French Musical Nostalgia in Yemen [Archives:2001/18/Culture]

April 30 2001

The French Cultural Center (FCC) is holding its annual French Music and Food Festival in the first week of May. This year, the FCC has invited the French band DUO MALINES, who are going to perform for the first time in Yemen.
This group will hold 4 concerts in Yemen between the 2nd and 6th of May. In Sana’a, they will give a free concert in the FCC on the 2nd of May at 8.00 pm in the Arthur Rimbaud Hall, on the 2nd Floor of the FCC.
The two other concerts in Sana’a will take place at the Taj Sheba Hotel, along with a dinner service. Reservations must be made through the Taj Sheba Hotel, and tickets are on sale for $35 dollars.
There will also be a French Cultural Week in Taiz on the 2nd and 3rd of May, which will include a concert in the closing ceremony. The French department of the University of Taiz will organize the events, which will include poetry reading, art exhibitions and musical talent. These events will mainly take place in the university, and the free concert will be held in the As Saeed Theatre.
The French artistic duo Aline and Michel FOURNIER, known as ‘Duo Malines’, will give performances of their concert: Edith Piaf in Black and White. These two artists will sing the repertoire of the great singer Edith PIAF, who is one of the most well known figures in French music. Born in the 1920s, this popular performer started singing in the street at the age of fifteen. Piaf led a difficult life full of tribulations, and armed with her experiences, she expressed with her strong, simple voice the tragedy of everyday life. She sang about the reality of love and the human condition. Internationally known as the “mome PIAF”, the Kid Piaf, this woman has and will remain a strong presence in the collective memory of French culture.
The repertoire of this profound artist is a difficult one to deliver, but the Duo Malines have established a reputation in France and abroad as being able to give Piaf’s musical heritage a personal and contemporary touch. Each song has been originalized, with Aline singing in her strong and contrasted voice and warm intonation, and Michel accompanying her on guitar. Their repertoire contains 24 songs written for Piaf by different composers, spanning seventeen years of Piaf’s illustrious career. The setting will be sober and efficient, and Aline will recreate the image of Piaf in a series of attitudes and gestures.
The FCC chose to include these two artists in the French Cultural Festival for their talent to recreate a definite French atmosphere in their different places of performance. The Fourniers have performed all around the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq. They will also embark on another artistic tour in the region after their shows in Yemen. They will next perform ‘Edith Piaf in Black and White’ in Iraq and in Bahrain.
The FCC invites all to attend the free events during this week and to enjoy the culture of France.