vendredi 19 juin 2009

Culture club

The summer approaches and as the evenings stay lighter for longer, so the theatres, operas and concert venues go dark.

So, as the Paris 'season' draws to a close, I thought I'd give you some of my highlights and lowlights of the year....

Highlights would have to include the excellent production of Talking Heads by Alan Bennett at the Theatre du Rond Point des Champs Elysées. Great writing, well translated and then perfectly staged and acted. Shame that the subtle Englishness of some of the comedy was lost on the French audience - how many French people really picked up on the fact that a woman moving from Roundhay to Harrogate really does have 'ideas above her station'....?

Equally great, but surprisingly so was the Tings Tings at the Bataclan. A small venue and a group with an equally small repertoire. I was expecting a car crash and I got 45 minutes of pure pop excellence - highly charged performance that energised the audience and got everyone dancing (which doesn't happen all that often at French gigs).

The other expected car crash that turned out to be brilliant was this week's concert by Marianne Faithfull. She hasn't got the best voice in the world, was singing off sheets (such is her lack of memory) and she seemed a bit drunk, but boy did she rock. Amazing performance. I cried during the Ballad of Lucy Jordan. An experience I'll remember for a long long time.

Amongst the other female performers who rocked my scene this year have been the fantastic Aimee Mann (sublime) and the newcomer Little Boots - a good set and a great performer.

The modern dance evening at the Palais Garnier was also sublime, with an incredibly disturbing final piece that the French found funny.

Disappointment has come in the shape of performers and performances that should have been brilliant.

Rufus Wainwright - my future husband - really didn't cut it earlier this week at the Cité de la Musique. He was alone with his piano and chose a maudling selection of songs, occasionally brightened up by a couple of his oldest numbers. He seemed unprepared and the setlist seemed like it had been thrown together at the last minute. For a big Rufus fan like myself it was really sad.

Equally sad was Morissey deciding to cancel his Paris gig. He's threatening a return in November though, so we'll have to wait and see how that turns out.

And finally, Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands ballet at the Theatre du Chatelêt should have been excellent. I saw the original staging at Sadlers Wells and it was fabulous in a weird, dark, fantastic kind of way. The Paris show was just not right. Something about it was lacking. It just didn't do it for me.

Other concerts included Fleet Foxes, who would have been great if they'd only sung one or two songs, the Killers who absolutely blew me away, and a great presentation by Semyon Bychkow of Rchard Strauss and Shostakovich at the Opera Bastille. The Shostakovich - symphony 7, 'Leningrad' - was truly spectacular.

Chosing the event of the year would be difficult. I really would struggle to pick one from all of them, so here's the top three:

- Aimee Mann
- Killers
- Marianne Faithfull

....hmm, I want to add Tings Tings to the top three as well.

All rocked. All were amazing, and I left all four of these concerts feeling buoyed, moved and ready to take on the world.

Surely that's what music is all about?

13 commentaires:

Brett a dit…

What a mix, a real benefit of living in a big city

Daryl a dit…

Its supposed to soothe the savage beast or breast depending ...

Poor old Marianne .. did she need glasses .. I know I am cruel

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Brett, makes me feel very lucky, so it does....

D, She needed glasses at certain points, bless her. And a hand down the stairs off the stage afterwards....I guess that's the result of a life of excess...he he

Louise a dit…

That IS what music is all about. I really don't know anyone who gets more of it than you do!

(Although I will make an attempt to catch upb
with you, I likely cannot.)

Pure Poser a dit…

Matthew Bourne is EXCELLENT! His choreography is stunning. His Swan Lake is really good and the guys are so lush in it! Edward Scissorhands I loved too.

Yeah thats the dancer in me going absolutely mental. Good choice of entertainment my friend :D

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Louise, I like to think I get my fair share...of music, that is ;-)

So lovely to see you here again - try and catch up if you can (at some point I need to tell you about Florida boy...*swoon*)

Poser - I'm glad you approve - I've seen all of the Matthew Bourne stuff and love it lots - especially the Car Man...now that's got the hot boys in it!

aims a dit…

The fact that you cried over a song made me love you even more. I do that - and it's only a song for Gawd's sake! But boy I can wail with the best of them.

Let's you and I get our kleenex and go somewhere - what say you?

cb a dit…

I'm very picky musically, and I have yet to be thrilled by a performance here in MPLS.

The Mutant a dit…

See, the problem I have is that a lot of the artists I'd like to see just don't bother with Australia and for those that do come here, I usually have my head so far up my own arse that I miss them entirely. The last performance I'd have seen was probably eighteen months ago. I need to be shot don't I?

See, Marianne Faithfull, the Ting Tings and Little Boots would have been UNREAL. Sigh... I'm sure I'll get around to seeing something live some time soon.

Swearing Mother a dit…

I lerve the Ting Tings! Favourite CD at the moment, we do the dancing around the lounge to it like your Mum's neighbours.

Maybe we ARE your Mum's neighbours?!

12ontheinside a dit…

I think I am getting old. I don't know any of these bands or singers.

Old as I may be, I can still agree on what effect music can (and should) have on one. That iswhy if forced to choose, I would choose to go blind rather than deaf. (Although really, why anyone is ever going to force me into that sort of choice is a complete mystery, so perhaps I should find something new to worry about).

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims, I'll see you there sweeite!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB - you're only talking musical performance, right? I hear that other performances may have provided the required thrills...

Mutant, you need to get organised - plenty of good bands make Australia you know....

Sweary - I really hope that you aren't...they're a strange bunch...

12oti - you definitely need more to worry about...