Love has no borders : Carte Blanche pictures, report, story and ode
THIS IS IT.
Months of work, doubts, white nights, white pages, pressure sometimes, brainstorming, planning, writing...but also joy, love, sharing, exploring, creating, trying, retrying, going further, deeper, clearer...
Because I was not only singing for 1h30 hours and 20 songs...I was also the artistic manager of the whole project. It had to be something close to who I am...it had to be something spontaneous but precise, going off-slope but with boundaries. It had to be a recital but I wanted it to be a new form of recital, a show, a classical show but original, original but of high quality. It was a chalenge, and I decided to take with me on stage 9 great artists who are not only talented, but also creative, willing to explore and try out my ideas. Each of them has his/her own very particular background :
Mattia and Denovane, both dancing at the Ballet Béjart, coming from the hip-hop.
Silvia (cello) and Daniel (guitar), both classical musiciens but having their pop solo project
Kazuaki (contrabasse) and Gerry (Saxophone), who can do both classical and jazz music
Cyprien who is at the same time an actor, a singer, a composer, a slammer...
Todd who is my all favorite pianist for the classical concerts but who is open-minded enough to accept to play pop, chanson, and jazz for my projects.
And Benjamin Knobil, one of my favorite stage managers, who works with actors, singers, operas, and is an actor and writer himself.
9 artists from 9 different countries, they never met before, never did this kind of project. We were definitely going above borders !!!
And we had only 4 days of rehearsal to make this happen. I must say, none of them ever looked at the watch, we worked from early morning to late night, always in a good atmosphere, each of them proposing something, adapting, trying, with a smile and so much creativity. I was so blessed to be so well surrounded ! what a dream team !
It was a challenge, also because I myself never had done the lights or the sound for a project,I knew nothing about it, I just knew how I wanted it to look at the end...and I was lucky enough to be helped by Matthieu and Chris, whom also never complained about me having a hundred of ideas and asking them to try and cancel and try something else and yes it's this but a bit more blue, a bit less reverb, etc...
Another challenge was the rearrangement of some songs : to add a saxophone on a Barber lied, a contrabass on a Kurt Weill song, dancers on Jacques Brel, me slamming on Léo Ferré...
I was under a lot of pressure because there was so few time, and so much advertisement, and it had to be as good as I believed it would, but it was the first time for me, and so much to think about...
But here we are : the D day. The place is full. I have two of my metal friends coming from Lyon, two friends from Paris who never heard me sing classical before, and many friends from the opera world in the public. I am nervous. Will I manage to sing the whole thing through? Will everyone remember everything he/she has to do on stage (no need to say that we have nobody giving any entrance) ? Will the whole story be understood?
And 1h30 later, we have our answer : a great success ! What a joy, what a relief. When I hear that both my metal friends and my Paris friends, swell as my opera friends, and total strangers (some of them never came to a classical recital before, some others are going all the time) said this was something which gave them the wish to go more often at the opera or to see concerts, when I see their emotion, their happiness, I knew I reached my goal !!! LOVE and MUSIC HAVE NO BORDERS
The two feedbacks that gave me a smile for the rest of the week were :
- The great tenor Eric Tappy telling me that he had waited until his age to see something like this, and it was worth waiting.
- My metal and Paris friends telling me this show was exactly like me and they fell the same energy and love on stage as I have with them in the real life
If I would have to redo it, I would have take at least four more days to rehearse with everyone. And I would probably have made different choices about the sound .
It is indeed very important : the sound. When you want to go off-borders, and present to the public a classical recital in a way they never (or rarely) saw before, you have to find compromises. The question was : can we do half to the recital (the classical part : piano/voice) without microphones and then the second part (which involves contrabass and saxophone and cello and guitar, all of them being amplified) with ? Probably in a different concert-hall, which has a natural good acoustic (natural reverb) yes. Not in this one. We tried, and the difference was so big that it was shocking. It was necessary then to amplify the piano and the voice, not because we would not hear Todd or myself, but to have a homogenous sound the whole show. I was quite sceptical because as a lyrical singer I never use a microphone. But the sound manager told me they would do a very discrete and soft amplification.
Well, most of the people said it wasn't bothering them at all. But several people from the classical world told me it was for them very difficult to get used to my opera voice with amplification.
So this is something I need to think through. Indeed, if I want to meet a public who is not going often to the opera, and make them discover opera and classical music through this project, I would like to do it in concert venues that are maybe not always made for classical music and in this case I will need an amplification the whole show. And if this project is booked in a classical venue I will be glad to make two parts : one classical without amplification and the other one with.
I'd like to end this long post with a huge THANK YOU, first of all to the 9 artists who were not only brave, talented and amazing, but also great colleagues, huge support and lovely persons !
I'd like to thank the HEMU for giving me the opportunity, tools and trust to create this project !
I'd like to thank my mother and Marie Pierre for helping me look good and be relaxed before the show !
I'd like to thanks to technical, lights, sound, communication and organisation team which worked hard on this project with me.
And I'd like to thanks the public for coming, for sharing this moment with me, for being open-minded enough, and for their love.
This is probably gonna stay one of the most enriching experience, it made me grow, both as a person and as an artist. And it is only the beginning !