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The Portuguese Waltzes

The Mystery of the Portuguese Waltzes

April 2020 - Atlantic Voice on CBC



This documentary follows musician Richard Simas on his quest to find the origins of the Newfoundland folk tune known as “The Portuguese Waltzes.”


Richard’s quest takes him from small fishing villages in Northern Portugal, back to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Richard dreams of reuniting these two cultures and in the process hopes to reconnect with his own long-lost Portuguese identity. But this turns out to be much more complicated than he thought. 

Because like the 'The Portuguese Waltzes’ memories about this time are made up of many threads. Part fact and part legend, with differing accounts of where and by whom the song was created. Richard has to peel back the layers of memory and folklore to try and find the answer. 

At its core this piece is a meditation on memory and truth. Because the truth comes with many layers, and things are not always as they appear. 




Saudade (noun) 

The nostalgic longing for something or someone that was loved and then lost, with the knowledge that it or that may never return; “The love that remains” 

The Pear Tree

A documentary about a man, a pear tree, and the disappearance of small village in Cyprus. 


The story transports you between the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, to a rocky cliff in Newfoundland, Canada. Where a man is determined to coax life out of the inhospitable soil. 

It is about the the resilience of the immigrant spirit, and the true nature of home. 

The Atlantic Journalism Awards awarded Rebecca the Gold award in radio for the 2019 competition. 

The Pear Tree also came in second place in the 

24th Prix Marulic International Radio Drama Festival 

Documentary Category. 

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