Leonardo Pastore

Real name: Pastore, Leonardo
Singer and guitarist
(27 September 1972 - )
Place of birth:
Lanús (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

e was born in Lanús, in the southern area of the surrounding urban cities, a few miles from the city of Buenos Aires.

It was in the beginning of the 90s, the Teatro Municipal Gregorio de Laferrere in the city of Morón was ready to offer one more tango Thursday of a season that lasted one year and a half. I don’t remember the reason why the singer Héctor De Rosas was unable to use his dressing room a few minutes before the performance. As I was responsible for those appearances, I invited him to come to my place, a few blocks from there, so that he would be able to get dressed and wear his tuxedo. He was accompanied by a boy and he later told me the boy had just finished his military service and was one of his singing students with good possibilities for the future.

Of course, I replied that I would include him also in the show. Héctor told me he would not like to be the one in charge of the finale. The show was intended to last two hours. Firstly, some singers with little professional experience would appear, and later a dancing couple, a piano soloist or a guitar and bandoneon duet or something I would think that might be interesting for the audience. Finally, a couple of strong figures. It was customary that the one preceding the final number had not to be one that would give rise to a standing ovation. Then, after piano and singing by Héctor and before the finale, which was for showcasing Jorge Casal, I announced the debutant Leonardo Pastore with his guitar.

He finished the first and only number we have planned for his appearance but it happened something unexpected. The audience stood up to applaud him with great enthusiasm and began to ask him to sing other tangos. When he was singing the third one –finally they were seven- I went down running towards the dressing room. Standing up, leaning on a wall and smoking a cigar, Jorge Casal was waiting. I told him about the situation and he nearly apologized for that. Such was his gentleness, always hidden behind a mask of seriousness, in fact, of a profound shyness. So was Casal, and that’s how I came to know Leonardo.

I announced him a couple of times more. One of them at the Café Tortoni, in an event as homage to Ignacio Corsini. Then he sang a Homero Manzi’s milonga to honor the guest artist Nelly Omar. He was present at my fiftieth birthday and then, for a long time, I lost his track.

When talking recently (November 2013), I asked him about his influences: «I know all what was published about Gardel and also his discography. Gardel impressed me very early. When I was eight years old I used to comb my hair with gel and place myself with guitar in hand in the living room of my house and used to begin with: “Arrabal, arrabal amargo que me has clavado en la cruz!” and then I sang the tango. He was the first, then came Charlo. I have taken much of his musicianship, of his handling of mezza voce. A thousand times I listened to a lacquer disc with a tango he recorded in 1937, “Viejas alegrías”. He ends it almost with a moan which slowly dies down. I learnt a lot».

«There is a story about Charlo. I was sixteen and with my Dad we had gone to visit an aunt. A friend of hers who was also Charlo’s was visiting her. Later they asked me to sing and as I had carried my guitar I sang several numbers of his. The man was enthusiastic, he took the phone and called the singer. Listen, he told him. And I had to sing again. After that Charlo told my father on the phone: “My friend, don’t waste time, make him study”. Finally, my aunt’s friend caught the phone again and told him: “Easy, Carlos, don’t feel thrilled, you see, people still remember you”. I have always liked the singers and poets from the 20s to the 50s».

The journalist Víctor Hugo Morales produced his first disc. So in 2001 Viejos tiempos was released. It was at a time when Leonardo was —very busy studying— switching to operatic singing as tenor. As music lover, knowing where to go, his attention was directed towards Tito Schipa, Beniamino Gigli, also Juan Arvizu, José Mojica, Alfonso Ortiz Tirado and so many others.

So his songbook came to include seven hundred pieces. With them he was able to color his appearances at the Café Tortoni. Also at the Café de los Angelitos, at theaters and neighborhood salons. In 1997 he had an offer to make a tour of cities in Japan, some of them where tango was not the main attraction, so he had to turn to modern beats and Neapolitan songs that are always welcome as well as several songs belonging to the repertoire of Atahualpa Yupanqui, Eduardo Falú and Ariel Ramírez.

At age fifteen he began his singing lessons with Héctor De Rosas, and thereafter with the renowned soprano singer Nilda Hoffmann. He focused on the knowledge of the most famous operas. His appearances were successful, he made recitals devoted to numbers of Francesco Paolo Tosti (Italian composer, 1846-1916) and Carlos Guastavino (Argentine composer, 1912-2000) with special arrangements by the pianist and composer Estela Ojeda. He also turned to the repertoires of Alfredo Krauss (Spanish operatic tenor singer, 1927-1999), Teresa Berganza (Spanish mezzosoprano singer born in 1935) and Imperio Argentina.

Along with the Coral Vox Spei and the Orquesta de Instrumentos Andinos, conducted by Edelmira Lobato, he appeared at several venues singing the part of the soloist tenor singer in Ariel Ramírez’s La Misa Criolla and Navidad nuestra. Two great Argentine repertoire specialists, like Dante Ranieri and Susana Cardonnet, prepared his roles.

In 2006 his operatic debut took place with La traviata impersonating Alfredo Germont. The following year he had the role of the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermour. In 2008 he sang in the role of Rodolfo en La Bohème (in two different versions) and in Tosca he is Mario Cavadarossi and he is Fritz Kobus in L'amico Fritz. En 2009, at the Teatro Argentino of La Plata, he appeared in Lucia and in Rigoletto. In 2010, at the Teatro Avenida, he was Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore under the direction of Dante Ranieri (this rendition was the first opera recorded in 3D in the world). Also he was showcased in Un giorno di Regno at the Teatro Del Globo and The Tales of Hoffmann at the Teatro Roma.

In 2012 he was summoned by José Carli, arranger and conductor of the first concert in Argentina of Gardel Sinfónico along with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Salta. And in 2013 his second disc Recordándote, dedicated to the Uruguayan Alfredo Zitarrosa, was released and presented at the Teatro ND Ateneo. He also appeared at the Sala Zitarrosa in Montevideo, with charts by the pianist Hernán Malagoli, where he evidences his capacity to combine being a popular artist and a schooled singer.

He visited our provinces and different countries of South America. In some of his appearances as soloist he teams up with his wife María Cecilia as a duo and also with Marcelo, his twin brother. Leonardo keeps on singing tangos but cannot do it as before. Today he is a superb operatic tenor singer.