Legendary Chanteuse Chavela Vargas to Be Celebrated at Disney Hall

Three divas of Latino folk and pop will honor Vargas, who passed away at 93 in August.

Chavela Vargas is beloved by rebels around the world for her unrepentant reworkings of classic Mexican rancheras, boleros and corridos, including "La Llorona" and "Volver Volver."

Revered too for her unrepentant lifestyle--which included dressing as a man and carrying a pistol--the Costa Rican-born chanteuse flouted conventions, as a lesbian and a member of the Mexico City artistic circle around muralist Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

This pushed her into the international spotlight, where she hobnobbed with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Federico Garcia Lorca and, allegedly, Ava Gardner.

An admitted alcoholic, Vargas enjoyed a renaissance in her later years, appearing in numerous films and recordings. In 2007 she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy.

Vargas died on Aug. 5, 2012 in Mexico City, after a respiratory illness.

Earlier this week, she was honored with a tribute at Carnegie Hall, where she first performed in 2003 at the age of 83. 

The Spanish-language singers Tania Libertad, Ely Guerra and Eugenia León brought their own folk and fire renditions of some of Vargas's best-known material.

They'll be at Disney Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. performing the same program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Click here for ticket information about "La Llorona: The Rebel Spirit of Chavela Vargas."

The show is part of the Philharmonic's now annual World Music Series

Look for an interview with Laura Connelly, Director of Presentations at the LA Philharmonic about the program some time soon on the site.


Postscript: Mexico's Majestic Mexican Chanteuse, Chavela Vargas (The New Yorker)

Famed Mexican Singer Who Challenged Catholic and Chauvinist Preconceptions Dies at 93  (Huffington Post)

Editors Note: An earlier version of this story offered complimentary tickets to the show to those who could answer this question correctly:

Question: What well-known Spanish film director championed Chavela Vargas by including her music in his films?

Answer: Pedro Almodóvar

Those complimentary tickets have now been distributed. Thanks for your interest in this amazing program.


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