Ada Falcón

Real name: Falcone, Aida Ada Elsa
(17 August 1905 - 4 January 2002)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

emale voices in tango sprang up almost at the same time. That happened in the twenties, between 1923 and 1930. They arrived and stayed forever.

Although other names appeared in the following years, to join these pioneers, none surpassed them.

Each one with her style and her own repertoire is still vivid in the recordings. Such are the cases of Azucena Maizani and Rosita Quiroga, who made their record debut in 1923, Mercedes Simone and Tita Merello in 1927 and Tania in 1930.

Ada Falcón belongs to that generation of forerunners of our tango, and started to record on July 15, 1925.

She was born downtown on August 17, 1905 and she was the youngest of three sisters, singers as well. Amanda, without major consequence, and Adhelma, who reached disc at least twice.

At a time, the singer said that she was natural child of a man with noble lineage of the Argentine society and, that in a lapsus of love, kidnapped her mother and she was the result of so daring behavior. So the story goes, but it is not confirmed.

But were it true or not, it turns out interesting in connection with the series of events that marked her later behavior. The influence of her mother was notorious, because she was who decided that her daughter would have an artistic destiny.

At five she publicly debuted as La Joyita Argentina (the little Argentine jewel). Before 1920 she was starred on a silent movie. All this activity prevented her from normally attending school so she had to receive instruction at her own house.

Later when she is in her splendor, success and public recognition fascinates her, behaving with the fancies typical of a diva of North American cinema. Men admire her beauty and sing eulogies to her green eyes. She flees from the contact with public, to such an extent that for her presentations on Radio El Mundo —already in the last stage of her career— she refuses to perform in the main studio and chooses the room F, of small dimensions and which is called «Falcón's room».

She drives a red convertible automobile, lives in a three- story house in the most residential area of the city, and displays jewels and furs. But her distractions start: long confinements at her mansion and she even comes to the curious situation of entering a church in Nueva Pompeya on her knees and to speak with the images in a loud voice.

In the late 1942, the eclosion comes, she definitively abandons artistic life, she retires and with her mother moves to a town in the province of Córdoba, both turned into Franciscan tertiaries.

Ada Falcón had a range that went from mezzosoprano to soprano in the high notes, a lightly deep-throated tone and a certain pretension of lyrical warbling which gave her a personal and unique style. All this was allied to her natural temper that put the emotion in the right place. Her singing was moving, of romantic fashion, with the feeling that she addressed to a lost love. In spite of the dark color of her voice, she was characterized by a wailing tone.

As we already said she arrived to record in 1925 accompanied by the maestro Osvaldo Fresedo's orchestra for the Victor label. She returned in 1929, for the Odeon label, after t5he approval of the pianist Enrique Delfino, who together with the guitarist Manuel Parada accompanied her in 14 numbers.

Finally she is accompanied by the fundamental man of her life, the director Francisco Canaro. They together recorded about 180 times, starting on July 24, 1929 when Ada Falcón sang the refrain of the tango “La morocha”, ending on September 28, 1938. In 1942, she recorded her last disc with two numbers, the tango “Corazón encadenado” and the waltz “Viviré con tu recuerdo” (both by Francisco Canaro and Ivo Pelay).

She had a long-lasting sentimental relationship with him. And two anecdotal events: the first portrays Canaro in front of a reality. The second, although it was not the detonator, at least it was a circumstance more for the final determination of Ada Falcón. A musician of his orchestra, a partial but meticulous biographer of Canaro, told me both stories.

Ada insisted on Canaro's separation so that he could marry her, and Canaro seemed to agree with this request, but before answering anything to the singer he asked his lawyer for advice about the characteristics of the proceeding and the financial consequence. The answer was obvious; half of his money would correspond to his wife. Canaro never thought of separation again.

The second anecdote took place during an interval of the rehearsal of the orchestra, when Ada was seated on Canaro's knees. All of a sudden the door of the room where they were was opened and La Francesa, nickname with which Canaro's wife was known appeared. She opened her handbag, drew a gun and furiously threatened Ada who went out running. A few days later the artistic separation of the singer with the orchestra took place.

During her career she was starred on the talkie Ídolos de la Radio, with the great singer Ignacio Corsini. It was premiered in October 1934. On that film the female singers Tita Merello and Dorita Davis also appear.

She was queer, conceited and haughty, but her beauty and her great artistic qualities make her one of the milestones of the female voices of our popular music.