María de Buenos Aires: Valentina – some things are worth waiting for!

María de Buenos Aires – Mr McFall’s Chamber – CD

In 2016 Mr McFall’s Chamber was fundraising to produce Astor Piazzolla’s operita ‘María de Buenos Aires’. A blog was set up for the musicians to write about the project with this in mind.  What follows is my contribution to the original blog, which I now share here, happy in the knowledge that the CD was recorded and is now on sale worldwide.

My name is Valentina Montoya. I have been singing tango with Mr McFall’s Chamber almost from the birth of the group. I remember when we were recording Revolucionario that Robert mentioned to me that he was thinking of making a future production of María de Buenos Aires. He also asked me if I would be interested in singing the part of María. I was thrilled and honoured to be asked. I thought if any group has the capacity to do this it is Mr McFall’s Chamber. A project for the future, he said. Well, that future is here and you can be part of its realization!

I love María de Buenos Aires for many reasons. I am a singer of folk and tango songs and I love the stories they tell. And what a story this is and what a way to tell it! Horacio Ferrer, the great Uruguayan lyricist, spun a tale that is told in a surreal way with a distinct Argentine flavour. He used Lunfardo, the local slang of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, to underpin it and conjured up a world full of magical realism and a spectacular female lead. María is a heroine, a fighter with an outstanding capacity for reflection. She is born and dies in the first part of the work to be born again in the second part as a shadow destined to roam the streets of Buenos Aires. Here she is given fecundity and gives birth to a girl, which could be herself or the city which seduced, engulfed and killed her. It is resurrection on a major scale!

María was written in the sixties and very much mirrors the Latin American social context which saw its conception, a continent flourishing with social change and artistic creation. Piazzolla pulled apart the old tango and reassembled it adding even electric guitars to it! Is it any wonder he ruffled a few feathers! He challenged tradition and created a spectacularly revolutionary work. It is not the old tango, but it is tango nevertheless – powerful, dark, seductive, mournful, at times colourful and imbued with a spirit of rebirth. Let’s bring it to the 21st century with some of the world’s most breathtaking musicians! It will be a work of the present and future and you can help make it happen! So please consider joining our crowd funding campaign with even the smallest of donations. Many thanks for your time and your kind contributions, love Valentina*.

Of course, there is no need to donate now, but if you want to enjoy this outstanding piece of music, recorded by some of the world’s finest musicians, you can purchase the CD in our SHOP page.

*My original post can be found here


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