French Music Festival brings French music to NSW and VIC

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Milko Foucault-Larche is organising a French Music Festival, a concert tour of French music in New South Wales and Victoria. In this festival there are three shows, Paris After Dark, Pardon My French and Aznavour & Friends. We chatted to Milko about these concerts and the French Music Festival.

French Music Festival

Milko, you’re touring New South Wales and Victoria with a series of concert this may. Tell us a little about the French Music Festival.

The French Music Festival is a travelling festival with French performances that we take to various parts of New South Wales and Victoria.  In some cases we work with the Alliances Françaises.

 

You have three distinct shows within the French Music Festival: Paris After Dark, Pardon My French, Aznavour & Friends. Tell us about these shows.

Paris After Dark and Pardon My French are are variety shows. We present the great classics of French Song and we include a touch of operetta, musicals and opera.

 

Aznavour & Friends, is of course Charles Aznavour’s songs in the foreground but also songs that we borrow from Mr Aznavour’s friends.

Which singers and from which era are the songs in Paris After Dark?

Paris After Dark presents songs by Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Joséphine Baker, Dalida, Gilbert Becaud, Claude François, Michel Legrand.

 

Who is singing in the show Paris After Dark?

Milko Foucault – Larche and Corinne Andrew are the protagonists of Paris After Dark.

 

Pardon My French poster - French Music Festival

Which singers and from which period are the songs from the show Pardon My French?

Pardon My French presents songs quite similar to “Paris After Dark”. In this tour, there are also songs of Yves Montand, Enrico Macias, Luis Mariano but also international songs that are part of the French repertoire.

 

Who performs in the show Pardon My French?

Pardon My French is a one-man show with me, Milko Foucault–Larche.

You are a big fan of Aznavour – you have even released an album of his songs. What do you like about his music?

With Monsieur Aznavour, it’s first of all the absolutely remarkable lyrics. It’s a theatrical play in three minutes. And the most interesting thing is the fact that Charles Aznavour’s songs have extraordinary English translations or adaptations, because Monsieur Aznavour personally supervised these adaptations with very talented English-speaking lyricists.

 

What can people who attend the French Music Festival expect?

Most of the festival events are dinner and show events. So, evenings in a pleasant atmosphere and discovering for some, or re-discovering for others, songs that have made French music great.

 

How did you choose the artists and songs that are included in the festival shows?

Between Corinne Andrew and I, we have a pretty large French repertoire, and we do a lot of duet songs. And these are songs that we like and are very comfortable with.

French Music Festival

And this festival will continue into June?

Yes, we have a few other shows in June and of course, we will continue in July, which I’ll call “The French month”, with shows around Bastille Day.

 

Anything else to share with us?

During the Festival in June, I am also organising a French Music Concert – Classical & Jazz with Ukrainian pianist Alex Parkmen.  And I will be there as a guest.

 

The concert is called A PIANO THAT SINGS. Alex presents compositions by Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Saint – Saëns and will accompany me in my programme of Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, and Charles Trenet with a classical touch. A bit different from the usual!

We thank Milko Foucault-Larche for this interview.

 

KEY INFO FOR THE FRENCH MUSIC FESTIVAL

QUOI: French Music Festival, a travelling festival of concerts of French music

WHERE AND WHEN: In the places and on the dates stated below

HOW: Buy your ticket via the links provided below.

 

6 May – Paris After Dark, Bay View Golf Club – Mona vale [NSW]- By French a la carte

14 May – Pardon My French, Palais Hepburn – Daylesford [Victoria]

19 May– Pardon My French, Piano Bar Bendigo [Victoria]

20 May – Pardon My French, German Club Tivoli – Prahran [Victoria]

21 May – Aznavour & Friends, AGBU Centre – Scoresby [Victoria]

27 May – Paris After Dark, Avalon Restaurant – Katoomba [NSW]

28 May – Paris After Dark, Keystone 1889 – Bathurst [NSW]

29 May – Paris After Dark, Prince of Wales Opera House – Gulgong [NSW]

Who is your favourite francophone artist?

 

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French Music Festival

REVIEW: Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk at Adelaide Festival saw crowds lose themselves to dance

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Adelaide Festival was treated to an orchestral performance of the songs of Daft Punk in Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk in The Summerhouse at the weekend. With Daft Punk disbanded, this is truly the closest we are likely to get to seeing them in Adelaide.

Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk

This is not a typical tribute to Daft Punk, rather its known as an orchestral rendition of Daft Punk. There are no signature helmets here though, but a frequent reminder of them through video imagery synched to the songs. An 18 piece stand-up orchestra (not something you see every day!) provides the instrumental sounds of Daft Punk’s tunes. All dressed in black various performers came and went, and we did wonder at times whether the stage at the pop-up Adelaide Festival venue, The Summerhouse, would be able to fit them all!

 

Two other performers, Carl and Jasper, entertained the crowd in their sparkly vest and jacket respectively. Both sung and only Jasper danced but I feel like the singing should have been left to Carl who shone in that area and the dancing left to Jasper (Carl said at the beginning he wouldn’t be dancing saying that he’s “too old for that shit”). Unfortunately, in some instances Jasper’s singing was out of pitch and breathless and detracted from otherwise flawless performances. As a dancer though, Jasper shone with some well-delivered moonwalk moves.

 

We mentioned the video imagery before, it’s worth noting that Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk put on an impressive visual performance as well – with a large LED screen at the back of the stage showing a range of graphics throughout the performances. Colour-changing lighting darted around the stage and towards the audience.

While it’s true that a lot of Daft Punk songs are familiar, few would know that they recorded more than 90 from 1994 to 2021! Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk may have benefited from opening with one of the better-known tracks to get the crowd hyped from the beginning. Whenever the crowd knew a song, they’d get up and dance. They could have had the crowd dancing the whole time had they opened up with better-known tracks such as Around the World, Get Lucky, which were performed but much later in the show. Sometimes you forget that Daft Punk collaborated with a lot of artists including The Weekend (Starboy), Panda Bear (Doin’ it Right), Rising Dust Ft Asi Shiran (Sounds Of The Future (Daft Punk Mashup)), which featured in the Adelaide Festival show.

 

Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk performed 13 Daft Punk tracks plus the very fitting encore of “One More Time”. The 9pm performance was their second performance for the night having done a Dr. Dre songs show earlier in the evening. The musicians all looked to be enjoying brining Daft Punk’s songs to life through their instruments, but the drummer in particular seemed to have true rockstar attitude and be loving his performance.

 

The audience was up on their feet for at least the last 25 minutes of the show and craving more. Audiences truly seemed to be loving the music and the opportunity to lose themselves to dance after 2 years of not being allowed to.

 

You can read our interview with Alternative Symphony founder, Alex, here.

3.5 CROISSANTS

Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Festival.

 

Adelaide Festival has now concluded. To keep up to date on when and where Alternative Symphony: Daft Punk may be playing near you, follow them on Facebook

 

You can read our other Adelaide Festival reviews below

REVIEW: Juliet and Romeo at Adelaide Festival

REVIEW: The Rite of Spring and common ground[s] at Adelaide Festival

REVIEW: The Golden Cockerel at Adelaide Festival

 

For other events with French links happening around Australia, check out our What’s on in March

 

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