Michel Legrand and Natalie Dessay in concert at Centrepointe Theatre
Two of France’s most renowned musicians come together on stage for a rollicking trip through legend Michel Legrand’s inimitable body of work. The much anticipated concert will be held at Centrepointe Theatre on Monday, December 23 at 8pm.
This effervescent evening of song matches French soprano Natalie Dessay, a grand diva of the opera world renowned for her theatricality, with Michel Legrand, one of the 20th century’s greatest songwriters (Summer of ’42, I Will Wait for You, Paris Was Made for Lovers…). On the program are selections hand-picked by Dessay and Legrand from the decorated composer’s stunning songbook that includes hundreds of film, television and musical theatre scores (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Thomas Crown Affair , Yentl, etc.), over 100 albums and numerous songs that have become beloved jazz and cabaret standards.
With Legrand at the piano and a small ensemble of bass, drums and harp, Dessay revels in the stylistic versatility and intrinsic poetry of Legrand’s music, which looms large in the singer’s musical memory. As a young girl, the classic movie musicals The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Ladies of Rochefort, which feature some of Legrand’s most unforgettable tunes, inspired her to become a performer.
Dessay and Legrand’s initial collaboration on a handful of concert dates in France eventually grew into a season-long tour and an album, Entre elle et lui, which was released on EMI on October 21. The album includes 19 songs from the duo’s concert program including Papa Can You Hear Me (from Yentl) and The Windmills of Your Mind (from The Thomas Crown Affair).
Natalie Dessay has without question one of the world’s greatest voices. Her wide repertoire includes the Queen of the Night, Ophélie, Eurydice, Morgana, Blondchen and Zerbinetta, as well as Fiakermilli – the role that introduced her to American audiences at the Metropolitan Opera. Her performances of Lucia di Lammermoor opened the Met’s 2007/08 season, and in the same year, her performances of La Fille du Régiment in Vienna, New York and London won her the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Dessay reprised her roles in both of these operas in 2008 at the Met, and the HD broadcast of La Fille reached thousands of opera aficionados worldwide. This versatile soprano is a sought-after artist whose prolific work is reflected in her increasing discography; her recordings include Mozart, Bach, Monteverdi, Strauss, Handel and now Michel Legrand.
A composer, conductor, pianist, singer, writer and producer, Michel Legrand jettisons the barriers between musical styles. He was 22 when his first album, I Love Paris, became one of the best-selling instrumental albums ever released. He is a virtuoso jazz and classical pianist and an accomplished arranger and conductor who performs with orchestras all over the world. A number of his songs, including What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?, Watch What Happens, The Summer Knows and You Must Believe in Spring have become jazz standards frequently covered by other artists. Legrand won three Oscars and five Grammy Awards, and was nominated for an Emmy.
Tickets are $130/$90/$70 – discounted tickets for students (with ID), seniors and groups . For more information, visit http://www.centrepointetheatre.com/