Maria Volonté: Tango Singer
My name is Maria volonté. I'm from Argentina, from Buenos Aires.

[Cancion de Buenos Aires]

My repertoire is based on- new songs, uh, old songs. Songs written by me, by other music friends. I only can choose a song if I feel that uh, shiver in my spine, and maybe some tears in my eyes, uh- I mean- It's not much rational.

tango music is all about living intensely and taking both the good and the bad in life.

You have the typical thing-ba ba bah, ba ba bah bah bah (sings) or more habanera bah, ba ba ba, bah, ba ba ba (sings) And- ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba (sings). And this is still tango, but it's a different kind, it's more modern.

[Yo Soy Maria]

Tango started as upbeat dancing. In the- more or less, 15-20 years, the first songs appeared. In the beginning were something like uh, the description of the compadritos, the tough men of the city. In a very few years it became something about intense love. You can say that between, 19- 30s and 50s was the great glory period of tango, and of course you had these great orchestras and very famous singers too.


In the '80s tango became again very, very popular all over the world, I think mainly because this sensual, so attractive kind of dancing, which is tango itself. That uh- fashion opened the doors for us singers to show the world that behind all that visual thing you have this incredible production of lyrics.


Malena is a classical tango, and is by one of the greatest composers, Anibal Troilo. This is the description of a tango woman. It's a very strong, special woman- for me a woman facing life, love and death with the same courage. Feminine, but strong character.


Many years ago I incorporated the Fado, the Fado from Portugal. Intuitively I thought that music was very deeply connected with tango. It's a very intense, naked moment for my voice, expression that I love so much

[Estranha forma de vida]

Many times audiences assume that tango is just about dancing. But the beautiful thing is that when they're listening to me, they're not just listening to tango or boleros or Latin music, or Fado- they are connecting with my- [laugh] inner self. I mean- which is there opening to them in the form of my body, my soul. And of course, essentially, through my voice.

[Basta de Jardin de Infantes]

This piece aired April 21, 2006, on The World.

Producer: Sarah Elzas
Recorded in New York, NY

- La Cancion de Buenos Aires (Tangos)
- Yo Soy Maria (Tangos)
- Cantando (Fuimos)
- Malena (Tangos)
- Estranha forma de vida (Fuimos)
- Basta de Jardin de Infantes (Tangos)