Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


The Delicious Voice of Edith Piaf

Wanderlino Arruda

It’s necessary to always discover the pleasant and noble side of every moment of our lives. Chasing happiness is an obligation and the search in itself should be enough reason to make us happy. That’s what happens to me every time that I walk into the entrance hall at the national Theater in Brasilia, D.F., when I walk down the luxurious velvet ramp and see the majestic auditorium, that monumental collection, that only the legendario Oscar Niemeyer could have imagined and realized. To go to the National Theater offers me a gratifying pleasure, a good reason for happiness. That was the sensation that I felt when Dagmar, Anderson and I met our work team from the Brasil Bank, before, during and after the presentation of Bibi Ferreira in her piece Piaf, truly, a dream of a presentation. It was when we sat down, right in front of the stage, in a good-sized group composed of Iasbeck, Riza, Carlos Hetch and Carmen seeing on the other side, good work collegues, having as the main thing in half the auditorium, the sophisticated charm and beauty of Angela Momm.

It’s funny that in the whole auditorium, the predominating color was red, a really strong, living and flaming crimson. Among us, and very happy, with a red dress, shoes and bag, was Ivone, a strikingly lovely collegue of ours. Iria, even happier, with a shocking-pink dress, that in the evening light, no one could tell that it wasn’t red also. Valquiria, Daniel, Eduardo, Roberto, Cardenas, all in red shirts. Carlos, I don’t quite remember, also in various details in red. When the stage lights come on, The background, an intense, volcanic red, of course, as brilliant as fireworks above a battlefield, forming a conjunto of reddish spotlights that illuminated Bibi during the entire presentation. In contrast, as in a French romance, the black of the formal clothing and the poor, which at first, horrified the conscience and sight of the audience. To compor, at our side, the blackness of the shirt of the very well behaved Moacir. From this point on, our only colors were black and red.

The voice of Bibi Ferreira, her magnetic presence and gestures, a pessimism, the hard side of life that she made us feel with her tiny and delicate motions, exploding all the time. Her frail wispy body, without any touch of beauty, everything marking the soul of Edith Piaf. It was Piaf, pure Piaf, with a modern vision, was really like being in the presence of Edith herself. Alias, more that this: both of them resemble each other and seem to be almost the same person. Both very famous, visibly marked by age, with the physical desgaste that artistic life endows and instigates with. Her voice, in the beginning, tiny, as if asking for permission to exist, suddenly grows, climbing and fills the entire auditorium and keeps building up, gaining weight, involving, clean, to an admirable crescendo, like she represented the whole force and sonority of eternal France. It’s like you were transported to the boisterous cabarets of Paris, no Olympia, the top of glory of all art, much more than the Carnegie hall, or any other theater in the world, including the National Theater of Brasilia in which we find ourselves.

Listening to Bibi is like watching Piaf and I am spiritually transported in a sweet remembrance to Parisian streets, squares, monuments, museums and boulevards, ( at that moment I wasn’t in Brasil, I was in Paris.) I felt, in the accordion, and the background music, in that culture, a taste of sensibility that the French do with such love. I see myself at the top of the Eiffel Tower, at the Arc of Triumph, at the Place de la Concorde, at the Pigale, at the Notre dame, the French theaters, the Louvre, or drifting along in a bateau mouche in the Sena, or in my modest hotel for travelers, lonely and happy. I see myself running in the cold enchanted with the colorido of the lights, of the news stands, fruit stands full of red fruits, and the brilho of the restaurants and cafés…ah, the cafés…I see myself also in the happiness of the children and the thin elegance of the women. A marvelous world of types and varieties with clothes that all, Frenchmen and foreigners alike, stroll through the streets and gardens. I imagine and it all unfolds in my mind!
After all this that I see and dream, I emotionally thank the art of Bibi and the opportunity to be there, in Brasilia. There is nothing better than, being in a beautiful new capital city and living moments in the glorious old Paris.

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