By MdC Suingue
For the complete playlist click 'READ MORE' below
With a career spanning from 1974 to 2002, the exiled drag duo Les Etoiles is virtually unknown in Brazil. It was created by Luiz Antônio Moraes da Silva and Rolando Faria, both of whom had a singing a carrier in Brazil; Luiz Antonio featuring in albums by Rilldo Hora and Dom Salvador and Rolando as part of Ronald Mesquita’s Central do Brasil. Rolando was recording an album with Central do Brasil in Barcelona when he decided not to go back to Brazil. Soon after he met Luiz Antonio and they formed Les Etoiles...
...Less than one year later they moved to Paris, where their act (their two voices and an accoustic guitar) was very well received with their recreation of bossas, mpb and sambas with a cabaret spirit.
They recorded three original albums - “Meu Coração é um pandeiro ou...não brinca que a chica chia” 1976; “Piratas do Sentimento” 1977; “Sina de Ciganos” 1984 - and two live albums. They were big in France, taking part in TV shows, recording soundtracks for films and performing in many clubs in Europe.
Defined by the NYT in 1984 as “well sung Brazilian pop...tricky vocal counterpoint...”
Rolando is a cherubic stage presence with a relaxed tenor voice, but Luis Antônio is the duo’s flashier half. His vocal range goes up to a sweet, controlled falsetto, and he delivers his half of the harmonies with the stagy self-possession of a diva”
There is no indication on the internet about exactly when they began to dress in drag. At the time the duo met and created Les Etoiles in Europe, the dictatorship in Brazil was in its most violent period and, even though Secos & Molhados were already shocking the ‘traditional Brazilian family’ with their androgynous look, Brazil probably was not ready yet to face two guys in drag singing Brazilian music - especially as both were black.
Maybe that was the reason they were ignored by the media until 1984, when they released their only album in Brazil, a compilation of their first two albums. But at that time disco look was long gone, MPB was not cool and Brazilian rock was booming.
Eventually they began to take care of their own solo careers but Les Etoiles as a duo kept active until 2002, when Luiz Antonio passed away.
Our vids of the week are:
all about Les Etoiles. Some of the vídeos are in bad state, but it is worth watching to feel the environment and the times of the duo. The videos from the 90s are in good state.
-Les Etoiles - Ébano + Joana Francesa
A set recorded in 1976 with Ébano, originally by Luis Melodia and Joana Francesa by Chico Buarque
-Les Etoiles - Geraldinos e Arquibaldos
They sing the classic by Gonzaguinha in1997
-Tania Maria & Les Etoiles "Best of" | Archive INA
1979 Tania MARIA au piano et Les ETOILES interprètent un Pot Pourri
-Les Etoiles - Chica chica boom chic | Archive INA
A version of the emblematic Carmen miranda's song
-Les Etoiles - Voltei
A song composed by Baden Powell
BUT FIRST, THE PLAYLIST:
Les Etoiles - Ébano - 1976
-Les Etoiles - Geraldinos e arquibaldos
-Tania Maria & Les Etoiles - Best of
-Les Etoiles - Chica chica boom chic
-Les Etoiles - Voltei