Adhelma Falcón

Real name: Falcone, Mariana Elvira
(13 November 1903 - 2003)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Guadalupe Aballe

revious explanation. We know she was older than Ada and younger than Amanda, her other sister, but we have great doubts about the date of her birth mentioned above and, likewise, we know nothing about her death.

Owner of the vehemence and the exotic, mysterious beauty that characterized the Falcón sisters, this beautiful woman with eyes like votive lamps, with a suggestive mole on the left side of her face, of romantic personality and a voice with good timbre and rich tonalities, evidenced a style of her own and was capable of achieving a respectable place among the female singers of the thirties. She possessed an exquisite inner sensitivity and a great elegance and garb in her figure.

There is a belief that Adhelma would have appeared, already in 1919, in the silent movie El festín de los caranchos, with José Casamayor and her sister Ada Falcón. But we cannot be sure of it, but what we do know for certain is that she began singing thanks to the encouragement and insistence of Alma, her mother, who fostered her to start her career as singer. Curiously, she never sang before an audience.

She made her debut at the popular Hora Geniol on Radio Belgrano, when the radio station was on Estados Unidos Street. In November 1932, she had already reached a good reputation as singer and had been working hard since May. She had made a career quickly, because, according to her own words, she was «on the same ranking with the long-established figures». She attributed this sudden success to luck, to what the Spaniards call buena sombra (good shade), because when she tried to do something she accomplished it. She was satisfied with her good wages, her job and the amount of letters that she received. For her the latter meant her best gratification.

Elegant and pleasant, she was a woman that longed for leading a normal healthy life. She sang because she felt «the soul of music» and she showed it in her voice. In her conversation, she was quick, spontaneous, nervous and expressive. She accompanied her words with harmonious manners. Her home was highlighted by her good taste, a delicate sobriety, without profusion of things. She used to say that she loved to live intensely and believe in God.

She had theater in high esteem, because she thought it was necessary for every artist as school and the foremost way to express and polish one’s temper, through trial and error, the audience’s test and applause. Her ideas about the microphone were somewhat different; for her a microphone was mute to every emotion because the immediate contact of the result for the effort just made was not perceived. «Even though you do your best, it seems that you haven’t done anything», she used to say.

She used to sing tango because of «Argentinism» and she was greatly inclined to Neapolitan canzonettas.

An independent woman with expectations of improvement, she did not conceived mediocrity. She lived a passionate sentimental relation with Charlo in the thirties. A relationship that would have been interrupted when the male singer met Sabina Olmos.

Adhelma was a female singer who always tried to improve herself and renew her art. The Micrófono magazine in 1934 talked about her as one of the most outstanding elements of our native broadcasting. It highlighted her gentle voice color and her fine ear, which allowed her performances with good intonation and a rich temper. It pondered her interpretation of the canzonettas but regretted that she made too many numbers of Brazilian folk music, especially because she had no command of Portuguese. Another defect mentioned by the publications of the time was her «lisping» when she talked and sang her songs. This defect was also attributed to her renowned sister Ada.

The sisters never appeared at the same radio station at the same time, because they were careful that the name and the job of one did not interfere with the name and the job of the other. Adhelma sprung up because of her personal schooling, her emotionality and her expression. Her beauty made her appear on the front cover of magazines more than once. And she is very pretty on the cover of the sheetmusic of “Tango del querer”, written by Ricardo Lleras and Andrés Domenech.

Many radio stations in Buenos Aires aired her performances during her career, for example, El Mundo, Fénix, Stentor, Excelsior, to name a few.

Her repertory was varied, she included many tangos and memorable waltzes: “Noches de Atenas”, “Desde el alma”, “Bajo los puentes de París”, “La flor de los gauchos”. She cut a couple of recordings for the Brunswick label: the foxtrot “Un beso y a dormir” and the waltz “Cortando camino”, the latter with the accompaniment of Aguilar, Barbieri and Riverol, Carlos Gardel's guitarists.

Her artistic and social life was splendid and varied: she was seen at the opening of the famous palace of Radio Nacional, at different parties and events, where she appears in different photos with Charlo.

A detail. At the contest organized by the Sintonía magazine, in 1934, to choose Miss Radio —the winner was Libertad Lamarque— Adhelma got many more votes than her sister. The contest did not intend to choose the best female singer but the most beautiful artist of the radio. For her it might have been a big incentive. She had had a deception before at another contest organized by the same station, the contest Miss Revelación where she was excluded together with other great artists like Amanda Ledesma and Sarita Watle. For her this decision of the director of the magazine was terrible and she said, when she was questioned by the paper-men: «I have nothing to say, because I'm no longer a contestant».

Unfortunately, life has its setbacks, and many people that some time had a big name, pass and disappear in history and in our memories. So it happened with her. She quit her career and public life. She did not appear in magazines any more and was falling into oblivion. It's unjust that she's only remembered as Ada Falcón's sister and the fact that she only recorded a sole disc is emphasized, because Adhelma was much more than that and deserves to be remembered, either because of her effort and capabilities or for her yearning for progress.

She reached a place. And maybe, she also reached —we don't know— the happiness she always longed for, when she expressed her dream of hoping to be retired in a little white house, full of pure air and sunlight, with «the one you love by your side».