Frank falls for fado: Gehry to design Mariza's stage

Canadian architect Frank Gehry will designa taverna-inspired stage for Portuguese fado singer Mariza for her October performance in Los Angeles.

In an intriguing marriage of architecture and music, Frank Gehry says he will design a taverna-inspired stage for Portuguese singer Mariza.

"It's not going to be a Frank Gehry set. You won't recognize it," said the Canadian-born architect. "I want this to enhance and support [Mariza]."

The 78-year-old will be designing a special stage for Mariza's performance in October at Walt Disney Concert Hall— also a Gehry design— in Los Angeles.It's the last stop on her American tour.

"It's a very intimate setting and there is a dark ambience," said Mariza, currently on tour in the U.S. The fado singer hailed it as a "huge privilege" to have an architect of such stature designing her stage.

The twomet several years ago in Lisbon, where Gehry says he fell in love with fado. Fado is a type of Portuguese folk song marked by mournful lyrics, born in the working-class neighbourhoods of Portugal.

Mariza, born Mariza Reis Nunes, won BBC Radio 3's award for Best European Artist in World Music in 2003 and sang a duet with Sting on the official 2004 Olympic Games CD. She's performed at Massey Hall in Toronto, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Royal Festival Hall in London.

The 33-year-old singer's latest album is Concerto em Lisboa, released in 2006.

Gehry is known for his futuristic, soaring designs — many of which spark both criticism and awe.

The Pritzker Prize-winning designer created the titanium-clad Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Millennium Park in Chicago, and the American Center in Paris, as well as conceiving the renovation of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Always seeking a new challenge, Gehry has invented a line of jewelry, designed a winery in Spain, is on board to create the High Line Park in Lower Manhattan and is in the midst of designing two skyscrapers for downtown Los Angeles.

Gehry became a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2003.

With files from the Associated Press