You don’t have to understand the Portuguese lyrics Misia so dramatically sings to figure out that her ballads are brooding laments: Her deliberate cadence and doleful melodies could bring a tear to the eye of the perkiest cheerleader. Born Susana Aguiar, Misia sings fado, a genre whose name means fate. Once the plaints of downhearted sailors in bars and brothels, by the ’70s, fado had become an establishment genre favored by right-wing politicians. But in recent years, vocalists such as Misia have reclaimed the style for a wider audience. On Ritual, Misia—as is her style—alternately pays homage to traditional fado and then extends the form by adding lyrics commissioned from leading Portuguese novelists and poets. Accompanied by tasteful guitar strumming and the occasional piano, Misia uses her rawtimbred voice to capture the emotional pain life can bring. She performs at 7 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $20-$35. (202) 432-7328. (Steve Kiviat)

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