Brazilian Diva Bibi Ferreira, 94, Back in New York City

Brazilian actress and singer Bibi FerreiraI have known about the legendary Brazilian diva Bibi Ferreira for a very long time – she has a long history as a singer, producer, actress and director going from the 1940s to present.

She is still active in spite of being 94 years young – and gives no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

I did two interviews with her for The Brasilians over the past few years and was surprised not only by how articulate she was on the phone and also by her fantastic memory. She can remember details of shows she did generations ago as if she had walked out of stage five minutes ago.

Brazilian actress and singer Bibi Ferreira

I was even more amazed to hear her live at Alice Tully Hall – hard to believe is was her New York debut – and heard her sing an array of hard tunes ranging from Verdi to Chico Buarque and Piaf – as if they were nothing.

And then there was Liza Minelli’s hilarious surprise appearance, when they shared the mike for a snippet of “Theme from New York, New York” – a tune made famous by Frank Sinatra, but actually introduced by Minelli (go ahead, Google it) in 1972.

On her current show Four Times Bibi, she pays tribute to fado queen Amalia Rodrigues, Piaf, tango legend Carlos Gardel and none other than our own Frank Sinatra.

An evening that will bring together various genres together in what promises to be nothing short of amazing, a show that is not to be missed.

Bibi Ferreira
Tuesday, Sept. 20 & 23
Symphony Space in New York City
8 PM

Ernest Barteldes is a freelance writer based on Staten Island, New York. He can be reached at ebarteldes@yahoo.com.

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