Guido Gerosa – Stars are born in Porta Garibaldi – La Notte 02.12.1958

By Guido Gerosa – The Night

The tall girl with the skinny shoulder blades did not want to come out of the wings to sing her song: she swayed restlessly, smoothed her short hair nervously, and smiled as she fixed her gaze in a vague, distant spot suspended in the void. Seventeen years old, 5’7″ in stature, a dress that wobbled on her, Mina took refuge behind her shyness; host Corrado had to make her brave. As the notes of a strange song about protections and suffering came out of her uvula, Mina became refreshed; from the top of the gallery, her casiglianas pointed at her with affectionate understanding. From the meandering stalls, the young men with shiny wisps peered with rapt ecstasy at the long straight legs that emerged from the dress like flowers suspended from the stem. And Mina sang with the pathetic confidence of the shy, with the nerve of the worried: her Tony Dallara-like warbles, bold American-style moves drew hurricanes of applause. At the end, Mina looked out at the audience with the serenity of a triumphant woman, swaying gracefully in the oversized dress that uncovered her skinny shoulder blades of a girl who had grown up too fast. A new star had been born in Porta Garibaldi.
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They say about her

11 November 2023


Giorgio Bocca – The jukebox is too tight for Mina – ll Giorno 11.12.1960

Tonight Mina has crazy hair and a dress on which sequins shine. Pale. Slender, her eyes dilated with neurotic rage, the girl wrings her hands to overcome the disgust of strangers breathing down on her.
We are in a dance hall on the outskirts of Turin. With two thousand five hundred liras each (almost two days’ work) the young men of the neighborhood paid themselves, for one hour, for the physical presence of Italy’s most famous “screamer”; the lucky ones, now, surround her little table, under the orchestra.

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Oriana Fallaci – The siren of twenty years – The European 05.02.1961

But who, then, is this girl who in not even two years has become a kind of myth of Italians young and old, poor and rich, suckers and smart, communists and Catholics, and in one minute earns as much as a magistrate earns in a month (one hundred and fifty thousand traffic circles), in one week collects six covers of authoritative weeklies, and if you say you have never seen her sing they treat you as an ignoramus, a traitor to the fatherland, or a cretin?

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Tony di Corcia from “Mina Viva lei” – Clichy Editions 2023

It has become very difficult to write about Mina.
This oh-so-round and fateful birthday of 80, which falls today, has already been consumed by streams of words, hordes of footage, odd images.
Everything seems already said. Premature retirement in 1978-an anti-media seclusion-made her forever young.

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Natalia Aspesi – Here is Mina fatter more beautiful and better – La Repubblica 04.07.1978

Fifty years? It could be 30 or 90, it would be the same. Tomorrow Mina turns half a century old, and the occasion only serves to make it clear how the singer has become, in Italian custom, a symbol rather than a living person. A symbol of an Italy as good as she was, glorious and optimistic, that of the boom years with which her rise coincided; but also, for most of those over 30, a sentimental symbol in the fullest sense of the word.

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