Alfredo Le Pera

Real name: Le Pera, Alfredo
Poet, lyricist, journalist, playwright and cinema script writer.
(7 June 1900 - 24 June 1935)
Place of birth:
San Pablo (São Paulo) Brazil
Orlando del Greco

e worked as theater critic on the daily paper El Telégrafo and other periodicals before being playwright, his first theater play was the revue titled La sorpresa del año (The surprise of the year), premiered on the stage of the Sarmiento Theatre on December 24, 1927 and which was written in collaboration with Humberto Cairo (Oriac). He later premiered Los modernos mandamientos (The modern commandments) written with Alberto Ballestero and D. Gainza; Melodías de arrabal, ¡Qué quieren los brasileños!, Piernas locas, rojas bocas, La vida se va en canciones, Está abierta la heladera, Ya están secando con Broadway, La plata de Bebé Torres, written with Pablo Suero and Manuel Sofovich; Opera en Jazz, Piernas de seda and Un directo al corazón which he wrote with Antonio De Bassi, Antonio Botta and Carlos Osorio; Gran circo político with Julio Filiberti Escobar and some other plays.

Settled in Paris in the late 1931, he went with the SarmientoTheater company, he devoted to cinema, an activity which drove him near Carlos Gardel to write the script of nearly all his movies: Melodía de arrabal, Espérame, La casa es seria, there in Paris; Cuesta abajo, El tango en Broadway, El día que me quieras, Tango Bar, in New York, and all the songs in them. So by the side of the great singer, he achieved the popularity which always makes his name be remembered like the former's.

Before starting the fatal tour which ended so unfortunately in Colombia, either Carlos Gardel as Alfredo Le Pera recorded their impressions about their movies, their songs and their future works for the new label who hired them in New York. Gardel said: «Dear friends of the Latin America, of my land and of my race; the Victor house wants me to announce my recent signing of a contract of exclusivity with it, and I do it very pleased because I know that our recordings will be more perfect each time and will find in you, friendly and interested listeners. I have just finished two new Paramount movies, El día que me quieras and Tango Bar, and I am going to start a tour which will include Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panamá, Cuba and Mexico. Later I will visit some other countries of our language, where I hope to have the pleasure to personally say hello to you. I am now at the Victor studios, in New York, recording the songs for El día que me quieras, a movie I love with all my heart and that I dedicate to the friends of Spain and of the Latin America. These songs, like those of Tango Bar, will be found by you on Victor discs, and now I give the microphone to my friend Le Pera, who is the author of my movies and of the lyrics of my songs».

For his part Le Pera said: «I congratulate Gardel and the Victor house for this agreement and as for myself, to the pleasure of seeing recorded my compositions on discs of magnificent quality, is added the satisfaction of knowing that I am interpreted by an artist of great talent as Gardel is». (Somebody said, and well: «Brothers in art and in death!»).

When did Gardel and Le Pera get acquainted? It was said it was in Paris because of a severe criticism to the singer made by the author. However, of great interest results what the actor Tomás Simari says about it, in his book ¡Mi historia la escribo yo!, page 51: «It was the year 1923. Finished my performance at a downtown theater, the always cheerful José Martínez, talked me into forming a company and appearing at his new summer theater, placed on Pasco street, between Cochabamba and San Juan streets. (...). I had hired for my administration an absorbed in thought and very intelligent young boy, who while filling the bordereaux, wrote little tango lyrics. His name? Alfredo Le Pera. At the top of her successful career, the female singer Azucena Maizani, who displayed her wide repertoire right there, accompanied me with the emotion of her personality. We performed El casamiento de Chichilo on an afternoon with a heavy rain, under a tin roof which hardly captured the echoes. Carlitos Gardel arrived and so he met the great boy Alfredo Le Pera at the Teatro de Verano. Had they been friends from before? I don’t think so. But the only true thing, is that they shook each other’s hands for the popular success, which only the pain at Medellín managed to break».

One of his early tangos “Carillón de La Merced”, which Enrique Santos Discépolo wrote in Santiago de Chile when he toured the country of the Pacific with a theater company around 1928 or 1929, deserved to be recorded by Gardel.

Le Pera was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and died in Medellín, Colombia.