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20th anniversary of the passing of Valencian protest singer Ovidi Montllor

This year is the 20th anniversary of the death of Valencian singer Ovidi Montllor who, along with other artists, promoted Catalan music during the Franco dictatorship and the transition years to democracy. Though not well-known internationally, Montllor was an important figure in the Catalan music world and especially in the opposition to the dictatorship. Back then, he started to accompany his poems with music and those of renown Catalan poets like Joan Salvat-Papasseit. For this reason, throughout the year there will be a lot of events and tributes paid to him. One of these tributes is a book to be published in March written by Catalan writer Jordi Tormo made up of photographs, poems and a review of his career.

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10 March 2015 10:23 PM

by

ACN / Laia Font

Barcelona (ACN).– This year is the 20th anniversary of the death of the Valencian singer and poet Ovidi Montllor who, along with other artists, promoted Catalan music during Francoism. Though not well-known internationally, he was an important figure in the Catalan music world and especially in the opposition to the Franco dictatorship. For this reason, throughout the year there will be many events and tributes paid to him. One of these tributes will be made by a Catalan publisher called Sembra Llibres, which will publish a book containing unpublished material in March. The book is called 'Ovidi Montllor, un obrer de la paraula' (which could be translated as 'Ovidi Montllor, word worker') and is compiled by Catalan writer Jordi Tormo. It will be made up of unpublished photographs, poems and a review of the singer-songwriter's career.


Ovidi Montllor was born in Alcoi (south of Valencia), where Catalan is widely spoken. In the Valencia Country (also known as the Valencian Coummity), Catalan is the local language in most of the territory and people speak it with a distinct accent. The most known facet of Montllor was his musical career during the dictatorship, when he started to accompany his poems with music and those of renown Catalan poets like Joan Salvat-Papasseit.

The Franco dictatorship led to the repression of any sign of Catalan culture, so Ovidi Montllor along with other singers began to promote the Catalan language and the democratic spirit through his music. They were highly influenced by the chanson française of Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. This musical movement is known as the Nova cançó (New Song) and included other artists such as Raimon, Lluís Llach, Joan Manuel Serrat, Maria del Mar Bonet, Quico Pi de la Serra, Pau Riba, Sisa and Marina Rosell, among others.

However, the career of Ovidi also had a cinematographic and poetic side. He participated in several films, most of which were censored for their opposition to the Franco regime. Over the course of his life, he wrote over 400 poems, some of which will be published for the first time in the book by Jordi Tormo. The book's author wants to show the personal and emotional side of the singer through these unpublished poems.

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  • Ovidi Montllor's monument in Alcoi (by ACN)

  • Ovidi Montllor's monument in Alcoi (by ACN)