On January 14 the Orange Foundation staged its 21st “Nuit de la Voix” concert at the Le Grand Rex venue in Paris.
Over 2,300 people attended the concert and more than 14,000 of you watched the live stream on Dailymotion. This year, as well as the traditional billing, the line-up included an eclectic range of artists from Europe and Africa.
Pygmalion got us underway, conducted by the soft and strong baton strokes of Raphaël Pichon. Violins, cellos, drums, harpsichords, flutes and other instruments played pieces like ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ and ‘Les Fêtes d’Hébé’ in unison with the choir. Lots of solo opera singers each took their turn on center stage to bring lyricism and words to the musical notes.
Lucilla Galeazzi then gave us a taste of Italy through her four songs. Even when she sings a light and rhythmic chorus, the intensity of her voice carries deep emotion with a hint of sweet nostalgia. When she gets into a darker piece however, the inner turmoil can no longer be contained behind the smile, and find yourself being swept along by her powerful performance which brought about the first applause of the evening!
After a song paying tribute to Claude Nougaro, Ray Lema and his two accompanying musicians brought some African warmth to Paris. With him on piano and them on percussion, their Congolese singing emanated color and warmth and a little helping of emotion too when they invited the audience to join in the chorus for a wonderful harmonious moment.
Emel Mathmouthi, the flamboyant Tunisian singer, lit up the stage with her extravagant red dress and filled the room with her powerful and smooth voice. A real Esmeralda, as mesmerizing and dazzling as Victor Hugo’s heroine, she takes you on an exhilarating and exciting journey with her modern and lively melodies sung in enchanting Arabic, like something out of Arabian Nights. She proved to be a big hit with the Orange Foundation and touched my heart and those of many in the audience at Le Grand Rex judging by the reactions in the auditorium and the comments given about her performance.
Also representing the Mediterranean, Paco El Lobo and his musicians provided a Spanish feel with their gypsy guitars. They shared their Andalusian laments in the warm and rather wild gypsy festival-like atmosphere. Combining image and sound, three indomitable dancers performed an aggressive flamenco as if in a street fight.
The concert was devoted to Africa and the artists were often accompanied by ‘Orange Chante‘ choirs from Cameroon, Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of Congo among others. Ray Lema had also composed three pieces especially for the Orange Foundation’s Congolese choir, which they performed for us in a powerful showing of unity. In total 1,000 singers representing 33 choirs filled Le Grand Rex with their choruses.
A magical night which allowed us to discover different artists and performances which you can now experience for yourselves as the concert is available on replay on the Orange Foundation’s Dailymotion channel:
What did you think of these artists? Here are some links to find out more about them and stay up-to-date with their latest news:
- find Pygmalion on their Facebook page
- follow Emel Mathlouthi on her Facebook page and on Twitter @mathlouthiemel
- Lucilla Galeazzi has a Facebook page but it isn’t regularly updated, but you can listen to her on Deezer instead
- Ray Lema has a regularly updated blog on his site raylema.com
- Paco El Lobo posts his latest news on Myspace from his website www.pacoellobo.com
- and of course, you can find the Orange Foundation on their blog, website, Twitter account and Facebook page.