Roberto Fontaina

Real name: Fontaina, Roberto Pablo
(3 January 1900 - 15 February 1963)
Place of birth:
Montevideo Uruguay
José Gobello

his poet and playwright was born and died in Montevideo, República Oriental del Uruguay.

In 1923, with Víctor Soliño, César Gallardo and others, he formed the so-called Troupe Jurídico Estudiantil Ateniense, that, as Horacio Ferrer says, «became one of the most successful numbers either in Uruguay or in Argentina».

Later he wrote for theater plays on both banks of the River Plate, and released a great number of tango lyrics, most of them impregnated with humor, sometimes acid, which were well accepted and widely spread. Some of them were composed in collaboration with Víctor Soliño, like for example: “Garufa” and “Niño bien”.

In his country he carried out activities as unionist and, for several periods, was president of AGADU (Authors Association of Uruguay).

Among his most renowned pieces are: “Mama yo quiero un novio”, which has two renditions well regarded by record collectors: the one by Alberto Vila, on September 2, 1928 and the one by Roberto Díaz, on December 17 of the same year; “Mi papito”, in collaboration with Soliño and music by David Estévez Martín, a curious composition humorously subtitled «intimate tango for piano», sung by Olinda Bozán and committed to record by Alberto Vila, on February 17, 1928; “Andate (No te vayas)”, in collaboration with Rodolfo Sciammarella, —who also composed the music—. It was recorded by Libertad Lamarque, among other artists, on May 16, 1933.

Other outstanding lyrics are those of the tangos: “Bigotito” and “Qué careta” in collaboration with Celedonio Flores, and “T.B.C.” with Soliño.