Agnes Jaoui, back to basics

“DrIn my living room… “The singing tour initiated by Agnes Jaoui at the Théâtre l’Atelier*, from October 3, is aptly named.” The idea for this series of festive concerts across France was already born at home, with friends. It stems from a simple desire: the desire to give people to hear the tunes we love in as warm a place as possible. I often find encounters about classical music very stifling. I imagine this prevents a lot of people from coming to the party,” the actress and director explains.

When she greeted us at her home, two weeks before the premiere, she expressed her delight that “spectators [puissent] Drink in the room. The laughs of her friends and the singers and musicians who joined her for a rehearsal in her Parisian apartment. ‘Would we also have the right to raise a glass on stage?’ asks the tenor Loik Le Guillou. ‘We run the risk of thirst if we see them drinking,’ he beats his baritone friend, Romeo Fidanza; while the other tenor, Nicolas Marie, agrees. The exchange sums up well the state of mind For this group of artists … rested with determination.. Like this cat who takes a break in the middle of them in each session, jumps from the piano to the sofa, before sneaking between the glasses.

singing career

Singing has always occupied an important place in the life of Agnes Jawi. She says she was born into a “music-loving” family. stop and resume. “We listened to a lot of different music at home. But we didn’t hesitate to sing either. I come from a lyrical family,” she paraphrased, evoking tables and car trips, where “everyone hum: classic, pop, opera and rock. It was the music and the song.” Just part of the “decoration” and “too bad if not always good,” she smiles.

Apparently his father, a counselor, knew that sometimes he sang a little. This not only prevented him from pushing his vocals, alternating on covers of Brassens, Moludji and Brill, but also classics from the Arab-Andalusian repertoire that rocked his youth in his native Tunisia. His wife, fickle, told her daughter that her voice is beautiful. It was enough that Agnes Jaoui dreamed of becoming a singer.

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With her baccalaureate in hand, she studied lyrical art very seriously at the 7 . Conservatorye Then to the Engin Circle. “At the age of twenty, my path was cut short when life opportunities led me to Amandiers Theater School. At that time, I did not want to say no to Patrice Chéreau. And in truth, I do not regret for a moment the years I spent on the blackboard and then in the cinema. The taste of music will not He never leaves her.He also stars in several scenarios she co-wrote with Jean-Pierre Bakri: Starting with The Unforgettable. We know the songDirected by Alain Resnais in 1997.

secret passion

However, music remains for her a “private affair” for a long time. Even if her movie soundtracks betray her passion, Agnes Jawi has always preferred to keep her singing practice secret. So it was secret at first. At 22, on the sidelines of her acting career, she continues to take opera lessons with Bernadette Vale but doesn’t say a word to anyone. ” this is The teacher helped me express my voice. I have marked my life by teaching me a certain approach to music with high demands,” says Agnès Jaoui.

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It was Bernadette Vale who He offers one day to participate in a summer course at the Pyrenees Atlantic, with some of his students from the Conservatory 5e Paris district. Once the internship is over, the actress stays in touch with her classmates. You will find Canto Allegre with them in 2002. Some of its members play their own role in the movie as picture 2004. Feature film about the birth of a lyrical invitation in a young girl who does not dare to bear it!

hiding behind a nickname

From the end of the nineties to the beginning of the 2000s, Agnès Jawi sang on stage anonymously. In the programs, she appeared under the pseudonym Agnes Segna. “No one realized that the nickname I came up with was my first name on the contrary. One day, as I walked out of a church concert, a listener came to see me, saying sweetly, ‘You won’t be happy, but I think you look a lot like Agnes Jawee,'” she laughs.

The actress for a long time will hesitate to spread this passion to the public. “I used to sing in bars with my friends, but it was for my happiness above all else. I couldn’t see myself making the leap and doing something professional with it. Until the day producer Olivier Glusman launched the idea to tour and record. Then Agnès Jaoui accepted the challenge. With the release of His first album in 2006 (canta On the Tôt ou tard poster), the actress and director now gives concerts under her real name. “But without fuss,” was a nuance. A friend thought, “As long as she was not sure of her vocal qualities, she preferred to play it modestly.”

selective ammunition

A meeting with Argentinian-born guitarist and composer Fernando Vizbain, founder of the Carabanchel Orchestra, prompted her to explore the South American record. Anis and Fernando initially worked together on the soundtracks for their films. Their first disc would be born out of their connivance, thus mixing Latin sounds, as well as songs in Hebrew, Spanish and Arabic. This album will be an inspiration to Agnes Jawee. You will never stop writing songs.

“At first, she greeted the Kanto Alegre one day and the Karapanchelle the other. With some, she sang classical, while others sang bossa nova or zampa or tango. And then, one day, she intertwined her notes and we all showed up at her place on the same evening. This is how we started playing together,” recalls Nicolas Marie, who is also a major performer at the Paris Opera. The union of these two selective squads explains the proposed program for this round.

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The exercises taking place in his living room, in mid-September, give an overview. It all starts with Bach’s moving song: “Actus tragicus,” which eerily evokes death theme. “Man must die at the time God chooses, and prepare for it by exercising order and wisdom,” the Jawi races sing in German. This is followed by an even happier atmosphere by Briton Henry Purcell, in which the actress, impulsively, invites her musical friends to “sound the horn”. Fernando Vespin notes that Purcell has appeared on many of the soundtracks for his feature films. “It’s on this music that the characters the taste of others meet, right? emitted. Agnes Jawee nodded. She later retracted: “It may seem like the show is going in many directions, but in fact it follows a true story.”

Alternating classic and pop

Listeners will make their own movie by listening to Handel’s oratory, in which Agnes Jawee plays Queen Esther, and then hear her sing “Agnus Dei” from small liturgy by Rossini. Épaulée par les mezzo-sopranos Alice Fagard et Julia Selge, la première jouant parfois de la flûte, le groupe de chanteurs entonnera aussi « Au bord de l’eau » de Gabriel Fauré et terminera par une version Franc totalement du çude devisité : “Come home.” A song that also appears on the soundtrack for his latest movie (public place2018).

Some will find it surprising that Latin American poems are sometimes interspersed: the poignant melody of Lallo Zanelli’s “Memoria Colectiva,” the famous bolero by Carlos Eleta Almarán (“Historia de un amor”) and several pieces of music by Fernando Fiszbein himself, such as “Open Baires.” , in the form of a poem sung halfway between rap and slam. But for those who understand Spanish, the choice of these songs will seem obvious.

“The program also includes a very personal mambo, as well as Farandol and a song-song composed with Agnes and her name “In My Country,” says the forty-year-old. From “El Diablo Suelto” by Venezuelan Heraclio Fernandez (1850-1886) to “San Antonio Bebe” By Brazilian Hermeto Pascoal, these catchy melodies chart a course. As Anias Jawi summed up her meditation, cooking for her friends after rehearsal: “We begin by talking about death. But we end up with a little joy of life. »

* In my living rooma series of concerts by Anis Jawi, Alice Faggard, Julia Selig, Nicholas Marie, Loic Le Gillo and Romeo Fidanza (Canto Alegre Ensemble) Alternately, Fernando Fiesbain, Emily Aridon, Alphonse Simin, Apollin Kirklar, Anne Le Pape, Clotilde Lacroix, Myrtle Hetzel, Jean-Brice Judit, Claire Lukins, Simon Draper and Santiago Quagliariello, as well as Javier Estrella (Karabanchel Orchestra). At the Atelier Theatre, 1 place Charles Dolin, Paris 18eOctober 3, 9, 16 and 17 at 7:30 PM and then on tour from November 2022 to May 2023.

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