Ricardo García Blaya

oday female singers very seldom catch me, especially when they come from other genres. I came to know Julia at the Academia Nacional del Tango when she was honored as Académica of the intermediate generation. I have to admit that I had some prejudices about her, not only because of her eclectic style but also due to her repertoire —I think— too Piazzolla-influenced.

With the same sincerity, I have to confess that I enjoyed what she said about her new academic position but, even more, when she started singing.

Even though she performed pieces of her customary songbook I was able to ponder her warm voice that is also strong but that has no need of shouting or grandiloquent gimmicks. I thought she was an unbearably intellectual girl but I found a nice girl of the neighborhood of La Paternal with enough experience to sing tango well. In other words, it was a pleasant surprise.

When I read her biography in her Internet page I knew that she cut her first recording, Vital, in 1983. Also that she won the Prensario award as revelation and that she has recorded over ten discs as soloist and many more as co-protagonist.

She appeared alongside great stars: Mercedes Sosa, Raúl Lavié, León Gieco, Teresa Parodi, José Ángel Trelles, Jairo, Chico Novarro, Juan Carlos Baglietto, among others.

I think that it was in 1997 when she made a great leap in her career when she was summoned for the recording in Austria of the Ástor Piazzolla’s and Horacio Ferrer’s Operita María De Buenos Aires, with the virtuoso violinist Gidon Kremer.

Since then she has traveled throughout the world carrying the tango music. She appeared in Japan on three different occasions. The first one with Lito Vitale and Daniel García. The second with Gidon Kremer and the last one with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, another great of chamber music.

She toured exotic countries for tango: Turkey, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Canada, Holland where she appeared to great acclaim and had a warm welcome by the public.

Between 2005 and 2006 she was starred again in María De Buenos Aires, at the Komische Oper of Berlin. She appeared in Norway along with great European players and with the Oslo Chamber Orchestra she made recitals in the Norwegian capital, Athens and Berlin.

Furthermore she is an actress. She studied with Agustín Alezzo, Augusto Fernández and Luis Agustoni. She was starred in several musicals: Sin Compasión, with Raúl Lavié; El Show De Las Divorciadas, with different casts; Zorba, Tthe Greek, with Lavié and direction by Helena Tritek; Amanecí Y Tú No Estabas, along with María José Gabin, with direction by Alicia Zanca; Orestes, Último Tango by Betty Gambartes and Diego Vila which was staged in Holland.

On television she appeared at the serial Gran Hotel Casino, with Juan Carlos Mesa and a program for children with texts and songs by María Elena Walsh, Los Requetepillos, directed by María Herminia Avellaneda along with Carola Reyna, Claudio Gallardou, Claudio Da Passano, Rita Terranova and others.

In 2008 she again performed María De Buenos Aires, at the Teatro Nacional Cervantes along with Horacio Ferrer and Guillermo Fernández under the direction of Marcelo Lombardero, choreography by Oscar Araiz and musical direction by Pepe Carli and Néstor Marconi, which I had the chance to see.

She won Konex, Ace, Festbuga (Colombia), Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and also numerous recognitions for her contribution in events against discrimination and for the defense of human rights.

In her album Vida mía, with arrangements by Sonia Possetti, her daughters Laura González and Elis García are guest artists. In July 2009 her disc with charts by Daniel García Julia Zenko canta a María Elena Walsh was released.

Anyhow, this woman is a character that with her voice expresses from the tropical breeze of Elis Regina to the melancholic poetry of Ferrer or of the unforgettable Eladia Blázquez.