Les Frivolités Parisiennes Live: Cole Porter In Paris

Tuesday 25th October 2022

Les Frivolités Parisiennes Presents To Us ‘Cole Porter In Paris’, a Thrilling New Release With b.records

Les Frivolités Parisiennes present to us their new exciting release, ‘Cole Porter In Paris’, a dizzyingly colorful and spirited musical show based on the parisian life of Cole Porter in the Roaring Twenties. Set for an international release on November 11, with b.records.

Les Frivolités Parisiennes is an opera company created in 2012 by the musicians Benjamin El Arbi and Mathieu Franot, the Parisian Frivolities allow the public to rediscover the light French lyrical repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries comic opera and comedy musicals. 

Ten years after their creation, Les Frivolités Parisiennes gift us this wonderful new release, capturing the life of the charismatic Cole Porter. All the energy of the live show is contained in this new b•record disc that offers a fresh perspective on the personality of the most Francophile of American lyricists-composers, portrayed here in his many facets by the combined talents of a family troupe that makes music speak beyond words.

Cole in Paris is a musical narrative that certainly exposes situations in Cole Porter’s life in Paris, but above all it evokes his personality and his emotional journey, as well as his love for France, Paris and the French. Les Frivolités Parisiennes wanted to tell the the story of Cole Porter and the wonders of his life and its many intricacies, including his relationship with his wife and his adventures with Boris Kochno.

“First of all, the orchestra is on stage and not in the pit, which is quite unusual on Broadway. The ensemble plays an important role, which reflects the emphasis we wanted to put on the diversity of the orchestration, carried out by five highly talented orchestrators with very different approaches. The variety of the timbre work gives rhythm to the show and allows for changes of atmosphere according to songs’ themes.

The sound of the orchestra does not fade behind the voices, just like on stage: the singers move around the orchestra, the musicians move around, some sing at the stage front… We had to find this live spiriton the record. The whole team that contributed to the show– staging, choreography, musicians, costumes, sets, sound system – has been working in total synergy since the beginning of the project. It was therefore natural that the musicians were truly integrated into the scenography, which sometimes surprises the audience!” Benjamin El Arbi and Mathieu Franot, bassoonist and clarinettist, founders of Les Frivolités Parisiennes

“Porter’s Parisian period was an essential part of his training as a lyricist-composer, although he already had a very complete musical education before he arrived in the French capital. The first major show he signed from start to finish was in 1929, just after his first Paris period, with Fifty Million Frenchmen; a significant fact!

He was deeply influenced by the French music-hall culture, especially with the double-entendrepro-cess, very characteristic of the song repertoire of the time, which Porter assimilated and reworked in his own way, giving a particular flavour to his titles and distinguishing them from other Broadway authors. This show is also the story of the integration of French language and culture in Porter’s career as an artist, and I wanted to show this in a playful and theatrical way, from the perspective of the pleasure and emotional feeling one can have when listening to these songs, even if one does not understand English”Christophe Mirambeau, conception, dialogues and direction of the show 

Made up of musicians with varied influences, Les Frivolités shines with its versatility and flexibility, in the service of a repertoire. Sometimes directed, sometimes chamber musician, sometimes in the pit, sometimes costumed and made up “on stage”, the musicians of Les Frivolités cherish their orchestra and are fond of the proximity of the singers and that of the technical and artistic team. This constantly renewed energy is the engine of a company under the auspices of Sainte Frivole.

Wishing to offer new works, the opera company produces new creations and recreations each season, some of which give rise to discographic recordings under the Naxos label. Since 2012, the Parisian Frivolities have given life to nearly fifteen works of the genre. The company is in residence at the Imperial Theater in Compiègne and at the Italian Theatre in Saint-Dizier, and is also an associate artist of the Singer-Polignac Foundation.

You can witness ‘Cole Porter in Paris’ in all its glory live in the release concerts detailed below:

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi (Belgique), December 17, 2022

Find tickets here

Massy Opera, February 11 and 12, 2023

Find tickets here

Maison de la Culture, Amiens, May 31 and June 1, 2023

Find tickets here