Fondation des États-Unis | Thursday, November 9 @7.30pm : Trio Heure Bleue
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Thursday, November 9 @7.30pm : Trio Heure Bleue

Heure bleue … like bouquet and je-ne-sais-quoi, this French expression has made its way into the English language. And though we, as Anglophones, already have sparkling « twilight » and otherworldly « gloaming » heure bleue to our mind connotes something beyond that singular blue light at dusk.

More than a mood, it’s a moment. It’s an abstract estuary where day mixes with night. It is the time of heady possibility and new perspective. It is an event. One should expect the unexpected. With our heads in the world of lyric repertoire, and our hearts in that of popular music, Heure Bleue trio has created an evening of song for you, mixing these musical currents and their codes. Through original arrangements as well as unusual pairings of music, they want to amuse, entice and move you with the charm of two different worlds meeting, bringing a new dimension to the classical recital.

Lilac Triptych is a collection of four pieces—three solos and a final trio—conceived as one piece. For Un Thé, Bizet (s’il vous plaît) we were inspired by songs written by The Police and Georges Bizet, which, despite their hundred year age difference, describe the same anguish of girls in the desert awaiting their beloved’s return. Rossini’s Casino is a comic musical farrago–using music from a Broadway musical, an opera, and a movie–inspired by the gambling hall run out of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.

In addition to these and other original arrangements, expertly and artfully signed by pianist Kevin Amos, the program will also include music by Blossom Dearie, Samuel Barber and Stephen Sondheim, to name just a few. We Heure Bleue singers – Elisa, Kate and Lexie – live and sing in France full-time, though we are not from here originally. By calling ourselves a French name that is recognizable by Anglophones, we wish to pay a tribute to the cross-pollination of language, ideas and music. We celebrate heady possibility, twilight, new dimensions, bouquets and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi of women’s voices singing together in the night.

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Artists’ biographies

American soprano Kate Combault made her Paris début in Mesdames de la Halle (Ciboulette) at the Théâtre Monfort, and went on to sing the roles of Blanche, Pamina, Didon and Clorinda (La Cenerentola).  Her experience in musical theater includes the Théâtre du Châtelet productions of Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods (Granny, Cinderella’s Mother), as well as the CDN-Sartrouville production and national tour of The Threepenny Opera (Jenny).  Kate made her début at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2016 as the Caterpillar/ Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland by Mattéo Franceschini and Edouard Signolet.   In 2017/2018, she will sing the role of Micaela in an adaptation of Carmen for the francophone community throughout Lebanon, and will continue to tour with NOLA Black Soul (prix Talents Adami 2016).  In June 2018, Kate returns to the Philharmonie de Paris for the show Welcome to Broadway!

Born in Boston, soprano Elisa Doughty made her debut in Paris as Pamina in The Magic Flute. She has performed roles ranging from Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Acropolis in Nice to Maria in West Side Story in Dubaï.  She sang Frasquita in Carmen at the Stade de France for an audience of 70,000 people.  She has performed regularly at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Mrs. in Sunday in the Park with George, Florinda in Into the Woods, and First Maid in My Fair Lady. She is currently touring in the operatic show D.I.V.A. Elisa won first prize in operetta at the International Singing Competition in Marmande and first prize in singing at the International Operetta Competition in Marseille.

Lexie Kendrick, mezzo-soprano, has performed such starring roles as Maria in The Sound of Music and Anna in The King & I, Beggar Woman in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Mistress in Passion.  She performs regularly at the famous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge, and with various jazz ensembles throughout Paris.  An accomplished actress, Lexie is a founding member of NEW – The Improvised Musical, and collaborates regularly with the French comedian, Alex Lutz (his One Man Show, 28e Nuit des Molières alongside Natalie Dessay), in addition to regular voice-over work.  A recording artist for EMI France, Walt Disney France and Warner Music, Lexie is currently at work on an album of “country-jazz,” combining her two great musical loves with the sounds and memories of her sweet home Alabama.

Kevin Amos is a pianist, arranger, conductor and musical director (Phantom of the Opera, Cats, 42nd Street).  In addition to his work as musical director at the National Theatre in London, he is on the faculty at the Royal Academy of Music (where he directed, among other things, Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd). Kevin was vocal coach for the film versions of Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods as well.  His recent projects on this side of the Channel include the music direction of at the Théâtre du Châtelet.