Natalie Dessay collaborates with Michel Legrand on a new CD , between her and him,At her recent performance and CD launch in Montreal’s new Maison Symphonique, Natalie dessay's tandem performance with Michel Legrand, accompanied by Quebec City’s Les Violons du Roy, left the audience on the edges of their seats and wanting more.
In today’s highly competitive music industry, there are several musicians who succeed wildly by finding and sticking to a single stylistic path for the rest of their careers and smile all the way to the bank. However, it is always interesting when a professional musician, already well loved and appreciated for a certain genre of music, takes the risk and plunges into a whole new stylistic universe.
If there were ever a classical singer who understood the lessons of the industry, it is Natalie Dessay; a highly acclaimed international star whose operatic career has taken her around the globe. This coloratura soprano has without question one of the world’s greatest voices. According to The New York Times “It is pointless to separate singing and acting in a Dessay performance. Every vocal phrase is impelled by the emotion and dramatic intention of the moment”. I couldn't agree any more.
Dessay has always maintained a fondness for a musical universe as equally complex and contrasting as herself. Recently in 2013, she left the opera stage to pursue a career in theatrical pop and jazz music. Her latest CD entitled "Between Her and Him" is the realization of a childhood dream: dually performing with one of the world’s greatest film music legend’s Michel Legrand.
Legrand is a virtuoso jazz and classical pianist as well as an accomplished arranger and conductor who regularly performs with orchestras worldwide. Some of his most famous scores have become jazz standards frequently covered by other artists.
At her recent performance and CD launch in Montreal’s new Maison Symphonique, her tandem performance with Michel Legrand, accompanied by Quebec City’s Les Violons du Roy, left the audience on the edges of their seats and wanting more.
On stage and in her new CD, Dessay performed a number of Legrand’s hit songs, including "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?," and several other crowd favorites from the Oscar winning Summer of ’42, The Thomas Crown Affair, Yentl, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Ladies of Rochefort), and Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).
Thanks to her operatic training and love of classical music, Dessay injected some of those influences into her jazz singing while delivering vocal gymnastics that would be the envy of numerous other singers. She maintained a warm and powerful tone throughout the performance and delivered an emotional filled rendition of each of Legrand’s signature melodies.
While at first I had my reservations about her style switch (I have been an ardent fan of her previous opera repertoire for years!) I have to admit that by the end of the concert, she had won me over and I am convinced that her intention to continue her performing career as a dramatic actress and "chansonniere" will be met with great success. Together, Natalie Dessay and Michel Legrand form a duo that lives and breathes magic as they are both artists that are motivated by life and the richness of music in all its forms.
Dessay and Legrand’s wonderful collaborative CD project, entitled "Between Her and Him" was published on October 21 and was followed by a major international tour.
For more information on the CD and up-coming concerts, please consult: