Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert

Classically-trained Canadian singer Melanie Gall presents this one hour recital of the music of legendary Francophone singers Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, with songs presented thematically to capture the different themes of their lives.

A very lively performance from a woman with flair and character.

Gall does a wonderful job rousing her audience with her contagious enthusiasm for her subject matter and her evident passion, both when speaking and singing. She creates a lovely rapport right from the start, endearing herself hugely to her audience, who were mostly middle aged and above. Her personalised anecdotes as to how she became interested in performing the works of these two revered singers was incredibly entertaining, and her storytelling is very captivating and amusing throughout. As a performer, it is clear that Gall knows exactly what she was doing.

The songs were performed with real spirit, characterful Amsterdam by Brel, or in her own operatic rendition of La vie en Rose. Her voice is at once passionate and powerful, but a softer, more intimate side is unveiled in Brel’s Ne me quitte pas. Gall would have hugely benefitted from live accompaniment and the microphone was occasionally a bit loud for such a small room, but Gall’s voice is very enjoyable and prolific in its range.

Her French pronunciation is fairly strong, although some of her phrasing could be a little bit more coherent, as linguistic emphasis is occasionally lost. Diction is occasionally unclear, especially in the (admittedly, very challenging) Vesoul

In Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert, Gall does a fantastic job of capturing the live raw passion of these two legendary singers, showing her own huge personality and flair in the process. She engages her audience well, getting them to sing along to Je Ne Regrette Rien at the end, and creates a wonderful atmosphere throughout. This was a very lively performance from a woman with flair and character. Gall is a born performer, a real star in the making.

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The Blurb

Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel: Two French musical icons. They sang songs of romance, heartbreak, hope and love. They lived lives of drama and passion. This impossible concert, featuring internationally acclaimed vocalist Melanie Gall, relives the adventure and inspiration of their lives and music. With Amsterdam, Milord, La Vie en Rose and other French classics. ‘A bravura display of amazing colour and dynamic range’ (Edmonton Journal). ‘Gall has an astounding voice that leaves audiences breathless’ (Vue Magazine). ‘A beautifully rendered and loving homage’ (CBC.ca). ***** (Winnipeg Free Press).