Boca del Rio, Veracruz is the heart and physical demonstration of the great culture and tradition of this particular region of Mexico… The Gulf of Mexico and its surrounding areas are filled with color, music and fascinating landscapes that include deep green vegetation, lakes and rivers and the coastal strip of the gulf. Here, one has the opportunity of exploring the hidden corners of the city, delight upon its exquisite gastronomy (particularly fish stuffed with seafood), admire its colonial architecture or visit its great selection of museums.
Whatever you do, if you visit Boca del Rio you can’t miss an iconic and emblematic spot, which is part of the pop Mexican culture: The Agustin Lara Museum, which is a living tribute to one of Mexico’s musical legends, better known as the Flaco de Oro, meaning in English the Golden Slim Boy.
The museum is in fact the house where this legendary man lived, composed, created and wrote his music. It was originally property of Admiral Alvaro Sandoval, who then granted the house to the former governor of the state of Veracruz, Mr. Marco Antonio Muñoz during the 50s. Some years later, the deputy state leader gave the house as a gift to this wonderful Mexican composer, as a symbol of his friendship and admiration from the entire Veracruz citizenship. After Agustin Lara passed away in 1970, the house was abandoned for almost 20 years, until the year 1989 when it underwent reconstruction works.
The museum has 8 artistic spaces, from which three stand out:
a. Teatro de Revista:A musical popular show from the 30’s that marks the birth of the great artist and composer Agustin Lara. Here, he is accompanied by fellow artists, such as Pedro Vargas, Juan Arvizu, Maruca Pérez, Ana María Fernández, the Mexican trio Garnica, Lupe Vélez, and others.
b. El Salón de las Musas: This section consists of a collection of pictures and photographs of women; but not any women but the artist’s most special girls in his life. Here, we’ll come across images of his first wife, Mrs. Esther Rivas Elorriaga(1917), followed by other important women in his whole life, like Angelina Bruscheta Carral(1928), María Félix Gurreña (1945), Clarita Martínez (1949), Yolanda Santacruz Gasca, Gigi (1953), Rocío Durán (1954).
c. Veracruz Vibra en mi Ser: This section demonstrates the greatest and most outstanding moments in Agustin Lara’s life and journey in Veracruz.
The “Flaco de Oro”, a Music Legend in Mexico
His name was Angel Agustin Maria Carlos Fausto Mariano Alfonso Rojas Canela del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Lara y Aguirre del Pino, and was better known as Agustin Lara. According to him, he assured to be born on October 30th 1900 in Tlacotalpan Veracruz; nonetheless there are registers that demonstrate his birth was in Mexico City 30 years before; there are other versions that even affirm that he was born in Puebla.
Being as it may, Agustin Lara is one of Mexico’s most famous, renowned and legends of Mexican music- one of the most important in the history of it-. His melodies are mind blowing and elevate us all; his pieces are composed and filled with romanticism, and include master works like Granada, Noche Criolla, La Cumbancha, Noche de Ronda, Solamente una Vez and María Bonita (dedicated to his wife at the time, talented Maria Felix), among others!
His songs have been translated to many languages and have traveled the world with different voices of several nationalities, across different time eras. He was a very important figure in radio, national cinema, Hollywood and on the theater! He also established a close friendship with great celebrities and personalities in the music and arts scene, such as Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra, composer Jose Mojica and toreador Manuel Benitez “El Cordobes”; he was also a very close acquaintance of political figures such as Charles de Gaulle, Francisco Franco and former presidents of Mexico. His love life was as fascinating and prodigal as his music, but out of all his marriages, the one that stood out the most was that with talented Maria Felix, during the 40’s.
Agustin Lara passed away on November 6th 1970. His remains lay under the Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres, under the decree of former president of Mexico, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz.