With regard to the life and music of Cristina Branco (b.1972, Almeirim, Portugal), one might say – as in the lyric by Amália Rodrigues – she lives and breathes fado. It was a serendipitous circumstance that brought fado into her life. “It started as a kind of game, in an evening of songs amongst friends,” she likes to recall. Up until her adolescence, nothing indicated she might be a fado singer. At that time, Cristina was more drawn to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell than she was to Amália Rodrigues. Her intention was to practice the “art” of journalism. Perhaps for that reason, words have always been given careful attention in everything she does. Since the release of Cristina Branco Live in Holland (1997), she has produced 12 more albums. Idealist (2014) is a retrospective on her 17-year career. A singer of poets, including the greatest in Portugal (Camões, Pessoa, David Mourão-Ferreira, José Afonso…) and abroad (Paul Éluard, Léo Ferré, Alfonsina Storni, Slauerhoff), Cristina turns to fado as a representative of the poetic and literary heritage of Portugal.