My Leonard Cohen

My Leonard Cohen is a soulful and informative show celebrating the life of the recently deceased Canadian musician and poet. Performed by Australian Stewart D’Arrietta and his six-piece Scottish band, the audience are treated to powerful renditions of Leonard Cohen’s hits punctuated with snippets from his life story. Some of the songs performed include Everybody Knows, In My Secret Life, Like a Bird, Dance Me to the End of Love, and of course his most iconic hit Hallelujah.

Not just for hard-core Leonard Cohen fans but for anyone who enjoys music and stories.

D’Arrietta draws parallels between his own life and Leonard Cohen’s stating that they both studied law but while he completed his studies, Cohen dropped out to pursue his career as an artist. D’Arrietta brings us on a biographical journey of Cohen’s life highlighting his artistic endeavours; his dabblings in Buddhism, his journey to India and his proud Jewish heritage. The highlight of the show for me was D’Arrietta’s rendition of Dance Me to the End of Love. Cohen gained his inspiration to write this song after learning that in concentration camps during the Holocaust, musician inmates were forced to play classical music as part of a string quartet while their fellow Jewish inmates were being killed in the gas chambers.

D’Arrietta at times uses a pessimistic tone informing us that we will all pass away and mocks society’s demise with Leonard Cohen passing away on the 7th November, followed by Donald Trump being elected President the following day. D’Arrietta has a raspy quality to his voice similar to that of Tom Waits and he puts his heart and soul into each rendition of his hero’s works. He provides us with interesting background stories for each song.

I learned a lot in this hour about the life of one of the greatest musicians and poets of our time. This show is not just for hard-core Leonard Cohen fans but for anyone who enjoys music and stories. 

Reviews by Lynn Rusk

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Following a sold-out season at the Sydney Opera House, D'Arrietta and his six piece band return, due to popular demand, with their rousing celebration of the late, legendary Cohen. This stirringly personal tribute offers arresting and imaginative arrangements of Cohen's best work, punctuated with poetic anecdotes that give insight into the great musician's life. The heartrending Suzanne, desperately sensual I'm Your Man and iconic Hallelujah are part of the 15 songs given the D'Arrietta treatment. 'Not to be missed' ***** (Daily Business). 'Surpasses mere imitation' ***** (Advertiser, Adelaide). 'magic' 10/10 (TheAdelaideShow.com.au).

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