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Xaviera Hollander presents:

Micheline Van Hautem - Songs of Jacques Brel and Madame

FEATURING FREDERIK CAELEN ON PIANO AND ACCORDION

Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem performs the songs of her fellow countryman; the extraordinary Jacques Brel. Van Hautem's interpretations of Brel’s dense, complex lyrics and stunning melodies keep the essence of the originals; elegiac angry, funny, heartrendingly beautiful songs. The second part of the show is a salute to the women that have inspired her: from Edith Piaf and Marlène Dietrich to Sara Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Etta James and Julie London.

The incredible talented Mohican-headed accordionist/pianist , Frederik Caelen, is more partner than accompanist, deepening the tantalizing moods. He seems able to anticipate her every change of direction and inflection.

Michelien and Frederik body painted‘Micheline Van Hautem's interpretation of the mesmerizing songs of Jacques Brel is pure dynamite She doesn't so much sing them as inhabit them, exploring their complex passions, giving them, in her words ' the mother and father of blood transfusions.'

Singing in French and English, often within the same song (and the translations make perfect poetry) from the first pearl, the devilish rhetorical ‘Ça va?’ to ‘If You Go Away’ is even more of a balance between devastation and sexual promise and ‘La Valse A Mille Temps,’ getting dizzier and dizzier with every chorus, is now in danger of spinning off into orbit. Van Hautem shows just why Brel's songs have had seminal influence on singer songwriters the world over she offered an astonishing version of ‘Au suivant’, becoming both soldier and prostitute.

The aggressive edge that she brings to ‘Ne me quitte pas’, first made famous by Edith Piaf, has you covered in gooseflesh, a knot in your throat, as she re-enforces the desperation of the line 'don't go away' by suddenly throwing out her right arm, her finger pointed as if a pistol ready to shoot

The aggressive edge that she brings to Ne me quitte pas, first made famous by Edith Piaf, has you covered in gooseflesh, a knot in your throat, as she re-enforces the desperation of the line 'don't go away' by suddenly throwing out her right arm, her finger pointed as if a pistol ready to shoot A real tour de force, not to be missed.

The press:

'This is a perfect show.’
THE SCOTSMAN
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‘Micheline Van Hautem is in a different league. She is, simply, fabulous. And Frederik Caelen, worth the price of admission on his own.’
THE TIMES
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micheline van hautem