Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Violetta Villas

Artist: Violetta Villas
LP: Dla Ciebie Mily
Song: "Czterdziesci Kasztanów (Forty Chestnuts)"
[ listen ]

With her elaborate style and an operatic vocal range spanning five octaves, Violetta Villas came to be known as the Yma Sumac of Poland. Though she's toured the USA, has appeared in several movies, including PAINT YOUR WAGON, and she regularly performed in Las Vegas in the 1960s—singing duets with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Eartha Kitt, I'd never heard of Violetta Villas until last weekend when I found this LP at a store just a few blocks from my home. The liner notes, in both Polish and English, are included below, along with the "Zespoly." I'm not sure what that means, but it might be important. There are lots of amazing pictures of Violetta Villas on the internet—like this one, this one, this one and this one too—but I've included my favorite at the bottom of this post. You can read about Violetta's fantastic life and her international career on Wikipedia here — and special thanks to London correspondent Graham Russell, who not only dug up lots more information about Violetta Villas that you can see here, but he also found this gloriously zany 1971 Violetta Villas video. Wunderbar!

Violetta Villas on YouTube:



bitter69uk said...

What a discovery! Violetta Villas is a demented genius, a berserk diva. I loved the song you posted, so Googled her a bit and there's a treasure trove of wild videos on youtube. This one is by far the best:


I work with a Polish woman called Marta and I asked her about Violetta the next day. She's still absolutely revered in Poland and in fact she lives in Marta's village!! Apparently the elderly Violetta is a Bardot-type eccentric figure now who has a huge menagerie of pets and lives in a mansion. Marta says when you occasionally see Violetta out in public now, she still wears the huge bouffant hairstyle (wig?) and long false eyelashes.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatelly Violetta passed away about two weeks ago :( she'll be dearly missed

Anonymous said...

I came across your post looking for some photos of Violetta and since you were so kind to write about our Diva of XX century I want to post some links to my favourite songs by VV (maybe someone will use this list to discover something new :)):

Violetta Villas - L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Carmen)

Violetta Villas – Libiamo ne’ lieti calici (Traviata)

Violetta Villas – Mamma (Son Tanto Felice)

Ave Maria No Morro - Violetta Villas 1966

Violetta Villas – Jak nazwać miłość

Violetta Villas – Nic nikomu nie mów!

Violetta Villas – Malaguena

Maria la'O - Violetta Villas

Jak w Serenadzie - Violetta Villas

Sekret, Violetta Villas

Szczęście, Violetta Villas

Violetta Villas – Andaluzja

Violetta Villas - Dla ciebie miły

Violetta Villas - Free again

Violetta Villas – Granada

Violetta Villas - Spójrz prosto w oczy

Violetta Villas - Strangers in the night

My heart belongs to Daddy Violetta Villas

Violetta Villas - What now my love?

Violetta Villas - Do Ciebie Mamo / List do matki (1965 nagranie radiowe)

Violetta Villas Jak to było

Violetta Villas Marzeń moich nie zna nikt

Violetta Villas Miłość, to Ty i ja

Violetta Villas Port, w którym nie ma mew

Violetta Villas Powrócisz tu

Nie ma miłości bez zazdrości, Violetta Villas

She sang some more international hits and operatic pieces as well (like Ave Maria Bach/Gounod, or Madame Butterfly), but unfortunately they didn’t survive..

Polish communist powers destroyed her carrier in Poland and didn’t want to give her passport to continue her carrier abroad and she is still hated by post communist powers in Poland today (they never play her wonderful music and rarely say the truth and good things about her concentrating mainly on scandals and gossips around her, even after her tragic death).

Her voice was rare spinto soprano.

By the way ‘zespoły’ means simply bands/orchestras :)

Alex said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing; what a treasure trove of Violetta Villas on Video! She truly is an amazing woman. I was pretty bummed to hear the news that she passed away just a few months after I first found out about her. Those stupid Communists don't know what they're missing.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome Alex :)

And one more piece of music:

Violetta Villas - Hiroshima mon amour

She sang it in Parisian Olympia in 1966

Greets :)

Anonymous said...

Good to see someone paying attention to the amazing singer and crazy woman.

Soon her housekeeper will hear the final verdict, as she isolated and starved the late singer to death.