Viviana Vigil

Real name: Vigil, Viviana
(20 December 1959 - 16 May 2017)
Place of birth:
San Antonio de Areco (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Federico García Blaya

he began her career when she was still a child, in San Antonio de Areco, her home town. In her beginnings she sang folk music; in 1975 she won the contest organized by «Argentinísima» and recorded her first single disc.

In 1981 she was awarded the prize Consagración (Consecration) at the Folk Music National Festival in Cosquín (Córdoba) and released an album for the Microfón label with zambas, huellas, waltzes, which included the tango “Cantando” and the milonga “De Buenos Aires morena”. This record was re-issued under the title No llores por mí Argentina (Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina), with the addition of the title song and the milonga “Adónde se irán mis penas”.

The recording of “No llores por mí Argentina” was a boom, and was one of the most aired pieces of the time, what allowed her to make a tour which started in Córdoba, Mendoza, Tucumán, and continued for the remaining northern area and later throughout the country. In 1989 she turned out winner of the XII Festival Nacional e Internacional de Intérpretes de la Canción de Buga (Colombia), by singing that tune.

Little by little she was turning to tango and joined the Mariano Mores orchestra. She accompanied that group on the tour of Japan in 1984. That experience was very important to gain confidence as singer in the genre, to get experience, to learn alongside a leader with a long career and to appear before an expert and demanding audience. About that, she said: «There is not a myth when people talk about the Japanese’s passion for tango. Furthermore, they asked me about composers and artists that sometimes not even the Argentines know or remember». She stayed for nearly nine years alongside the composer of “Uno”.

About Mores she used to say: «With Mores you have to sing or sing. It’s a challenge to be by his side. I never was with a musician who knew so exactly what he wanted from a singer like he did. He’s perfection: he really is one of the few maestros».

For seven years (2000-2007) she appeared with the Ballet Argentino, the company led by the dancer Julio Bocca, in the show Bocca Tango. With that company she made tours of the country, America and Europe, and was teammate of several tango artists like: Guillermo Fernández, Pablo Mainetti, Pablo Agri, Hernán Possetti, under the musical direction of Julián Vat. Closing this stage, she appeared at the Julio Bocca’s farewell performance, at a show with free admittance before a crowd in the vicinity of the Obelisk in the city of Buenos Aires.

Every time she came back to our country she appeared in Buenos Aires, tango venues in San Telmo, music programs on television and wherever she was requested. She also took part in appearances with orchestras like the ones led by Orlando Trípodi, Color Tango and she was member of the Forever Tango company, fronted by Luis Bravo, with which she made several tours.

The Melopea label released, in 1999, Tango, her album as soloist in which she devotes herself entirely to the genre. The personnel of the recording included: Mariano Mores, Antonio Agri, Walter Ríos, Horacio Ferrer, Nicolás Ledesma and Lito Vitale. «No one wanted to collect a cent for that job. And that, especially at this time, is much rewarding», she used to say. The group which backed her was lined up by Oscar Laiguera (piano, arrangements and direction), Ramón Maschio (guitar), Osvaldo Montes (bandoneon), Claudina Pugliese (electric bass).

With that album she premiered an unpublished tango by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer, “Poema en si mayor”, which has a special story which she tells us this way: «Piazzolla had composed that tango in February 1981, in Paris, and I found it by chance. The cellist José Bragato, after Piazzolla’ death, gave me some music pieces, and inside them I found the original poem by Ferrer that he had written for that tango and which had never been sung. I asked him permission to sing it and he said yes, naturally, but he re-wrote the lyrics entirely».

In 2004 the album of the Bocca Tango show was released. In it she sings several songs and she also launched her album as soloist Encontrarnos, accompanied by the guitarist Juanjo Domínguez. This album was nominated for the Premios Gardel 2005 in the category Best Album by a Female Tango Singer, although, loyal to her style, she also approaches songs of other genres.

In 2005 she presented the show Nuevas ilusiones, in which she expresses that wide repertoire she always liked, in which she includes the folk-rooted song, ballad and tango.

On many occasions she was invited to appear as soloist with the Orquesta Nacional de Música Argentina «Juan de Dios Filiberto», or with the Orquesta del Tango de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, with which she recorded a song, live at the 1º Festival SADAIC.

Her presence was frequent, either at the venues in Buenos Aires or in the many festivals held throughout the country. There not only did she delight with her clear, beautiful voice and with her eclectic songbook, but also she used to give workshops with which she brought her knowledge and experience about the musician’s job, proposals to search for new arrangements, sounds and tools in order to inform the public. Her last appearance was in 2016 at the Festival de Baradero (province of Buenos Aires).

For Viviana Vigil: «Tango is an unwaiverable passion. We can always go back to folk music, to some southern milongas, but tango is everything».