Piaf! Le Spectacle Copy


Anne Carrere recreates through solo vocal performance the highlights of the life of famous French singer, Edith Piaf. The program celebrates her success and place of honor in French musical history, exactly 100 years after her birth in 1915. Apparently, she is still adored by older generations, and the young, as well. Known as “Little Sparrow” in her heyday of the 1940’s, she attained international acclaim for her unique voice to put story to song.

Ms. Carrere captured this talent with remarkable skill. The power and range of her voice is incredible, and she sang so passionately and emotionally one song after the next! Although, with one exception, the outline of the performance was in French, she was still able to draw in the audience with the quality and expression of her songs. It almost didn’t matter that you didn’t understand the words.

Edith first appears in the audience, and then characters are slowly added to “create the scene”! While singing, she interacts with them, as she musically acts out segments of her life. The stage set is enhanced by a large backdrop to depict the area or neighborhood of Paris relevant to the song(s) she is singing. However, the connection here is not always clear, especially of Edith’s life in Paris, which is not familiar with the viewer. Some settings were repetitive, and the pictures of individuals were confusing, again, because you did not know the context. The clips, however, did help to explain the history of the era, (e.g. WW2 pictures)

The performance was all about remembrance, nostalgia, and capturing the mood of romance in an era of loss and sorrow. Edith told song stories with a mesmerizing voice.  Ms. Carrere has managed to do the same. From beginning to end, she entertained and engaged the audience with energy and personality. She was able to set and change the mood with the tone of her songs. The musicians were an added bonus, obviously talented in their field. The unusual melody of the accordionist complemented the “sound of the time”.

This was high-powered entertainment! There were no lulls, just a few places where you might search for meaning. It was incentive to learn French and a great way to help understand the performance. Overall it was an inspiring and wonderful experience! I would definitely come watch it again!

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