André Manoukian, transfixed with love at the piano; Élodie Frégé as a fatal diva who undulates like a cat to curl up in the curves of the instrument. Such are the decor and especially the interpreters of the concert-concept prepared by the two artists and accomplices who have known each other since television brought them together. It was (already!) in 2014.
Before going on stage, Thursday evening, André Manoukian reveals a small part of what the spectators will discover…
Your bond with Élodie Frégé was created thanks to television. And it’s also partly thanks to this experience that the show you’re going to present in Issoire was born, isn’t it?
” That’s right. I met Élodie when she joined the jury team for La Nouvelle Star. Even before the program starts, we have [les quatre membres du jury, NDLR], the idea of resuming a cult song from the jazzy repertoire, as a program entry. Candidates and jurors had noticed that every time this song was covered, it made me frown. This title was Fever. The singers said to themselves a little “with this title, we are going to pick the Dédé”. Of course, this title still had to be sung! But, it is one of the most emblematic songs of jazz. The song therefore had a little history, between us, jurors. It had become a little joke. At the launch of the new season, we decide to record it, we members of the jury. So we end up with Sinclair, Yarol Poupaud and Élodie. And when she starts to sing, then I fall out of my chair. I knew her though. I knew his repertoire. But I didn’t know she was capable of carrying a song like that to that point. I saw as a reincarnation of a kind of Jessica Rabbit. By interpreting it, she suddenly became as emblematic as Rita Hayworth. With a pure and sincere charm. At that time, we started doing duets, her and me. And we haven’t stopped since!
The actor Francis Huster launches the cultural season of Issoire (Puy-de-Dôme) with a show that looks back on the real life of Molière
Like what, the little legend around this title, was not exaggerated: it makes you turn your head well…?
“I think it’s safe to say, yes, it’s proof. But I insist on one aspect: it is still necessary to sing it well, this song. And Élodie sings it so well! »
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What is the story of the show and what is the story of its creation, its conception?
“On stage, with Élodie, we come to tell an archetypal love story. Tragically banal. That of a pianist and his singer, with whom he is obviously madly in love. But not paid back. This story is told through “torch songs”, songs that burn with a tragic and often one-sided love. We built the show with American jazz standards. But also French song. I chose my songs; Élodie chose hers. She has a film repertoire. We tried to go to jazz songs from the movies. We explored the songs of Marilyn Monroe, Julie London, the repertoire of Rita Hayworth with Put the Blame on Mame. There is therefore something of the order of Hollywood mythology when Élodie and I work together. Élodie also brought, and this was new to me, songs from the French repertoire, a title by Gainsbourg, for example Mortel Ennui. Élodie allowed me to get out of jazz, to visit “French jazz”, because there was some. We will also find a title by Salvador, one by Biolay, written for Élodie, among others. »
Thursday, is it therefore something between the concert and the musical tragedy that you invite the public of Issoire?
“There will be a story, given on stage, in any case. My piano helps me. The grand piano is made in such a way that it has a curve in which the singer takes refuge, nestles automatically. The pianist is the only one in the orchestra who welcomes the singer with kindness. Being a harmonic instrument, it accompanies it. The others are soloists, and show off with her: the guitarist, the sax, they go around. Conversely, the pianist collects, accompanies. Him, he spreads his fingers: simply to make room for the singer. Me, I really like to accompany the singers. I tell that, my journey, on stage. How, at the base, I was only interested in the purely instrumental aspect of jazz. And then one day, in the studio, I encounter singing, in a dazzling way, thanks to a singer I meet. There, it was a revelation: the Epiphany! A melody cannot be better served than by a singer or a singer. You can put all the instruments you want, the voice is the ultimate instrument. Singing is the most magical medium for a melody. The composer or the pianist can be captivated by his muse: she inspires and that’s great. But the muse can turn into a mermaid. With its bewitching, dangerous song. There, you have to attach yourself very strongly to the mast of the boat so as not to dive. I have often dived. This is what I will tell, on stage, Thursday evening…”
Marie Edwige Hebrard
Appointment. Thursday, at 8:30 p.m. at Animatis. For all. Prices: €24, €21; free pass: €13. Online ticketing: issoire.fr
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Interview – André Manoukian will accompany Elodie Frégé, Thursday at Animatis in Issoire (Puy-de-Dôme): “The voice is the ultimate instrument”
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