Oana Cătălina Chiţu & Bucharest Tango

Thu, 27. 5. 2010 - 19:30
Palác Akropolis

Sweet songs of sorrow - old world tango from Bucharest

"Da-mi gurita s-o sarut" (give me your mouth, so I can kiss it) was sung by the Romanian tango star Jean Moscopol in the thirties. When Romania's King Mihail was forced to abdicate in 1947, many artists left Romania, crossing the green border to the West. The voices of the elegant tango and foxtrot singers were gone, Jean Moscopol had emigrated, the Gypsy singer Zavaidoc had died and Cristian Vasile had fallen silent: There was no place for "decadent tango" in the Socialist People's Republic of Romania.

"Da-mi gurita s-o sarut" is also sung by Oana Cătălina Chiţu who lives in Berlin. Even though tango classics like "Mina Birjar" by Jean Moscopol were not played on Romanian radio in the seventies and eighties, Oana Cătălina Chiţus' father sang them every evening on his way home from the village pub where he worked. Snatches of music from another time Oana only knew about from the tales she had heard, but which aroused her curiosity. She learned more from relations in Bucharest who ran an antique lottery shop from the thirties and owned countless old gramophone records by the tango stars. Oana Cătălina Chiţu grew up in the backwaters of Romania in rural surroundings and she sang in the church choir of her home village as a child, already learning guitar in her early years. She arrived in Berlin in the nineties, after having made many stops along the way, and studied piano, jazz and opera singing. In the autumn of 2007, supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Berlin, she brought her musical and theatrical performance "Bucharest Tango" to the stage.

Chiţus' musicians combine tango hits with Jazz, Sinti Swing and Flamenco, take a look at the period between the Wars without a false sense of nostalgia and open the doors to tangos and songs from Bucharest, the grubby Paris of the East, which were up until now only known to insiders.