The best singer of jota that has given the
province of Huesca and one of the better than Aragón. She was the favorite
disciple of Fidel Seral, and when she was seventeen years old, her voice
was of an exceptional contralto. It gained the first prizes of the contests
of 1930 and 1932. She traveled through tremendous for Spain and Europe.
Engravings are conserved her majestic interpretations of the styles of
Pyrenees, her impeccable one «fiera de ay, de Fuentes» and her alluring
duets with Gregoria Ciprés, from Huesca also . When died Seral (1954),
began her fertile teaching in Huesca and Madrid.
In 1980, she took the direction of the
Official School of Jota of Huesca. The Friends of the Tradition Folk Upper
Aragon of Huesca, in a publication 'in memoriam', recalling to Camila
Gracia, of January 8, 1989, remember with affection.
Camila Gracia Salillas was born in Huesca
on the 15 of July of 1909 and since very young formed part of a chorus
of singers directed by the nolvidable Marieta Pérez, being her actions
in several churches of the city, but mainly in that of Capuchinas. A day
of the summer of the year 1925, Fidel Seral (master of large joteros
-aragonese jota singers-) strolled for the highway of Jaca and was seen
pleasantly surprised by a youthful and charming voice that left of the
interior of a dwelling. Quickly he called to the door of the youth, to
who invited to attend his school of jota, situated in the 'Travesía
del Espino '.The young one Camila with the approval of her parents,
Petra and León (to the season foreman of the Dancers of Huesca), decided
to be a jotera (aragonse jot singer).
Her father (León Gracia), was nuy enthusiastic
to the jota and all were satisfactions and hopes. When Camila was 9 years
old, he listened her to sing in the serenade of San Lorenzo, next to the
famous rondadores ('serendades singers') of that epoch and he knew
at that moment a star was born To the few days to begin her lessons was
presented in the bullring of Huesca, where all the assistants sensed the
good ways that aimed the promising jotera. Subsequent trials and
actions went outlining the artistic quality of Camila Gracia that in 1930
decided to be presented to the Contest of jota of the Festivals of the
Pillar of Zaragoza , being raised with the prize. After, hired in Barcelona
and Madrid, they received before leaving, in the Theater Olimpia of Huesca,
homage of all the oscenses (Huesca inhabitants) by her triumph
In Barcelona recorded her first disks and
continued triumphantly her actions in all Spain. In 1932 it obtained important
prizes, as that of the 'Friends of the Jota' of the House of Aragón of
Madrid, in the contest that organized in the Circus Price of the capital
of Spain; in the jury there were personalities as important as the Maestro
Luna and the aragonese tenor Miguel Fleta. Also she repeated first prize
in the Contest of the Pillar of that year.
Camila Gracia, sang in many occasions to
duet with Gregoria Ciprés; meetings dragged to the masses in theier actions
by Spain, France and Portugal. At these two countries, Camila Gracia interpreted
some of her couplets in the vernacular language. Miguel Fleta insisted
repeated times to the jotera of Huesca so that was dedicated to the lyrical
kind, but she rejected this tempting proposal because yours one, she used
to say, was the jota. Their exceptional voice of contralto adapted perfectly
to the attitude mezzo-soprano of Gregoria Ciprés and by this, their duets
captivated and were first figures in the large spectacles of the jota
of the 30 s, together with the better interpreters of the moment..
The Spanish civil War, in whose fronts
listened itself the braves jotas of these exceptional women , supposed
a point and aside in their artistic lives. Gregoria and Camila withdrew;
although this last one returned to sing at the beginning of the 50 s in
an emission of Radio Huesca -radio station that inaugurated together to
their master Fidel Seral and her companions Gregoria Ciprés and Ramón
Bareche in the year 33-, as well as in the Theater Olimpia.
In the year 54, after the death of Fidel
Seral -her teacher-, founded the group San Lorenzo of E. y D. ( Education
y Rest), singing in many places of Spain and the foreigner, teaching to
some components of the group. In 1958 she is a time in Madrid divulging
her styles of jota among the Friends of the Jota Aragonesa, with the ones
she recorded some disks. In one of them, She impressed her famous jota
of 'La Magallonera', that turns out to be unrepeatable and insurmountable
even in our days. To her return to Madrid also gave her classes of jota
in groups of: Tardienta, Ayerbe, Almudévar and Binéfar. In the year 1972,
will be named teacher of song of the Municipal School of Jota, created
in that date.
Camila Gracia has left the essence of her
styles of jota in many of her students, that now are in the first line.
Also we should emphasize the art shown along her life, lavishing her jotas
and songs of church, there where has been required. Agrees to recallhre
interventions in the eve to the 'Patrón San Lorenzo'. Camila Gracia, received
along her fertile life of jotera many indications of affection and admiration
through homages of the Centro Aragonés de Barcelona, Amigos de la Jota
Aragonesa, Casa de Aragón and Peña Moncayo de Madrid.
In the year 1975 the City Hall of Huesca
recognized her merits, continuing the Folk Group Santa Cecilia,
Santa Leticia and the one that the Amigos del Folclore Altoaragonés
dedicated the year 85 next to Gregoria Ciprés and to which adhered everyone
cultural jotero of Aragón , as well as central aragoneses, among others.
The City of Huesca said good-bye to Camila
Gracia at December 4, 1988 (she passed away on the 2) with the admiration
and respect that she had earned himself among her compatriots. The City
Hall of Huesca gave guard to the body without life of the unsurpassable
Camila , since the Cathedral to her last dwelling, in the cemetery of
Huesca. The entourage stopped in the Municipal school of Jota, where a
young group of students dedicated her a couplet of farewell. 'The Magallonera'
was listened with reverente silence in the squares of the Cathedral and
Navarre. Cheers and applauses of the oscenses proclaimed to Camila Gracia
as figure of first magnitude in the history of the City of Huesca.