Biography of Xisto Bahia (1841-1894)

Musician and Brazilian actor, born in Salvador (Bahia) on August 6, 1841 and died in Caxambu (MG) on October 30, 1894. Composer and singer, was the most significant representative of the lundu music, which was very fashionable at the end of the 19th century.

I had not finished even primary education, when Paula Xisto Bahia - its full name - joined the dramatic Bay "Regeneracao drama" group, becoming professional at age 18. From there he/she went on to work in the company of his brother-in-law, the actor Antonio Araujo. At the beginning of the 1860s, he/she played and sang cool and lundus of his own in the company organized by Commander Amaral Constantino Tavares. In 1864 he/she was hired by businessman Couto Rocha, acting for ten years by the North of the country. After a crisis of depression in Ceará, in 1866 he/she returned to Bay, where the magical Companhia de Lopes Cardoso put onstage comedic Duas um livro, abolitionist and Republican content pages. The success of this work was a leap in his career, and thereafter received invitations to perform at other places such as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. His biggest success got it playing in 1875 the work of Artur Azevedo Uma Reis vespera. In 1887 he/she went on to manage the Lucinda theatre of Rio de Janeiro.

Xisto Bahia combined his career as an actor with the composer and performer. In Rio de Janeiro he/she arrived to dispute the popularity to Laurindo Rabelo, also great creator and performer of modinhas and lundus. He/She was an intuitive and self-taught, composer whose work is not known for its quantity but for quality, especially thanks to his skills as a violinist and his baritone voice.

Retired from the artistic life in 1893 because of their health problems, Bay settled in Caxambu (MG), where he/she died the following year, leaving widow Portuguese actress Maria Vitorina de Lacerda Bay, which had had four children.

Especially as an interpreter of lundus, noted Brazilian musical genre of danceable rhythm of African origin. Among its most famous lundus should mention "mulata", portrayed by Melo Morais Filho; "O pescador", this time by Artur de Azevedo; "Yaya, você quer morrer"; "O camaleão", and "Isto é bom", who in 1902 became the first work of popular music recorded by the Edison home. Also include "Ainda e sempre, modinha" and the "Tirana" modinha.