Raquel Meller

Barcelhome sells the flat dedicated to Raquel Meller, the cupletist who refused to work with Charles Chaplin.

The story is as follows:

On that sunny day of September 1911 she walked particularly nervous. She had tried over and over a lot! But still she was not sure to succeed. As every day she walked under the first floor balcony of the building in Tapies street, which entrance was in Nou de la Rambla. In that balcony the little Laura greeted with smiling face out between the railing bars.

She was Raquel Meller and that day made her debut in the Arnau Theater. She was born in Tarazona in 1888 into a humble family, Francisca Marqués , known as “la Paca” when she was a child, was educated in a convent till she was twelve years old. There she highlighted at the chorus. When her parents moved to Barcelona she worked in a sewing workshop where she always sang to hang out. An artist who attended the workshop heard her and helped her to start her career. Paca was first called Bella Raquel and then took the name of a German lover and definitely was called Raquel Meller.

She made a frantic career, she brought provincial ballads,”cuplés”, to the highest levels, endorsed the “coplas” "Violetera" and "Reliquary" and she was internationally recognized and traveled around the world. She dared to say no to Charles Chaplin when he proposed to work with him on a film.

The little Laura still saw her for a while walking under the Nou de la Rambla balcony, beautiful, majestic and radiant. Laura sighed when she saw her and dreamed about being a great artist; wear those costumes, dancing and singing! When Raquel was traveling and didn’t walk around the neighborhood, Laura patiently compiled all news and charts that named her admired artist. Still today, those newspapers pieces are framed and hanging on a wall in the apartment.

Civil war came and all the dreams vanished. Raquel did not return back anymore to her life as a singer, in opulence and luxury, and even she tried to reclaim her place in the world of “cuplé” other popular singers overshadowed her. She died in 1962, poor and on her own , but had a big funeral. Crowds of admirers accompanied her to give the last farewell to the Montjuic cemetery.

Laura, every year, is actively involved in the Raval troupe, she disguises and gets out on Carnival’s day, beautiful, majestic and radiant singing and dancing in the streets where her admired Raquel walked the way to the Arnau Theater. And she never forgets, at the end of the tour, to leave a bouquet of flowers, violets, to the "Violetera" , the cuplé singer, statue of Raquel that the Raval district dedicated and placed next to the Arnau Theater at the end of Nou de la Rambla street.


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