Friday, 19 October 2012



Anabela Braz Pires (born September 22, 1976 in Almada) is a Portuguese singer and musical theatre actress, best known in Portugal by her first name, Anabela. For her album Nós which was released in 2010 Anabela covered the Portuguese entry of the ESC 1974 E depois do adeus.

Her career in music has spanned over two decades, and she is well known for representing Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest, her work as a solo recording artist and her work in musical theatre collaborating with producer Filipe La Féria. In a 2006 interview with Selecções do Reader's Digest, she joked that in the national consciousness, she went from being known as the Eurovision girl to the La Féria girl.

Anabela started singing professionally at the age of 8, participating in various children's festivals. In 1989, at age 12, she won the Grande Noite do Fado. That year she represented Portugal at the UNICEF Song Festival in the Netherlands where she received second place and won the Danny Kaye Award for Best Interpreter.

In 1991, she participated in the Sopot International Song Festival representing Portugal with the song Brother. From there, she released albums in 1991 and 1992.

In 1993 Anabela won Festival RTP da Canção with the song A cidade (até ser dia) In Millstreet, at the ESC, she came 10th with 60 points. The song was the lead single on her third album, also called A cidade, até ser dia.

Her fourth album, released in 1996, was called Primeiras Águas. That year she also participated in Filipe La Féria's children's musical Jasmim ou o Sonho do Cinema. In 1999, Anabela worked with La Féria again, starring in the musical Koko. She released another album that same year, heralded by HMV Japan as the new generation of fado, called Origens.

In 2000, she recorded four tracks with the Galician musician Carlos Núñez for his album Mayo Longo, and participated in the promotional tour, which lasted two and a half years and took her around the world. Returning to Portugal in 2002, she continued her association with La Féria, playing protagonist Eliza Doolittle in the Lisbon production of My Fair Lady.

In 2005, she released her first album in six years, which was an interpretation of poems called Aether. With the help of Carlos Maria Trindade, she interpreted the poems of Portuguese writers Florbela Espanca, Fernando Pessoa, Manuel Alegre and José Carlos Ary dos Santos. She also released a Spanish version of her album on Resistencia Records. In March 2006, she performed three special concerts in Spain and two in the Azores, performing some of the works on the Aether album.

In 2006, Anabela and popular singer Lúcia Moniz took turns playing the part of Maria von Trapp in Música no Coração, the Portuguese production of The Sound of Music at the Teatro Politeama in Lisbon. This was a continuation of Anabela's working relationship with La Féria, as he directed the production.

In December 2007 the show was taken on the road to Porto, where Anabela reprised her role at the Teatro Rivoli with Wanda Stuart. The musical celebrated its 500th show in Portugal, in April 2008, and finished its run on May 4, 2008.

Taking a break of less than a month, Anabela returned to the stage on May 30, 2008, at the Teatro Politeama, in Lisbon, working again with La Féria. She stepped into the role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Cristo Superstar, the Lisbon production of Jesus Christ Superstar, taking over the part from Sara Lima. For the entire month of August 2008, Anabela and the entire company performed the musical in Portimão, in the Algarve.

In November 2008, Anabela participated in La Féria's newest musical production, Amor Sem Barreiras, the Portuguese adaptation of West Side Story, at Lisbon's Politeama.

In addition to being a recording artist and stage actress, Anabela is also known for her voiceover work as a singing voice. For Disney she was the singing voices for Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the title character in Mulan and Rapunzel in Tangled. In addition to her Disney voices, she was the singing voice for Kayley in The Quest for Camelot for Warner Bros. and the singing voice for Miriam in The Prince of Egypt for DreamWorks.

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