Ginamaría Hidalgo

Real name: Hidalgo Saucedo, Virginia Rosaura
(23 August 1927 - 10 February 2004)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

orn in our capital city, on 3900 Charcas Street in the neighborhood of Palermo, she was daughter of a Spaniard and a well-to-do Portuguese woman. She spent a large part of her childhood in a town of the province of Corrientes, Alvear, which was founded by one of her grandmothers.

After high school she graduated as schoolteacher but her likings since an early age had been music, singing, dancing and acting. Her vocation allowed her to get a scholarship to study in New York, at the Juilliard School of Music. The famous Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia heard her and was in charge of encouraging her art career and her development as singer and actress.

So she was appearing in popular TV shows in the United States. She took new studies with teachers that had taught notable operatic singers, studied dancing and acting and performed in different jobs. Her light soprano range, her perfect intonation and her technical excellence were appealing. She appeared in secondary roles in several movies and also she performed in some operas.

In the early 60s she returned to Argentina. Here she was displaying all what she had learnt and, time later, she made a large number of tours of Europe, Japan and of Latin American countries.

Our national cinema summoned her for small bit parts. She appeared in a season at the Teatro Argentino of the city of La Plata. She played the role of Violetta in La traviata and other important roles in The Tales of Hoffmann, Tosca, Don Pasquale and Don Giovanni.

She appeared at the then famous Michelangelo, at the Teatro Nacional (which fortunately is still working). She recorded around 30 long-playing records for the Sony and Microfón labels and had a season especially conceived for her on TV Channel 9, Las noches de Ginamaría, in which she showed a large part of her huge repertoire (420 numbers). She was awarded many prizes, among them, twice the Martín Fierro award.

She had a large number of followers that still keep that liking. There are people that admire her and keep a good memory of her, something that we evidence when we are zapping her songs uploaded in Youtube.

However, despite the success she achieved, she was not well regarded by all audiences and, even less, by music critics and those connoisseurs of the genre. Accurately, she was criticized by the hybridism of the musical genres which she turned to. She did not have or allow anyone who would guide her in her career or, simply, advise her.

Was she an operatic singer? Was she an actress that also sang? In a way she was eclectic, unknowingly, by digging all the genres but not anchoring on anyone and not making the choice for only the best. A critic commented about her high notes and her frequent very high notes that they spoiled and distorted the popular genres. When she sang Argentine folk songs this was more noticeable and many popular songs, even by Argentine authors, were intermingled with others of very irregular level.

Ginamaría had problems because of her impulsive temper, disagreements with colleagues and, as well, her sentimental failures after several marriages. She had a son and had other love affairs that did not end well, among them, one with Acho Manzi.

She did not stand out either as actress or dancer, and was not able to succeed a piacere in operatic music, her main hope, either. She was infatuated with her voice. In popular genres she impressed at the beginning to later disappoint. Her trick of humming, very pleasant or surprising as introduction, was not suitable in the middle of the song and, even less for some finale. It was just a will-’o-the-wisp.

She sang tango pieces, waltzes and songs belonging to the tango songbook, and this is the reason why she has a place in Todo Tango. Among them: “El último organito”, “La pulpera de Santa Lucía”, "Loca de amor (La loca de amor)", “Pedacito de cielo”, “Charcos del amanecer” —an absurdity by Homero Manzi which is not included in the book that Acho wrote about his father’s oeuvre—, “Bandoneón arrabalero”, “Y míreme al pasar compadre” (not the best poem by Hamlet Lima Quintana), “Mi Buenos Aires querido”, “El día que me quieras”, “Nostalgias”, “Volver”, “Soledad”, “La última curda”.

She wrote an autobiographical book. And as special information: a chance meeting with who was our beloved friend Héctor Lucci, who surprised her when he told her he had a record by a duet of two female singers known as Las Palomitas, which Gina had to make an effort to remember. It had been recorded in her teen years when she sang with her sister. He made her a copy of it and she honored her benefactor with a simple pleasant dinner at her apartment. This took place a couple of years prior to her death.

She died at the Clínica Adventista, in the neighborhood of Belgrano, where she had been taken in the early days of January 2004, for her rehabilitation after a stroke she had had but a cardiac decompensation took place and put an end to her life.