Miscel, cantante romano playlist
Miscel: a roman singer
Not much is known about the life of Miscel, born Michele Cimato, the younger brother of Aurelio Cimato, who was also a well-known singer from the 1910s, going by the name of Gabrè. We don’t know the dates of Miscel’s birth and death, but we do know that he came from a Roman family which did not smile upon the artistic careers of their sons. Miscel was active from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s and was the protagonist of a rather unique event in musical recording: in 1936 he recorded 20 songs, issued on 10 different records, each coming from a music festival called the Sagra di San Giovanni, a sort of celebration of Roman songs held in the capital during the summer solstice and the feast of St. John the Baptist (24 June). We don’t know exactly how many songs competed that year. In the 20 tracks recorded for the Gramophone label, Miscel mostly sings of love, even if one also finds occasional allusions – more or less veiled – to social and political themes, in line with the views of the fascist regime, which Miscel evidently supported. References to the British Empire, the Ethiopian royal title negus and the League of Nations in Geneva – which imposed economic sanctions on Italy following its invasion of Ethiopia – turn up now and again among the monuments of Rome and the outspoken flappers of the love songs of Miscel, the Roman singer.