A new show about Piaf et Aznavour plays Wollongong and Sydney this month. We spoke with Milko Foucault – Larche, the show’s creator and also the person singing the songs of Charles Aznavour in the show.
Tell us about the show Piaf & Aznavour “Back in Time”?
Piaf & Aznavour – “Back in Time” is a completely new creation in Sydney.
A show that I would say is unique in the fact that there is no other show like it in the world.
I created it with a Comédie Musicale approach.
We play Piaf & Aznavour and include other characters who played important roles in their lives.
In order to give an international character to this production, I insisted that the songs be sung in English and in French.
You are the producer of French entertainment in Australia. Since when and how have you been in this role?
Being born in Mauritius, French was my mother tongue and I have always been passionate about the Variété Française and the Opérette Française. I actually made by stage debut with the Troupes d’Opérette Française on tour in Mauritius.
When I arrived in Australia, I dabbled in many music styles before starting to produce my own shows at the end of the 90s. Today, I am the only producer of French shows in Australia.
Why do you want to tell the story of Piaf and Aznavour?
Piaf and Aznavour are without a doubt the two best known ambassadors of la Chanson Française in the world. Their songs are remarkable and there is a lot of dramatic material to create a theatre show rather than a traditional concert.
Besides, I aim to take the show all around the world.
I have solid tour dates being locked in for 2020/2021.
What is the importance of the relationship between Piaf and Aznavour? Were they lovers?
There was a huge friendship between them but at the same time great complicity.
Were they lovers? Aznavour denies it in his autobiography saying that it is the reason that they stayed friends for such a long time.
You have created a number of shows about Charles Aznavour. Why do you have such an interest in Charles Aznavour’s music?
Well there are a number of reasons for that.
The first: the songs are wonderful, the music is remarkable and there are hundreds of songs to discover.
I remain today the only Australian artist to present Aznavour shows in Australia. So in terms of competition, I don’t have any! I do things in a certain way. I am also the only Australian artist to have released an Aznavour album.
For me, it’s the continunation on a path on which I am very comfortable and of which the repertoire suits me entirely. And there are large number of songs by Aznavour which have been translated into English.
Francophile audiences all know Piaf but might not know Aznavour. Why is he lesser known given that they worked and sung together?
In Australia, it’s a question of culture and generation.
That said, it’s now 15 years that I’ve been singing Aznavour in Australia. It’s perhaps difficult but it’s done!
Talk to us about Corinne who sings the songs of Piaf in the show in November.
Corinne is one of 3 singers to take on the role of Piaf. Corinne was born in Paris but has lived in Sydney for a bit over 10 years. She is completely at ease in the role and takes it on with conviction and brilliance. We get along very, very well.
Anything else to tell us?
Piaf & Aznavour is a show unlike others. I won’t say more than that.
Reactions have been encouraging. For me, it’s the beginning of a great adventure!
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What’s your favourite Piaf & Aznavour song?