Omara came out through the side door to the terrace and the whole atmosphere of the courtyard of the Hotel Nacional was revolutionized. She did not have to speak, a knowing smile and the time needed for photos with those who love her enough to make her the center of attention, and even in the movie environment we live these days.
Three questions Omara, just that. And her arm, trembling now, over my shoulder, I notice that time has passed. It’s impossible not to imagine her on stage, radiant with fullness in her voice that has marked us as a country, showing the true tones of feeling.
She opens the conversation, “what do you want, a picture?” Her smile disarms me. Some questions Omara, just a few questions, and a photo, of course. Who does not want a photo with Lady Feeling, the Diva of the Buena Vista Social Club?
Will you sing in the Festival, Omara? “No, not this year they didn’t even invite me to sing, I felt rejected.”
But yesterday at the opening they recalled you, I say to try to mediate the bad times and reproach.
“So they told me,” she responds and changes the course of the conversation, as if shooing unpleasant memories. “That’s not important, it really is necessary that the festival does not lose its essence.”
Seeking possible answers, preposterous hypothesis, but I do not understand the reason for her absence. Then change the subject because, standing in a hallway, is not the best way to talk about disappointment.
Omara is just leaving a rehearsal and looks exhausted; she told me while resting in my arm. She came to the hotel with some musicians to sing the same old songs. She just returned from Europe with the big boys of Buena Vista, full of applause as usual. “We always do well, people will welcome us with love everywhere,” she says.
I try to return to the Festival, but avoiding misunderstandings. Do you think it’s the same from now without Alfredo? And in response she moves her head from side to side, to emphasize what we’re all afraid to understand. She knew him well and knows how sad it is that he doesn’t stay with his sack on his shoulders, directing the symphony of images that flooded Havana.
“He was someone important, basic, I am glad to have known him. And we miss his presence, but that’s life. In general I am glad that this festival is being held, although his irreparable loss. “
Forget her among the guests has been a huge mistake. But alas Omara!, Like a formality could take us away from you. Just you, you’ve turned the Hotel Nacional by just coming out a rehearsal, without the glamour of the presentations and almost unadorned, but with intact charisma and love of your people, that will never forget you.