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Fine Art in Marquetry
|Maria de Buenos Aires y su tango
|María de Buenos Aires is a tango-opera by Astor Piazzola. It premiered at the Planet Theatre in Buenos Aires in May 1968. The
libretto was written by Horacio Ferrer. The surreal plot centers on a prostitute in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the second half takes
place after her death. The characters include María (and, after her death, the Shadow of María), a singer of payadas, various
members of the Buenos Aires underworld, a poet narrator who is also a goblin, several marionettes under his control, and a circus
of psychoanalysts. Several elements of the libretto suggest parallels between María and Mary, the mother of Jesus (in Spanish,
María) or to Jesus himself. The ill-omened María, born "one day when God was drunk" in a poor suburb of Buenos Aires, heads to
the center of Buenos Aires, where she is seduced by the music of the tango. Maria passes through various phases, initially
upwardly mobile as she progresses from the suburbs to night clubs in the city centre. Then comes her heyday in cabarets and
bordellos, the exhaustion of the form, its decline and death, its shadowy lack of direction and spectacular rebirth at the end of the
piece. The libretto takes all the liberties and complexities of the 1960s and try to put them over the scenario; it describes a world of
fantasy with a few connections with reality. The music suggest times of sadness and introspection.
Piazzolla's tango nuevo was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended
harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms.
The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th
century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions.
The 'operita' was performed complete in New York in March 2013 for the first time. The New York Times critic Corina da Fonseca
said “ 'María de Buenos Aires,' is an intense cocktail of poetry, tango music and dance that is performed by a folk contralto, an
operatic baritone and one male actor. But it’s the fourth voice — the bandoneón, the soulful South American accordion — that calls
the shots and, to borrow Ferrer’s words, “burns in the back of your throat.”
For further search of the music of Astor Piazzola, click here.
I see her in this way, as could be any girl in a city of Tango...
Triptych 6' x 2' each panel. Natural and dyed veneer over board, double
sided. On the left, el empedrado y Maria, palos borrachos en flor, arboles
de plaza Lavalle, Tribunales; on the center, empedrado y el poeta, el subte
est. Tribunales, street light; on the right, luna portena, Caminito, cafés,
graffiti, and two for tango. Bellow: Details
|Another version, this time as a five-fold screen.
"Tango en Plaza
Dorrego" I, II , III