Recently, I posted an interview with Caroline Nin, where we discussed Caroline’s new Edith Piaf concert series in Paris and the roots of her performing arts career.
- The show is currently (and through May 22, 2013) every Wednesday at 8PM
- From May 29, 2013 through June 26, 2013, the show will be every Wednesday at 7:30PM
- Additionally, two more dates have been added: Thursday, June 20, 2013 and Saturday, June 22, 2013, both at 7:30PM.
- The concert series will take a little break for the summer, but due to popular demand, the show has now been extended from September 12, 2013 through December 21, 2013: every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the concert myself, but my friend Ana graciously offered to write up a review of the concert for Paris Weekender:
Located at the turn of a narrow street at the western edge of the Marais, the Théâtre Essaion de Paris is easy to miss. Indeed, I walked right by it before doubling back and descending the stairs leading to the lobby. After a bit of a wait near the ticket counter, the group (which was predominantly Anglophone) was ushered into a lovely, vaulted room seating about 75.
As the tickets were general admission, there was a bit of a dash for seats with the best view—although they are beautiful, because of the columns, there were locations that were significantly more attractive than others. The group waiting outside largely respected the line, so I suggest arriving early, and picking seats quickly once you enter. The space is very intimate, seating no more than 75 people, grouped in three sections around the performance area. We ended up in the second row, to the left of the “stage,” with a clear view of the trio—a bassist, pianist and Ms. Nin herself.
In charmingly-accented English reflecting her time in London and her Parisian roots, before each song, Ms. Nin shared personal anecdotes, weaving them seamlessly with English translations of the French lyrics and Edith Piaf’s own biography. She translated the lyrics, and placed the song in context—progressing chronologically, the songs ranged from Piaf’s early days in Paris to her time in the United States. Although I own a single Edith Piaf CD gifted to me before one of my séjours en France, I must admit to only being familiar with a handful of her songs and not knowing any of her personal history. The vignettes were especially fascinating to me, but revealing to my Parisian friend as well, who had significantly more background.
As a jazz singer, Ms. Nin has a voice very different from the original chanteuse. Piaf’s rasp is replaced by Nin’s smoother, less gravelly tone. Although disorienting at first, in some ways her take was even more enjoyable than the original, and certainly provided a unique take on Piaf’s songbook. The combination of stories and music lasted just about 80 minutes, including two encores—a lovely Wednesday evening!
Thank you, Ana, for sharing your experience with us!