Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oscar Alemán in Brazil: Les Loups (1926)

Jorge Carvalho de Mello research about Les Loups' early Brazilian years (1926)
A missing link in Oscar Alemán's career
  Jørgen Larsen 

 Oscar Alemán met Gaston Bueno Lobo in 1924; he was then fifteen years old. 
In the book Tributo a Oscar Alemán Guillermo Iacona quotes Oscar Alemán in an interview, in which he describes this first meeting: Un día vino un señor que se llamaba Gastón Bueno Lobo y me preguntó si queriá hacer un número con él. ( = One day a man called Gastón Bueno Lobo came and asked me if I wanted to play with him). En ese momento comenzó mi vida, una más seria. Me dio una guitarra para que estudiara, pero él no venía a enseñarme porque trabajaba. ( = At that moment my life - a more serious kind of life - began.  He gave me a guitar so I could learn, but he didn't teach me because he had to work ). No tenia quién me enseñara.( = There was nobody to teach me.). Entonces, de acuerdo con lo que yo sabía del cavaquinho, me las arreglé. (= So I managed with what I already knew from the cavaquinho.). Pero la guitarra era mucho más difícil: era grande, había que abrir los dedos y yo tenía la mano chiquita. ( = But guitar playing was much harder because I had to open my fingers and my hand was small.Pero fui aprendiendo lo suficiente. (= Little by little I learned enough ) (Source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán (Guillermo, José and Estanislao Iacona (October 2012)(page 38 and 40.).

Oscar Alemán in Brazilië: Les Loups (1926) (Nederlands) - Oscar Alemán in Brazil: Les Loups (1926) (Engels) - Oscar Alemán in Brazilië: Les Loups (1927) (Nederlands) - Oscar Alemán in Brazil: Les Loups (1927) (English) - Oscar in Rio de Janeiro (1926-1927) ( English)

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 have been unknown, 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 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, theater programs and posters from the years 1926-27. 

Rare photo of Les Loups, published in the recent published book entitled Tributo a Oscar Alemán ( Collection Hernán Gaffet)

The first mentioning of Les Loups is dated 7th of September, 1926 in the theater column of the Gazette, that has the headline Duo havaiano and states - quote (my English translation:) After showing in theaters in 
São 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 São 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 'welcomed 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 the 3rd and 18th with the Company Brandão / Palmeirim in the Apollo theater. After these performances 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.

Cine Theatro Central - a contemporary photo (Rio de Janeiro)

In Rio, the duo performed 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 scheduled the 12th, the 16th and the 17th of October together with vaudeville artists, acrobats, an opera singer and trained dogs (!). On the 15th of October, the duo is mentioned in a program announced as a live broadcast at Radio Club, a local radio station, which had a transmission of 'light music by Orchestra of the Radio Club and Les Loups, guitarristas hawayanos'. On the 20th of October, the Radio Club had another transmission featuring Les Loups. The duo is back on stage at Cine Theatro Central on the 26th of October, this is the last presentation of Les Loups in Rio anno 1926 according to de Mello's research. (to be continued) 

Jørgen Larsen
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Thanks to the research of Jorge Carvalho de Mello, published in his blog, entitled A temporada do duo Les Loups no Rio de Janeiro, one of the missing links in Oscar Alemán's  career has been recollected.    Jørgen Larsen recollects, thanks to DE Mello's Portuguese texts, the concerts by Oscar Alemán and Gaston Bueno Lobo and their Duo havaiano, known as Les Loups, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

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