The first treat this week was a trip to Monaco with a girlfriend to see our compatriot, Amy Blake, a former Texan, singing in Good Evening Mr. Gershwin at the Variety on the port of Monaco. Amy is not only charming to watch, but a talented chanteuse and cantatrice into the bargain. As far as I can see, the difference between the two designations is popular ( chanteuse) and classical (cantatrice). With her range from mezzo to soprano she was able to serve up some sultry jazz sounds although having been classically trained as an opera singer. http://amyblakesoprano.com/index.html
She was joined by a saxophone/clarinet player Olivier Boutry, a sax and clarinet player, a double bassist, Patrick Barbato to "slap that bass", the chatty piano player, Paul Berthaud who doubled as the narrator, and a drummer, Patrick Mendez...all amazingly and equally accomplished. It was a well- rounded delightful evening and I will follow Amy and her fellow musicians when she sings in our area.
Amy Blake soprano.com
I continued in my string of events with an invitation to the restaurant LE FROG http://frog-restaurant.fr/ hidden behind the Nice Opera house. My girlfriend hosted me with a Groupon ticket which meant that instead of paying for the meal, I enjoyed a fine starter of chevre wrapped in filo dough, a main course of caramelized endive and a slice of rouget fish. Thanks to my pal, all I payed for was the glass of Sancerre. Go give FROG a try, the woman under the toque has a few tricks up her sleeve.
Thursday I went to Harmonia Mundi, http://www.harmoniamundi.com/#/home
a boutique of fine music and film to see an old acquaintance, Pierre Virol, present his latest photos. I was able to catch up with some friends and admire Pierre's interesting work with the camera. The intimate exhibition, called Racines reminded me of work I had done on the same subject. We had already thought about teaming up and I won't rule it out.
Friday, J and I saw the new movie by Polanski: Carnage. I hadn't thought of Roman Polanski as a director of comedy but he lead a tight ensemble composed of Jody Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christopher Waltz in a comedy/drama that takes place chiefly in one room much like a theatre piece. It's has to do with two couples trying to "be civilized" about a fight between their teenage sons , a fight which spills over onto the parents.
Internet movie database
I hadn't known the work of Christopher Waltz , deftly hilarious as the cynical lawyer husband of Kate , a man surgically attached to his cell phone. The other veterans were equally compelling in their roles in this comedy of "no manners". I have really not seen any of these favorites put a foot wrong for a long time if ever.
J. and I however were the only ones really laughing in the salle de cinema, so it could be that Carnage is culturally based upper middle class, humor and requires American as a first language. I would suggest if you possess these requirements that you get thee to the Rialto Cinema this week.
To finish my cluster of invitations, yesterday afternoon I attended a party to celebrate 150 years of our Nice English- American Library.www.nice-english-library.org/
I seldom get a chance to catch up with the volunteers who staff the library, most of whom I have known for years. The buffet was not even the best part, as I got to renew old acquaintance and gather a few new eccentric types for my "charm bracelet" of "connaissances". It seems some of the most uncommon folks end up as ex-patriots somewhere.
I heard stories in accents French, Belgian, American, British, Irish and Scottish.
There is nothing like a new story....stories made all the more compelling perhaps when enlivened by endless top-ups of champagne and good smoked salmon. Today I am going to lay low and listen to my collection of classical music and muse , is that a verb?