Eduardo Brito - Dominican Baritone

En Español

Eduardo Brito
(1906 - 1946)
(Puerto Plata - Santo Domingo)
Dominican Baritone

His real name was Eleuterio Aragonez, he was born in Puerto Plata, in 1906. Officially his birth-date is known as January 22, although there are doubts about the exactitude of the data. Brito had a poor childhood.

He worked as a shoe-shinner, candyman, boxer apprentice, etc. But as his voice was revealed as extraordinary, his life was taking other courses. His limited world of serenades and songs between friends was growing quickly since in 1926 he put himself under the artistic protection of the musician Julio Alberto Hernandez.

In 1927, in a banquet offered to doctor Jose Dolores Alfonseca and the lawyer Abigail Montás, he was introduced to the press of Santo Domingo. He participated with a program with songs and pieces of operetas. The review of the "Listín Diario" says: "We ignored that a singer of his conditions existed in Santo Domingo. And the most extraordinary fact of the case is that he does not have any musical culture. In him, everything is instinctive, spontaneous, innate. He has been a real revelation."

By then Brito had sung in almost all the Cibao, San Pedro de Macorís and the capital. And a scholarship was requested, that was never obtained, so that "the young baritone" could go to Italy to study. In 1928 he met the vedette Rosa Elena Bobadilla, who would become his wife and inseparable companion. The wedding was celebrated November 3rd, of that year and few days later both of them appeared in Haiti with an artistic panel to which they named "Los Internacionales (The Internationals)".

This group, integrated by six people, was disintegrated in Curazao, second stage of the artistic international tour initiated in Haiti. Eduardo and Rosa Elena Brito were alone and they joined the Cuban company of Margot Rodriguez, with whom they appeared in Puerto Rico. Soon they returned to Santo Domingo.

In 1929, the "Grupo Dominicano (Dominican Group)", compound by Brito, Bienvenido Troncoso, Chita Jimenez and Enrique García, traveled to New York to record some discs, in 1930 the discs had a lot of success. When the other members of the group returned to Santo Domingo, Brito remained in New York and continued recording for RCA Victor with the orchestra of Vigil and Robles.

He acted at the Wardof Astoria and worked in company of his wife in the circuits of theater RKO and Lowe State. Also, the Britos were the attraction in "El Chico (The Boy)", next to the dancers Antonio and Catalina Cansino, parents of the great movie star: Rita Hayworth.

Dorothy Caruso, widow of the inmortal Enrico Caruso, in a private interview she had the occasion of hearing Brito singing and she was overwhelmed with his voice. Brito studied with Serafini, who urged him to quit the popular songs and to study the vocal technique, music, languages, etc. But Brito could not do it due to the familiar obligations that he had contracted. The natural dowries of Brito allowed him to use an extensive texture of baritone who sometimes reached the tones of tenor.

In 1932, Brito was part, as one of the stellar figures, of a company created by Eliseo Grenet to debut in Spain. Along the Dominican baritone, they were also his wife Rosa Elena, Mapy and Fernando Cortés and other stars. In the Teatro Nuevo de Barcelona, Brito received great ovations reserved only to the chosen ones, when he was interpreting " La Virgen Morena (the Brown Virgin)", of Riancho and Grenet. This one was only the beginning of a successful artistic career in Spain. Soon the public in Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza, Canary Islands, etc., would award him with their applauses.

" La Virgen Morena (the Brown Virgin)" - a critic of the Teatro Principal Palace says - achieved a full success. Eduardo Brito had one happy night, playing his role in a perfect way, as an actor and as a singer, seeing himself forced to repeat the first act, and other parts of the second act, between applauses."

Just like " La Virgen Morena (the Brown Virgin)", Brito achieved great successes in Spain with "Katiuska", "Luisa Fernanda", " La del Soto del Parral (The one Parral Grove)", "El Cantar del Arriero (The Carrier Singing)", " La del Manojo de Rosas (The one of the Handful of Roses)", " El Asombro de Damasco (the Astonishment of Damascus", and mainly with " Los Gavilanes (the Sparrow hawks)".

Eduardo Brito was persecuted by the wars: first it was the Spanish civil war and soon World War II. With his wife and her sister-in-law Kuki Bobadilla, he embarked in Amberes for going to Dominican Republic. They arrived at the country on July 23, 1937.

The next trip would be to Puerto Rico, where he always received a lot of affection. From there they went to New York, where they appeared in the Roxy, Radio City and other establishments.

From New York to Cuba, where he sang in the CMQ and the National Theater. His perfomance of "Marina", with the Spanish tenor Hipólito Lazaro, was very celebrated in Havana.

To his return in Santo Domingo, he initiated a tour supported by the Dominican industralist Mario Ginebra. In Venezuela and Colombia he made one season of zarzuelas with the mosician Carretero ("Los Gavilanes (the Sparrowhawks)", "Luisa Fernanda", etc.). In the same company appeared the young baritone Carlos Ramirez, who was remarkably impressed by the voice of the Brito.

After a brilliant perfomance in Panama, he came to Santo Domingo to baptize his first son.

He went later to Puerto Rico and with his wife and her two children he returned to New York. In Mayo clinic they diagnosed him a mortal mental disease which it would end the flashing career of Brito, he returned to his country, but he was not any longer the same man.

He still appeared in several theaters and in " La Voz del Yuma (the Voice of the Yuma)", but he could not fulfill his contracts: his voice was extinguished and he spoke without coordination. He spent his last days in a mental institution. Julio González Herrera, in his book "Cosas de Locos (Things of Crazy people)", describes the last hours of Brito:

2:00 a.m., we heard the deep and melancholic whisper of a voice that seemed to come out of a cavern. "

Virgin of the Altagracia! And next, a series of strange words, said in an unconscious stammering.

5:00 a.m., one of the street cleaners shouted loudly: "Brito died! We got rid of that mad guy!."

It was the dawn of January 5, 1946. It was a rainy day; at night, 32 people showed up at his burial.

(Information from the Dominican Encyclopedia)

There is a CD of Eduardo Brito, "El Cantante Nacional" on sale in these 3 URLs:

Amazon.com

Sound City 2000

Incredible CDs

You can also acquire this CD by contacting
Dr. Carmelo Aristy Rodríguez

Fax 809-686-0760

Maria Montez Page

Vivian Pérez

E-MAIL: balamia@yahoo.com

Luisa Peguero

E-MAIL: asuil70@yahoo.com