Néstor Pinsón

The Canaro’s musicals (Second part)

Sentimiento gaucho” (1942). Script by Ivo Pelay. Among the artists of the large cast the following stood out: Delfina Jaufret (Spanish actress), Susy Del Carril, Sara Ruassen, Enríquez, Tino Tori, Villa, Malcolm, the singers Carlos Roldán and Eduardo Adrián, the dancer Santiago Ayala aka “El Chúcaro” that was featured in a malambo dance. The latter appeared in a scene in which for the first time was used an effect of black light. Pirincho, besides the tango that is the title song, composed the march-malambo “Después del aguacero” which was sung by Carlos Roldán. The latter also sang the tango “Los ojos más lindos” and “La milonga de los perros”. Susy Del Carril performed “Rafael”, a mazurka and “China de mi amor”, a number for showcasing the folk dancers. Adrián sang “Viviré con tu recuerdo” and “Corazón encadenado” and again Roldán sang with choir “El chino Pantaleón”. The dancers were Bucino and Beba Bidart. Also “No lo creas por favor”, a murga-corrido, an invention by Canaro that was sung by all the members of the cast and “Paja brava”, a great national pericón sung and danced by almost the entire company. After the season and the tours, in Uruguay the pianist Oscar Sabino joined the orchestra.

“Buenos Aires de ayer y de hoy” (1944). Libretto by Pelay, music by Canaro. The premiere was in Montevideo and later it switched to our Teatro Alvear. It had two parts, the first was during the time of Juan Manuel de Rosas and the second in the present time. The cast featured Tita Merello as leading lady, Maruja Pibernat, Amalia Bernabé, Elvira Prada, Enrique Roldán, Lalo Malcolm, Tomás Simari and the singers Carlos Roldán and Eduardo Adrián. Canaro composed “Refalosa federal”, “Candombe”, “Desesperanza”, vidalita sung onstage by Mariano Mores, the minuet “Moño rojo”, “Soñar y nada más”, a waltz sung in a duo by Roldán and Adrián. The duo sang the march “Argentina” in the second part. Merello sang “Tranquilo viejo, tranquilo”, “Se dice de mí”; Pibernat performed the corrido “No tengo envidia a nadie” and “Manzanilla y mate amargo”; Roldán, “Nene caprichoso” and “Tango brujo”; Adrián, “No la puedo olvidar”. The play had over 600 performances.

“Dos corazones” (1944). With Pelay’s book it was premiered at the Teatro Alvear. The cast included Merello, Elena Lucena, Pedro Quartucci, Malcolm, Chola Duby, Cayetano Biondo and the singers Chola Luna and Carlos Roldán. The musical numbers were, for the prologue, a descriptive music he named “Temporal en las cumbres”; a march, “Nahuel Huapi” and the waltz “Dos corazones”, sung by both singers in a duo; “Mi cariño ya murió”, a danceable fantasia for orchestra; “Rosa de pasión”, a fox-trot sung by several members of the cast; “Nieve en las almas” another musical number for dancers; the march “Buenas noches corazón”, sung by Quartucci and Lucena; “Todo es mentira” and “Qué tal” sung by Merello; “Horizonte azul”, a waltz by the duo of Roldán and the female singer Delia Márquez that was a choir member; “Sin compasión” by Carlos Roldán; “Fue por una mujer” by Chola luna. In Montevideo it appeared at the Teatro Artigas and when they were about the 300 performances it was interrupted because of a Canaro’s illness.

“El tango en París” (1945). The script was by Pelay and it was presented at the Teatro Alvear. It was a free adaptation of the play with the same name written by Enrique García Velloso and premiered in 1913 with Florencio Parravicini at the Teatro Argentino on 1448 Bartolomé Mitre Street. The main cast were Vignoli, Rosa Catá, Ibis Blanco, León Zárate, Villa, Biondo, Guillermo Rico. It was the debut of the singer Alberto Arenas who sang “Adiós pampa mía”. Rico sang “Niebla” and, duetting with Vignoli, the waltz “No llores más”. Canaro also premiered the milonga he co-wrote with Mores, “Serafín y Julia Paz”, sung and danced by “Villita” and Ibis Blanco. As it was usual the comedy was also presented at the Teatro Artigas of Montevideo.

“La canción de los barrios” (1946). This case is a new version of the successful revue of 1934. It was premiered on July 5 with a cast that included Virginia Luque, Gamas, Héctor Calcaño, Lalo Maura, Héctor Ferraro and Ramón Garay, among others. It was the debut of the singer Enrique Lucero, Mariano Mores’s brother. Canaro composed the tango “Si tú quisieras” that Virginia Luque sang. The season took place at the Teatro Alvear and later they appeared at the “Artigas” theater of Montevideo.

“Luna de miel para tres” (1947). With script by Pondal Ríos and Carlos Olivari and music by Canaro and Mariano Mores, it was a comedy in a Mexican setting with music of both countries. It was staged at the Teatro Presidente Alvear. The cast included the well-known Mexican artists Jorge Negrete, Gloria María and the Trío Los Calaveras and the Argentines Quartucci, Amanda Varela, Nelly Meden, Biondo, Hartich and many others. The number composed for the occasion were: “Preludio musical”; “San Pedro de Tlaque Paque”, (Mexican street song); “La bienvenida”, corrido; “Vivir sólo para amar”, waltz; “El amor en todas partes”, for comic duo; “Noches de Veracruz”, song; “Bamba de Veracruz”, song; “Adiós amor, adiós”, bolero; “Nuestros caminos”, tango; “Con otro amor”, canción; “Yo sólo sé”, tango; “El norteño”, carnavalito; “Luna lunita”, country song. Also the vocalists Alberto Arenas and Enrique Lucero were in the cast. There were 400 performances and thereafter, the customary trip to Montevideo.

“La música en el alma” (1949). Music by Canaro and book by Homero Manzi, Pedro M. Bruno and Antonio De Bassi. It was staged at the Teatro Casino and the cast featured the kid-actor -revelation in the movies-, “Toscanito”, named Andrés Poggio. He was a small kid but he was born in 1932 (then 17 years old) and had the responsibility of the play because he was the main character. Francisco Canaro was also featured as actor and it also included Félix Mutarelli, Malcolm, Perla Greco, Ubaldo Martínez, the new leading actor Alberto Dalbes and as actor and singer, Francisco Amor. The numbers were “Mataderos”; “Boliche de barrio”; “Sentimiento gaucho” –premiered before-; “La marcha del cine”, the waltz “Parece mentira”; a new version of “La raspa”; “Sinfonía gaucha”, malambo; “Borracho” and “Pájaro azul”, an old tango- fantasía composed by Canaro that is performed by the orchestra conducted by “Toscanito” in a scene that takes place after the finale of the play. The singers of the group were still Arenas and Lucero but Mores was replaced by Sabino. After six successful months they continued at the Teatro Artigas of Montevideo.

“Tangolandia” (1957). When it was considered that his release of musicals was over, after an eight-year span, Canaro reappeared at the Teatro Alvear. Despite the audiences had changed after so many years he arose interest and his proposal was successful. The cast featured the singers Jorge Vidal and Alba Solís, both in the best years of their careers, and they played the leading roles of a couple that was falling in love in fiction. The final scene notably drew the audience’s attention. At the last part of the play while onstage there was a padding scene, suddenly, a strong lamp lit the rows at the back and the spectators immediately turned their heads and saw a couple holding their hands. She was dressed as a bride and he was wearing a tail coat. Along the central aisle the actors slowly came forward until they reached the stage on which they married. Later came the congratulations, a big party, some songs and the final curtain. Among the cast the following stood out: Gamas, Tono Andreu, Tito Lusiardo, Beba Bidart, Miguel Ligero, Malcolm, Carmen Vallejos, the dancers Juan Carlos Copes and María Nieves, and Julia and Lalo Bello. There were also other singers: Francisco Amor, Juan Carlos Rolón, Isabel de Grana and Marcelo Paz.

There were 25 years of wise moves and hits. No doubt, Canaro had a knowledge of theater and mastered the musical comedy. But in the movies he had a different result. He founded the Río de La Plata motion picture company and he himself recognized the failure of his films which brought for him major losses and no satisfaction.