rupena, the drummer who played with us, became a lifetime friend, continues drumming better than ever and opened KCM, one of the most emblematic cultural centers in Zagreb. THE place to be!

BP Club, the iconic jazz club where the first scene was filmed no longer exists. It closed down in 2011 following the death of Boško Petrović, an incredible Croatian vibraphonist.

Pedro Ribeiro Rodrigues, my dear friend and wonderful classical guitarist who played Bossa Nova with me in the duo Amália & Rodrigues graduated from the Music Academy, continues playing classical guitar, got married, moved to The Netherlands and recently became the father of a beautiful little girl.

Ricardo and Miguel, the crew who came to Zagreb to film this episode traveled all over the world filming other stories in other cities. They are now back in Portugal, continue creative as ever, and each one of them had kids.

And me? Well, I married the bass player (ex-guitar-saxophone-clarinet player), recorded 3 albums, continue singing as much as I can but not as much as I would like, moved to Skopje and later to Belgrade where I live now.

10 years brought new lives, broke some dreams, created others, redressed destinies and no COVID-19 will ever stop the beautiful wheel of life!



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