Ricardo García Blaya

wner of a strong voice with a baritone register, he is, possibly, at the present time, the most sought-after singer in the Buenos Aires scenarios.

I should admit that his style doesn't coincide exactly with my taste, he indulges in some techniques for effects and, at times, he has a tendency to the ballad style, to slow down the lyrics. I am more inclined to the mezza voce of the singer of the 40s who refrained himself from showing off his vocal power even though he had enough lungs and was respectful for the musical rhythm of tango. But he has a good intonation, a good diction and charisma.

Not long ago, at the time of the opening of the Casa Museo Carlos Gardel, in the neighborhood of El Abasto, I heard him accompanied by the Guitarras Argentinas, led by Carlos Peralta and he seemed to me he was another singer. On that occasion he sang several pieces of the Gardelian repertoire and he did it very well, with a tango beat, with neither pauses nor stridences and it won the applause of a demanding audience.

The same thing happens when I listen to his early recordings with the Héctor Varela's orchestra in 1957 on which the young Lavié expresses a vocal and interpretive rendition quite suitable with the genre.

With maestro Varela he recorded three numbers for the Columbia company, the first two on July 2nd that year: the waltz “Señora princesa” and the tango “Y no me digas que no”, written by Varela and Carlos Waiss. The last one was cut on September 12: “Te creía como todas” with music and lyrics by Ángel Cabral.

But before, revising his career and just arrived from his native Rosario, he had already appeared on Radio Belgrano and Radio El Mundo to great acclaim.

In 1959 when he split with Varela he teamed up with the other former singer of the orchestra: Rodolfo Lesica. That same year he was summoned by Héctor Stamponi and he returned to the recording studios of the Philips company.

But his relationship with tango was interrupted. The inventor of the Club del Clan, the Ecuadorian Ricardo Mejía —director of the Victor record company —hired him for that television fashion and so he began as soloist of varied rhythms.

Overnight this boy from Rosario began to experience success alongside others like him in the beginnings of a time when rock was unstoppable in its influence on the young and against tango.

The new names soon become well-known: Palito Ortega, Lalo Fransen, Johny Tedesco, Nicky Jones, Violeta Rivas, among others. Furthermore to complete the rhythmic universe, there was a traditional tango singer: Raúl Cobián, aka Tanguito. The 60s were, surely, the most difficult years for our city music.

However, in 1963, tango returned to our singer's life and no less than through Ángel D'Agostino. With the latter he had the privilege of cutting the last two recordings of the leader in the RCA-Victor studios: the tangos “Mi chiquita”, written by D'Agostino and Cadícamo and “Yo te canto Buenos Aires”, by Héctor Varela and Carlos Waiss. He also appeared on television, where he sang with the accompaniments of the maestros Horacio Salgán and Osvaldo Fresedo, successively.

Some years later, he began his work as actor making his debut at the Comedia Nacional, in the Gregorio de Laferrere's play: Locos de verano and, in 1967, he traveled to Mexico and he was hired to appear on television. He was in theater plays alongside Libertad Lamarque and he performed in the best locals of the Aztec night.

After two long years, he returned to Buenos Aires and since then, an uninterrupted series of theatrical performances, and recitals took place and, also, his rentrée in the movies. Let us remember that he was already starred in four musical movies, aimed for the young and with scarce artistic value, all related with the Club del Clan and other pastiches.

Between 1964 and 1989, he appeared in 17 movies, of which we highlight Un guapo del 900, directed by Lautaro Murúa (1971) and the two by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson that allowed him to be awarded as the revelation of the year: Boquitas pintadas (1974) and El Pibe Cabeza (1975).

Among the many musicals that starred him, we should mention: The Man from La Mancha, based on Cervantes' book, Gotán by Julio Tahier, De Borges a Piazzolla, along with the dancer Juan Carlos Copes. All them were great cashbox hits. And internationally, his participation as one of the main stars of the show Tango Argentino —the great boom by the choreographers Claudio Segovia and Héctor Orezolli— that was a turning point in the diffusion of the genre in the most famous stages in the world since its creation in Paris in 1985.

In 1999 he made a tour of the United States, as main character of the opera María de Buenos Aires written by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer, and directed by the brilliant Latvian violinist, Gidon Kremer. In November of that year he joined again the cast of Tango Argentino to appear in Broadway, New York.

In the recording field he recorded with very good musicians. Besides the recordings already mentioned with the orchestras led by Héctor Varela, Héctor Stamponi and Ángel D'Agostino, he also recorded with the outfit led by the guitarist Cacho Tirao, the group of the bandoneonist Walter Ríos, the Osvaldo Piro's orchestra and the one led by the pianist Juan Carlos Cirigliano, his friend and musical partner.