Broadway with a French twist
Musical theater ! My unlimited supply of energy…
“I was born in a rich and extremely varied musical universe. I spent my childhood between the vocal scales of my mother, dramatic soprano, the stories my father told me, enamored of poetry and jazz and the scales of my grandmother, piano player and composer.
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 the Mac-Mahon or the Châtelet, in Paris. The unforgettable emotions discovering 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 own “voice” came up. A voice that would be the fusion of 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 at the prestigious Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, on July 31, 2014 with the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Fayçal Karoui. It was performed at the Grand Théâtre de Verviers and at the Liège Philharmonic Hall December 18, 19 & 20, 2014 with the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jean-Pierre Haeck, At Pau’s Zénith with the Pau Pays de Béarn Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui, January 3 and, 2015, at the Quintaou Theater with the Bayonne Côte Basque Regional Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Levy, January 9 and 10, 2016, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, in Paris, with the Paris Chamber Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui, December 12, 2017, at the Opéra Confluence with the Avignon Provence Regional Orchestra conducted by Samuel Jean, May 24 2019 and at the Nantes and Angers Palais des congrès, Marsh 3 & 6 and May 25 2022.
This program mixes Jazz with the breadth and virtuosity of a Symphony orchestra. It revives the spectacular of Broadway orchestras and the heyday of MGM.
The voices draw their inspiration from Judy Garland to crooners like Frank Sinatra, they blend in duets in the manner of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire but also Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
The jazz quartet (piano, double bass, drums and saxophone) draw 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 !