What to visit / Themed routes / Women of Ciutat Vella walk / Francisca Marqués López aka Raquel Meller

Francisca Marqués i López, stage name Raquel Meller

Singer, variety artist and actress (Tarazona, 9th March 1888–Barcelona, 26th July 1962)

Raquel Meller, the stage name of Francisca Marqués i López, was the first truly international Spanish star. She earned worldwide fame in the first decades of the 20th century and made her debut in September 1911 at Barcelona’s Teatre Arnau – then a music hall – on Avinguda Paral·lel. The theatre was run by Mr Arnau, a corset maker from Carrer Nou de la Rambla. She enjoyed a great deal of success and a few years later was performing around the world as a variety artist and singer, at venues including the Olympia in Paris, as well as London, Berlin, New York, Buenos Aires and Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin himself paid tribute to Meller in his film City Lights by using her signature song, La violetera (The Violet Seller), which she had performed so many times.

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