Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Les Loups in Rio de Janeiro (1926-27)

It is known that Les Loups went on tour in Brazil before arriving to Buenos Aires in 1927. The duo had its professional debut in Rio de Janeiro 1926 performing as Hawaiian guitarists, but until recently the exact dates and locations of the duo's performance haven't been known, nor has the reception by the Brazilian public been mentioned before. However, thanks to the research by Jorge Carvalho de Mello we can now add some details about this matter.

A couple of years ago (September, 2010) de Mello published his first findings at his blog, which we referenced in a small entry here. Some months ago (August 2012) de Mello had a new entry at his blog adding more details in his article "A TEMPORADA DO DUO LES LOUPS NO RIO DE JANEIRO". However, in the meantime his blog has now been deleted, but I was fortunate to make a copy of the text (- in Portuguese) before the blog suddently had disappeared. I think it's appropiate to save this information - especially as it is not available elsewhere any longer and - as far as I know - has not been mentioned by other sources researching the early career of Oscar Alemán. Below I'll summarize the research by de Mello to have it available here at our blog, at least.
The sources of de Mello's research of Les Loups in Rio are newspaper ads, reviews, theather programs and posters from the years 1926-27.

- The first mentioning of Les Loups is dated 7. September, 1926 in the theater column of the 07/09/1926 Gazette, that has the headline 'Duo havaiano' and states - quote (my English translation:)" After showing in theaters in S Paulo and Santos, the duo Les Loups is currently in Rio.The two extraordinary guitarists are our native Gaston Bueno Lobo and Oscar Moreira. In S Paulo, where they were welcomed with sympathy by the public, the duo performed a show at the Apollo in favor of the Brazilian Press Association. They are shortly going to present themselves to the public in Rio." It's worth noticing that the duo is presented by the name Les Loups and apparently already had a successful performance in São Paulo before arriving in Rio de Janeiro - the duo is caracterized as 'extraordinary guitarists' and is 'velcomed with sympathy' by the attending public in the Apollo theater of São Paulo. Further research revealed according to de Mello, that Les Loups had been performing in São Paulo in the month of June between 3 and 18 with the Company Brandão / Palmeirim in the Apollo theater. After the performaces in São Paulo, de Mello adds, it seems likely that the duo also has been present in the city of Santos and then went to Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio, the duo is performing at the Cine Theatro Central sharing stage with other artists in October 1926. The theater is a cinema with both live acts on stage and on-screen movie performance, common of the time . Les Loups are announced performing 12, 16 and 17 October together with vaudeville artists, acrobats, an opera singer and trained dogs (!). On the 15 October, the duo is mentioned in a program announcing live broadcast at Radio Club, a local radio station, which has a transmission of 'light music by Orchestra of the Radio Club and Les Loups, guitarristas hawayanos'. On the 20. October, the Radio Club has another transmission featuring Les Loups. The duo is back on stage at Cine Theatro Central on 26. October, this is the last presentation of Les Loups in Rio anno 1926 according to de Mello's research.

1927 was a special year in Brazilian popular music, a sponsored national contest among Rio de Janeiro guitarists was mobilizing the public through intense propaganda, new names were taking the stage and already established musicians were challenged. In this intense atmosphere the Les Loups duo continued to perform in movie theaters of Rio. The duo is presented on 25. January together with Companhia Juvenal Fontes, February and March have no trace of Les Loups, but in April the duo is back, now presented at Cine Teatro Glória on 18 and 19 April. The critics heaped praise on the duo's presentations according to de Mello's source, quote (my English translation): the duo " Sparked endless applause from the audience, the songs performed on acoustic guitar [were] so really masterful for two rare performers". - The success with the Carioca public continued during the Portuguese week at Cine Odeon, on the 24. April Les Loups are on stage, again with other artists, at this occasion performing Portuguese fado music gaining applause from the audience and praise from the critics, stating: (quote my English translation) "Les Loups, these extraordinary guitarists who are working with the Company Tangara, played several fados, charming".

In July, there was arranged a show as a tribute to the accomplishment of Brazilian aviation after the first plane had crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The show was presented on 8. July with the participation of a variety of artists, among them were Les Loups. The ex-president of the Repulic attended the show that included a spectacle or play, which had gained success already during a theater performance on June 21 also including Les Loups accompanying some of the participating actors/artists.

In August, the duo is back at Cine Theatro Central from 2. August and stays there throughout the month, again appearing with success onstage alongside other artists including acrobats, dancers and tap dancers.

On August 15th, Les Loups are taking part in another major event in Rio, where many artists were mobilized to produce a great spectacle whose income was allocated for the purchase of a bust of the impresario J.Stampa. Les Loups participated alongside several famous Brazilian popular guitarists of the time. - The last mentioning of Les Loups in 1927 was found in a notice announcing a party on September 29th, where the duo participated as part of the arranged performance.
Thanks to the reseach by Jorge Carvalho de Mello we may now conclude that Les Loups had success in Rio de Janeiro from September 1926 to September 1927, a year when several performances and public events in Rio exposed various artists but also left a significant impression of the remarkable artistry of the Les Loups duo on the Carioca public and critics. As a previously untold story of the early career of Oscar Alemán, this information is crucial in understanding the later success of Les Loups in both Buenos Aires and Europe.


Blogger Jo said...

The article by Jorge Carvalho de Mello, "A TEMPORADA DO DUO LES LOUPS NO RIO DE JANEIRO", is written in Portuguese and published at his now deleted blog in August 2012. I have a copy of the text, that include reference to the sources used in de Mello's research.

9:03 AM  

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