“That Lola was a lot of Flores,” the great writer came to say of her Terence Moix. The great Lola Flores was a lot of woman and artist, who would be 100 years old this Saturday, January 21, whom we remember and will still remember for many more years. The flamenco artist, with a peculiar and temperamental style that dignified the Spanish folk song, she worked for more than fifty years and made more than 30 films that made her an icon of Spanish art and a character of her native celebrity. Glued to the wake of ‘La Faraona’, her daughters have come forward in different artistic disciplines, Lolita y Rosarioand their granddaughters, the actresses Elena Furiase y Dawn Flowers.
La Flores had everything to succeed despite being born in a Spain that discriminated against gypsies and that gave few opportunities to achieve glory to those who were born among the most popular classes. But Lola overcame with her art and her racial temperament any obstacle. Her movements on her stage, her powerful voice and the bewitchment of her eyes, elevated her until she became the Spanish emblem that she became.
A well-deserved museum in his hometown
The artist was born in Jerez de la Frontera on January 21, 1923 and it will be there that a Lola Flores Interpretation Center will open this coming spring, dedicated to her figure, which will have all kinds of objects and souvenirs donated by her family. Her hometown will hold multiple activities throughout the year to honor and remember her illustrious neighbor.
The Jerez authorities know of the pull that an exclusive space dedicated to the singer who was always proud of her local and humble origins can have. That is why they want to do her justice, for having been a “multifaceted artist, ahead of her time, who still today has many lessons to pass on to the new generations”, as recognized by the current mayoress of Jerez de la Frontera, mamen sanchez.
His daughter Lolita has explained in a recent interview in the magazine Week that the singer wanted that museum to exist, that she did tell them what she wanted to be seen in it and that, for example, she always thought that she should have a special room so that people could enjoy her films there.
The Jerez exhibition will include many of her dresses with trains, fans and castanets, as well as records, press clippings, tickets or prizes and trophies. It will have a virtual theater to recreate her scenery and numerous details and data that will remind both her work and her family or intimate environment.
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Lola Flores, who trained as an artist since she was little, sang at events as a child and made her debut at the age of 16. She soon had the opportunity to work in the cinema of the time and since the forties of the last century her career has only grown. She was the interpreter of immortal songs like Yours truly o The blackberry, and very popular movies like The sale girly ¡Ay, pen, pen, pen!
A feminist pioneer in a bata de cola
He traveled all over the world, mainly in Latin America, and worked in multiple music-theatrical shows. But personally, of course, it was always news. She maintained several very famous romances for the time, a post-war ironclad in moral standards that she skipped, and was a great precursor of patriotic feminism, because she did not keep quiet about her opinion on violence against women or extramarital relationships, for example.
Lola finally married in the Royal Monastery of El Escorial in October 1957 with the gypsy guitarist and composer Antonio González “El Pescaílla”, one of the most important figures of the Catalan rumba, who was the father of the three children of the Flores, Lolita, Antonio and Rosario, and his partner until his death in 1995.
During the most modern Spain, after the death of the dictator Franco, Lola managed to maintain her wake with her omnipresence on television, magazines and galas. She also made appearances as an actress that no longer had anything to do with folklore, such as the film Truhanes one to the series Juncal.
In modern Spain, both she and her family were members of the celebrity elite who graced the covers of glossy magazines. And she starred in one of her most remembered tax scandals, when the Treasury sued the artist for not having made the income statement or paid taxes for several years. Lola did not wrinkle, and she went so far as to publicly ask for “a peseta from each Spaniard” to help her pay her debts to the treasury.
His popularity became such that during the wedding of his daughter Lolita with the Argentine Guillermo Furiasethe avalanche of public almost prevented the ceremony, for which the Pharaoh had to shout at the door of the temple the remembered “if you love me, go away”.
The cancer that dragged until he could with it
On May 16, 1995, at only 72 years old, the great Lola Flores died in El Lerele, her house in El Soto de la Moraleja, where she lived with her husband and her youngest son Antonio, who occupied a building in the garden of her parents, and that 15 days later, on May 30, she decided to leave as her mother because she could not bear her loss.
Lola had breast cancer diagnosed years before, which did not prevent her from continuing to sing and dance, but which took her away because she did not want to have her breast removed, or go to Houston for treatment. In the month of April of the year of her death, she Lola, she already felt how her life was leaving her. In bed, unable to get up, she called Antonio, her husband, hugged him, kissed him and very moved, she said between sobs: “I want to apologize if I have hurt you”, to which Antonio, also through tears, He replied: “I have nothing to forgive you.” She was told years later by her daughter Lolita, who was present during that emotional scene.
Torrent of talent in the family DNA
The children of the folkloric were the ones who were in charge, in their own way, of keeping alive the artistic legacy of the matriarch and, little by little, we began to see that this task was also transferred to her granddaughters. Rosario Flores has triumphed as a singer on stage. Lolita Flores has worked in music and television with less success than her little sister, but with some hit important, like the song Prayers. And Antonio Flores, a magnificent composer and interpreter, who before dying too soon had created musical themes that will also form part of the history of music in Spain, like his mother.
Some of the offspring of the Flores have obtained great recognition for their artistic work. Alba Flores, Antonio’s daughter, is the one who has achieved the most fame thanks to her magnificent performances in internationally recognized series such as Vis a Vis, The Money Heist o The time between seams. These are roles in which she has played such strong characters that with them she has shown the great heiress she is to his grandmother. Lola Flores acted on the screens in roles with a strong personality that she defended with that passion with which she shook her bata de cola, which is recognized in Alba’s eyes in scenes of great interpretive intensity.
The other example of a great artist in the family is Elena Furiase, daughter of Lolita, married to gonzalo sierra and mother of Noah and the little one Nala. Elena is also an actress and she is reminded of a magnificent job with the long role she played in the popular series The intership. Both have defended their careers tooth and nail to be compared to their grandmother, yes, but don’t assume that being who they are has made it easier for them to achieve their own triumphs.
Difficult when you are a family descendant of the Pharaoh, one of the indisputable symbols of national folklore that this Saturday turns into a centenary. As an artist, she is unrepeatable, because only someone like her could be defined as she did. The New York Times when in 1979 he published a note about the performance that Lola was going to give at Madison Square Garden, with a phrase that would become his best letter of introduction: “He doesn’t sing or dance, but don’t miss it.”