Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik
Il Parle, Elle Chante
Love, Desire & Mystery
With Tedd Firth on piano
Thursday, May 6, 2021
LIVE Online & In Person
Recommended by The New York Times!
Acclaimed Broadway actress and chanteuse Melissa Errico, working in collaboration with New Yorker essayist and lyricist Adam Gopnik, presents a series of three concerts weaving together music and conversation.
The trio of concerts delves into every aspect of the great French obsession: l’amour fou, or crazy, overpowering, all-consuming love. Through these evenings Errico and Gopnik investigate and illuminate the cycle that France first offered the world—of how love becomes desire, how desire is cloaked in mystery, and how then the mystery of desire reveals the madness of love again.
Part III: Mystery
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7pm ET
LIVE Online & In Person at FIAF
After the many objects of Love, and the liquid unpredictability of Desire, comes the shadows of Mystery.
Our third evening begins in 1940s America, where what the French call the “polar”—the dark crime novel or film—is invented only to be imitated and transcended in France.
Adam Gopnik discusses the evolution of ‘noir’ sensibility in Paris and New York, from Baudelaire’s infatuation with Poe through the impact of American films, such as Double Indemnity, on tastemakers at Cahiers du Cinéma.
Melissa Errico sings simmering, dark noir songs, including “Blues in the Night,” “Laura,” and “I’m a Fool to Want You,” as well as the world premiere of a bilingual song by Gopnik and Peter Foley, written specially for the occasion: “We Live, We Love, We Lie, We Die.”
Tedd Firth will continue his inimitable piano mastery, and Gopnik may be persuaded to pick up his guitar again and accompany the chanteuse on her mysterious musical errands.
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Part I: Desire
Performed on Thursday, January 28, 2021
Watch On Demand
This second evening of music and conversation centers on desire and considers the French art of seduction and its American responses.
In particular, it dives into the ways sex has become entangled in other matters of pleasure and life. Appetites for love and food, a classic French pairing, take up much of the evening, with songs from Adam Gopnik’s musical Our Table and the Broadway adaptation of The Baker’s Wife.
The second half of the evening focuses on the equally potent French duo of seduction and fashion. Selections include Funny Face, Coco, French art songs, and the best of Broadway.
Part II: Love
Performed on Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Watch On Demand
The first concert of the series centered on love, a special preoccupation in France. It began with the invention of the love song in the feminist medieval court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and wound its way through the long history of the French cult of love.
Melissa Errico presented her favorite French love songs—including Michel Legrand’s “Valse des Lilas,” among others—as well as examples of the American love of France, including Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris,” Sondheim’s portrait of Seurat, and additional delectable surprises. Errico also performed the world premiere of a love song written by Adam Gopnik and David Shire from a musical they are developing about Eleanor of Aquitaine.
“The Maria Callas of American musical theater,” as Opera News has called her, referencing both her silken voice and dramatic, expressive intensity, Melissa Errico is an actress, singer, and author.
First known for her starring roles on Broadway, her latest album Sondheim Sublime was called by The Wall Street Journal “The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded.”
Nothing in her work has been more constant than her association with Michel Legrand. Having starred in his sole Broadway show, Amour, she was asked to write his eulogy by The New York Times—where she is a frequent contributor—and was then invited to become the sole American performer to participate in the extraordinary two-day memorial to Legrand held in April at Paris’s Le Grand Rex Theatre, work that led one critic to announce that, “Errico is, and will continue to be, the premier interpreter of the musical legacy of Michel Legrand.” This fall 2019, Ghostlight Records reissues her symphonic album, which Legrand arranged & conducted, as Legrand Affair Deluxe Edition.
Errico previously collaborated with FIAF in 2019, curating the popular CinéSalon series Summer of Michel Legrand that honored the great French composer.
Adam Gopnik is an American writer, essayist, journalist, and commentator. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1986, writing non-fiction, fiction, memoir, and criticism.
Gopnik is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism and of the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.
In March 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.
Gopnik’s newest book, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism, was released in Spring 2019.
Tedd Firth is a New York City–based musical director, pianist, and arranger, and a long-time collaborator of Melissa Errico
Recent highlights include being the musical director for the reunion of the original Broadway cast of Into The Woods at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, as well as serving as musical director for Michael Feinstein’s “Jazz and Popular Song” concert series at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
In New York City, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Iridium, the Algonquin, the Cafe Carlyle, and Feinstein’s at the Regency. Numerous national appearances include a performance at the White House. Television appearances include The Today Show, Live From Lincoln Center, and All My Children.
As an arranger and orchestrator, Firth’s work has been performed by major American symphony orchestras as well as Liza Minnelli. In 2013, the New York Pops commissioned Firth to create new orchestrations for A Charlie Brown Christmas which have been performed numerous times across the country in subsequent years.
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