Their tour was like a road movie, a singing tour like a “buddy movie” soundtrack, a musical journey from tango to disco, folk to bossa, jazz to reggaeton. Such was the work of Benjamin Biolay and Melvil Poupaud. The singer-actor and actor-musician are longstanding friends.
Early on, they crossed paths with major figures in our industries, such as Henri Salvador, Juliette Gréco, Jeanne Moreau, Michel Piccoli, Éric Rohmer and Catherine Deneuve, in music studios and on film sets. It was this early thirst to meet people and live extraordinary experiences in cinema and music that forged their friendship and drove them to head out on the road together, with a desire to share their passion for music, text and shows. With no nostalgia and in the great tradition of an elegant, intimate music hall, they performed some of their favourite songs, passionately selected from a French repertoire, as well as tracks composed by Benjamin for himself or for others. Not to mention some other surprises...
Think you know them? Benjamin Biolay and Melvil Poupaud will surprise you when they play on stage at the Opera Garnier Monte-Carlo on 30 November. Their ideal songbook has just one instruction: for their – and your – enjoyment.
Opening act: Cyrille Aimée
For Cyrille Aimée, improvisation is not only a vocal technique – it’s also a lifestyle! It is what allowed the pretty, young singer with a crystalline voice to share her dazzling creativity with the world, all while taking unexpected paths. She travelled from the gypsy camps of her native village to Broadway, stopping by the Star Act and Apollo Theatre in New York. Today, she is recognised by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the most promising singers in her generation” and by the New York Times as “a rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers”.
Her career path is the stuff of dreams. While living in New York, Aimée released her first album, “It’s a Good Day” in 2014. It marked the beginning of her collaboration with a band with whom she would explore the many sides to her talent. The quintet – which we have started calling Queentet – pairs two extraordinary guitarists: French-Italian electric guitarist Michael Valeanu and acoustic guitarist Adrien Moignard for the gypsy theme. It is with them that she recorded “Let’s Get Lost” in 2016.
The album rose to top position in the jazz category in the US and let Cyrille and her quintet go on more than a few musical tours the past three years in America, Europe and Asia. During the tours, she sang in French and English. It’s how Cyrille lived up to her name, “aimée”, French for loved, as she is by vocal jazz amateurs the world over.