Celele & Relala
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Celele & Relala

Band World Children's Music


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‘Singing Stories’ celebrates one decade on exhibition

By Flávia Guerra

In 1995, when they created the show Singing Stories with Celele & Relala, the music teachers Celise Melo and Regiane Toledo expected to be on exhibition for a maximum of 3 months. They couldn’t have been more wrong. This weekend they celebrate ten years on exhibition. Is not little. The achievement deserves to be celebrated with what the two of them do best: a lot of music. For the show’s re-opening on Sunday, they also prepared a surprise. Those who buy a ticket will get the show’s CD.

The CD, by the way, is another accomplishment to be celebrated. Three years after the show’s debut, Celise and Regiane were sought by Natasha Records (Paula Lavigne’s label), which didn’t have any children products in its catalog. In 2003, the duo released “Para Cantar o Ano Inteiro” (“To Sing All Year”), their second CD. After more than 700 performances and 50.000 CDs sold, they can only celebrate.

But what’s the secret of this remarkable longevity? According to ‘Singing Stories’ director, Tony Babalu, the success recipe is simplicity. “It seems an easy definition, but it’s not. Actually, the secret is the music and the interactivity. Is doing a grown up sound for children. Is offering the audience from 2 to 8 years old a musical production that often only their parents have access”, he comments.

And Babalu knows exactly what he’s talking about. After all, maintaining for ten years a show that’s only presented on Sundays, has never had cast changes and has never missed one single presentation is not an easy task. “The children are owners of the show and they demand from us. The show is made for an age group who likes to interact and likes repetition. They come back several times, and if we change something they really complain”, says the director.

Through all these years, Babalu added several new attractions to the show, but it wasn’t necessary to remove others. “Frankly, we wanted to run away from the mass models, influenced by TV, that’s often presented to children. At the same time that we have a video clip production that happens in a frenetic rhythm, with costume changes, several characters, a lot of smoke, soap-bubble rain, we keep the playful character, the music simplicity, with classic chords (without TV’s temporary fevers), that don’t ever get old”, he explains.

The children, who despite the young age know better than anybody how to identify what’s truly authentic, approved. Proof of that is the fact that Celise and Regiane, during the week, teach music at schools, work with music-therapy and, on Saturdays, perform in theaters, prived companies, parties and clubs.

Celele & Relala’s next step is a television show. “We already have the pilot ready to be presented to some broadcasters”, says Babalu. Who knows if a DVD project could also emerge. The children would love to take home the show and, as they like so much, watch it and sing until they get really tired.

*Originally written in Portuguese, published on daily newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo, on April 2nd, 2005 - Flavia Guerra (O Estado de São Paulo) (major São Paulo (Brazil) daily newspaper)


By Marcelo Ventura

Celise Melo’s and Regiane Toledo’s children show, “Singing Stories with Celele & Relala” enters its 10th year on exhibition. Until now there’s been around 900 presentations in theaters, clubs, schools, parks and parties, seen by an estimated public of 200.000 people. Celise and Regiane play acoustic guitar and sing thirteen plain themes, changing their colorful costumes according to the songs’ lyrics. The audience, specially the younger ones, sing along, dance, get involved and enjoy themselves with them.

*Originally written in Portuguese, published in major Brazilian newspaper “VEJA SP”, on March 30th, 2005 - Marcelo Ventura (VEJA SP Magazine)


1998 - CD "Celele e Relala" (Natasha Records/Brazil)

2003 - CD "Para Cantar o Ano Inteiro" (Amellis Records/Brazil)



The duo Celele & Relala emerged in 1993, in Sao Paulo/Brazil. Formed by singers and (later on) actresses Celise Melo and Regiane Toledo, the duo’s goal is to stimulate children’s perception through Music, and facilitate their integration with society.

This ideal aroused from the fact that both artists are also Music teachers for children, besides being close friends. When Regiane worked Celise’s songs in the classroom, she felt in the children’s receptivity the urge to amplify and make Celise’s work become public. Therefore, naturally came to sight the idea of putting on a musical show for children between 2 and 8 years old, age group until then lacked of exclusive and direct cultural content.

In the first 2 years of career, the duo performed in several theaters e cultural spaces in the city of Sao Paulo (Brazil), achieving after each appearance a growing success of public and critics, maturing their stage performance and consolidating the first version of the show “Singing Stories with Celele & Relala” (“Cantando Estórias com Celelê e Relalá”).

In 1995, Celise and Regiane invited the musician and producer Tony Babalu to become their General Director. Under his direction, they finalized the definitive theatrical production, filled up with creative and singular solutions, such as projecting the scenery in cinema screen, promoting “soap-bubble rain” and many sound and light effects, offering small children “a rich spectacle, with all the elements a grown up would have at his idol’s concert” (review published in the ‘Jornal da Tarde’, a big circulation newspaper from Sao Paulo).

“Singing Stories with Celele & Relala” debuted in 1995 and until today keeps its initial concept alive, with its quick change of costumes and characters while 14 songs are sang live in video clip rhythm, in an interactive way, creating a thrilling atmosphere of joy which involves the children since the first moment and invites them to take part in the show.

The foresight was to perform a 3 month season, but even before that period the production had already been nominated to the Brazilian Sharp Award and APETESP Award (best spectacle, actress, soundtrack and composed music), and the audience of 30 people that’d watched the first performance had astonishingly multiplied itself.

As natural consequence of success, in 1996 the duo recorded their first CD, “Celele & Relala”, containing among others the songs from the show. The album, according to the review written by Okky de Souza (journalist/editor from “Veja”, major brazilian weekly magazine), brings as result “the best of two worlds: the traditional childish imaginary adjusted to nowadays sense of hearing”. Officially released in 1998 through label Natasha Records, the album was directed, produced, arranged and executed by Tony Babalu, as well as Celele & Relala’s 2nd CD, “To Sing All Year” (“Para Cantar o Ano Inteiro”), released in 2003 through label Amellis Records. Both albums are still in catalog and are distributed by Tratore.

Celise and Regiane soon realized the necessity to abandon any personal projects to fully dedicate themselves to the work of keeping the theater season alive. From that decision on succeeded the impressive sequence of 14 consecutive years in exhibition, without any breaks or cast changes, achievement that, according to major brazilian newspaper ‘Folha de Sao Paulo’, “inserts Brazil in the level of great international stage productions of all kinds of all times, with the distinction of reaching the age range from 2 to 8 years”.

Without ever counting with any commercial exposure in the media or any public or private sponsorship, but only with non-financial support from some companies that believe in the duo’s work, “Singing Stories with Celele & Relala” became the one and only children show on permanent exhibition in Sao Paulo, being considered today by the press as a “cultural postcard of the city of Sao Paulo, for its longevity and its playful-pedagogical proposal, combined to the purest kind of entertainment”.