Maria de Buenos Aires - Edinburgh, Tue 14 June 2016

Photo - Maria de Buenos Aires thumbnail

Tue 14th June 2016, 19:30
The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
0131 668 2019
Tickets £14, £12 (conc), £5 (u18)

To mark Mr McFall’s Chamber’s twentieth anniversary the group revisits Astor Piazzolla’s operita, María de Buenos Aires.

This work represents the very summit of Piazzolla’s nuevo tango and, as such, also represents a coming together of twenty years of the group’s programming of his music, from our very earliest days at the old Bongo Club.

Directed from the bandoneon by Victor Villena, the performance also features tango singer Juanjo Lopez Vidal as el duende, the narrator of the colourful spoken text by Horacio Ferrer, as well as Nicholas Mulroy as un payador and Valentina Montoya Martínez as María herself. Instrumentalists include violinist Cyril Garac, pianist Phil Alexander, guitarist Malcolm MacFarlane, flautist Alison Mitchell and percussionist Iain Sandilands, along with the group’s core members, Robert McFall, Su-a Lee, Brian Schiele and Rick Standley.

The performance also features original film of Buenos Aires street-life by the young Argentine film director Geraldine Comte. This moving backdrop is entirely in accordance with Piazzolla’s original intentions as to the staging of the piece. There is also a speaking chorus of “brothel keepers, spaghetti makers, brick-layers and psychoanalysts”. Shot through with religious imagery mixed with Buenos Aires slang, the work presents María as both virgin mother and essence of the street culture in which the tango tradition developed.


Maria de Buenos Aires
Astor Piazzolla (music) and Horacio Ferrer (lyrics)

Running time approximately 2 hours, including a 20-minute interval

Act one:
1) Alevare
2) Tema de María
3) Balada para un organito loco
4) Yo soy María
5) Milonga Carriguera
6) Fuga y misterio
7) Poema valseado
8) Tocata Rea
9) Miserere canyengue

Interval [empanadas and wine available]

Act two:
10) Contramilonga a la funerala
11) Tangata del alba
12) Carta a los árboles y las chimeneas
13) Aria de los analistas
14) Romanza del Duende
15) Allegro tangabile
16) Milonga de la anunciación
17) Tangus dei


El Duende: Juanjo Lopez Vidal
María: Valentina Montoya Martínez
Payador/ Gorrión/ Analista primero/ Una voz de ese domingo: Nicholas Mulroy
Musical director/ bandoneon: Victor Villena
1st violin: Cyril Garac
2nd violin: Robert McFall
Viola: Brian Schiele
Cello: Su-a Lee
Double bass: Rick Standley
Piano: Phil Alexander
Guitar: Malcolm MacFarlane
Flute/ Piccolo: Alison Mitchell
Percussion: Iain Sandilands

Previous Next


Download the Libretto

Libretto.doc.pdf (Adobe PDF - 252Kb)

Credit - Andy Catlin
Photo - Mr McFall's Chamber at The Queen's Hall

"Mr McFall’s Chamber has a reputation for bringing surprise and delight to audiences, with a track record of unusual and compelling repertoire, often collaborating with both local and international artists. For this one-off concert performance of Astor Piazzolla’s “tango operita” María de Buenos Aires at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, McFall’s forces were augmented with special South American guests to bring us an authentic Argentinian experience." – Backtrack

A site


Design by