A BRAZILIAN singer will be inspired by the memory of her recently-departed mother in next month’s Edinburgh Has Talent final.
Prestonpans care worker Ana Filogonio – originally from Belo Horizonte in south-east Brazil – said she was overjoyed to discover she had been shortlisted to appear at the Festival Theatre bash.
Now preparing a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone from hit 1945 musical Carousel, the 44-year-old said her mother’s strength and determination would help her in the run-up to the final on November 1.
She said: “I lost my mum, Antonieta, in April because of health complications resulting from high blood pressure – she was just about to reach 90.
“She was everything to me and would tell me never to give up anything I really wanted to do.
“She loved it when I sang and I’ll be offering the concert for her, honestly. She’s been my inspiration in everything.”
Ana said music had been a big part of her life since she joined a choir in her native Brazil at the age of 13.
She met her husband, Tulio, 52, in another Brazilian choir around 20 years ago before marrying and moving with him to Scotland in August 2001.
The couple decided to make the move after Tulio fell in love with Edinburgh while studying English in the city in the summer of 1998.
Now a member of St Gabriel’s Church choir in Prestonpans, Ana said she had also taken inspiration from some of the biggest names in pop and opera for her performance at the EHT final.
“I’m a big fan of Shirley Bassey,” she said. “She had a tough life and her onstage presence is just unbelievable. I love Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as well, and Andrea Bocelli.
“Singing on stage will be a bit of a change for me. Back home, I had vocal training but to be a soloist is something else – I have never been the first soloist. I was always the back-up.”
A mother to eight-year-old twins Daniel and Aidee, Ana was quick to praise the support she and her family have received from friends and neighbours in their adopted homeland.
“A friend of mine said to me recently, ‘just go for it – you have nothing to lose, just go and share it with everybody’,” she said.
“People here have been just fantastic. It’s a beautiful place.
“My children speak Portuguese but they are Scottish. I want them to grow up here.”
Tulio backed his wife to go all the way at next month’s final and said her success in making it to the final meant everything to the family.
“I do believe she has a chance,” he said. “She’s a very strong competitor.
“When she sings, she has the charisma to get the lyrics right into your heart.”