Broadway with a French twist
Musical theater ! My unlimited supply of energy…
“Very early on, I had the chance to bathe in a rich and extremely varied musical universe. I spent my childhood between the vocalizations of my mother, dramatic soprano, the stories that my father told me, enamored of poetry and jazz and the scales of my grandmother, composer of stage music.
Between Gounod, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, George Delerue, Bernstein and many others … A real musical melting pot! Ah … the first family outings to Mac-Mahon or Châtelet. The first emotions with Guys And Dolls, Black And Blue, Porgy And Bess, 42nd Street and A Star Is Born … Between classical music and jazz my heart was beating!
Until one day … The need to find my “voice” came up. A voice that would be the fusion between classical music, jazz and theater: Musical Theater! My vocation was born.
Hence the overwhelming urge to design a tribute program to the Musicals of my childhood with a singer who’s voice is worthy of the crooners of the golden age of musical comedy, Frederik Steenbrink. Because what would be a tribute to Musicals without a duet? A Ginger without her Fred? A Judy without her Mickey? Solos, duets, a jazz quartet and a philharmonic Orchestra! This new project, launched one evening by Jean-Pierre Rousseau in 2012, could only find an echo in me. ”
A very unique program
Broadway Symphonique was created with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège, conducted by Fayçal Karoui at the prestigious Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, on July 31st, 2014. It was performed at the Grand Théâtre de Verviers as well as at the Philharmonic Hall of Liège December 18th, 19th & 20h, 2014 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège conducted by Jean-Pierre Haeck. Then, it was at Pau’s Zénith with the Pau Pays de Béarn Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui, January 3rd and 4th, 2015, at the Quintaou Theater with the Bayonne Côte Basque Regional Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Levy, January 9th and 10th, 2016, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with the Paris Chamber Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui, December 12th, 2017 and at the Opéra Confluence with the Avignon Provence Regional Orchestra conducted by Samuel Jean, May 24th 2019.
This program mixes swing, and Jazz ballads with the breadth and virtuosity of a Symphony orchestra. It revives the spectacular side of Broadway orchestras and the heyday of MGM.
The voices draw their inspiration from the great performers of musicals, from Judy Garland to crooners like Frank Sinatra. The two voices allow duets in the manner of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire but also Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
The quartet, piano, double bass, drums and saxophone, is made up of jazz musicians. Improvizers, they take their inspiration from Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Haden, Art Blakey, Bill Evans, Erroll Garner …
The orchestrations inspired by George Gershwin, Nelson Riddle or Gordon Jenkins are signed by Cyrille Lehn.
Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink, essential figures of the musical theater in France, wrote and performed the shows Judy and me, Padam Padam, Broadway Enchanté, Chante! Amour Amor, Happy End and Oh Là Là! Isabelle Georges created, with Sirba Octet, From the Shtetl to New York and Yiddish Rhapsody, also arranged by Cyrille Lehn.
Andrew Doig highlights the three dimensions of this highly festive program embellished with narrations and moments of play on the meaning, origin or style of the pieces, like Judy Garland in her television shows.
With Cyrille Lehn, Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink insisted, in each title, that one or more elements, would be in the spotlights, saxophone, piano or drums, soloists of the orchestra or a section in particular like the brass, which offers a rainbow of musical colors.
Finally, it’s impossible to talk about a Musical theater without including a dance number in the pure Broadway tradition, with a thunderous tribute to the fantastic tap dancer heir to Samy Davis, the no less famous Gregory Hines.
Enchanteresse, dynamique et originale ! Bravo, bravo, bravo !