Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview with Gabrielle Maes

Hot off her recent sccess in the breast cancer fndraiser Pink Beats, Canadian Gabrielle Maes is staging her solo performance of Kurt Weill's songs in a cabaret presentation. Titled Kurt Weill Cabaret, an Homage to Wayward Women, this show will also be her stage farewell to Singapore as she will be moving to the States soon.

Now The Mad Scene doesn't usually run two interviews with the same personality within such a short time period, but given the circumstances I think its understandable that I would like Singaporean audiences to get to know Gabrielle better while she is still here. Having heard her sing wonderfully in many genres, from a dazzling Una voce poco fa to a heartfelt Cry Me a River, I think this show will be a great opportunity for us to catch her in action while we still can. So here goes our interview:

The Mad Scene: Hi Gabrielle, firstly, tell us what can we look forward to at Cabaret Kurt Weill?

Gabrielle: It’s going to be a very exciting show! Tango dancers, great musicians, great entertainment. A real cabaret, in a really beautiful art deco space. It is being directed by a very talented man; Chandran Lingam and he has really brought the play to life.

The Mad Scene: What is so attractive about the music of Kurt Weill?

Gabrielle: Kurt Weill is the least talked about composer of the 20th century, nobody knows who he is, but everybody knows his music. Mack the Knife for example..He transformed musical theatre in Europe and the States.

The Mad Scene: You are originally from Canada, and this will be your last show in Singapore before moving to the States. How do you find Singapore in the years you’ve stayed here?

Gabrielle: I love Singapore. I am blown away by how beautiful it is, the ocean, the architecture, lush greenery, the people..AND the food of course. Singapore will stay embedded in my mind for the rest of my life.

The Mad Scene: Of all the cities you’ve lived in, what place would you rank Singapore?

Gabrielle: I have lived in Paris, so naturally there is a lot of competition, but I would say, Singapore ranks as a #1. In Paris,You can’t walk to the beach in a t-shirt and shorts in December.

The Mad Scene: Any funny stories of cultural differences?

Gabrielle: I could go on about durian fruit, but it is a very touchy subject!! Well, I did…This is soooo embarrassing, so making this public just demonstrates my goofiness, but my close friend who is Muslim invited me to her house for the end of month celebration, and I went up to her father, firmly shook his hand, and
wished in a happy Hari Krishna.. I don’t know what I was thinking. A singer’s moment I guess.

Impersonating Birgit Nilsson

The Mad Scene: You’ve also trained many local talents as a private teacher and at LASELLE SIA. What advice would you give to a young singer looking to start a career in these parts?

Gabrielle: Singers should understand that learning how to sing really well, is a craft. It takes many years to
cultivate, just like any other instrument. Always trust your instincts regarding voice teachers. Practise
hard, and wisely. Stay flexible. In this business in order to work, you may have to teach, sight read really
really well, act dance..

The Mad Scene: Lastly, tell us again why we should all attend Kurt Weill Cabaret?

Gabrielle: Because it is something totally different, so do come and check it out!


Kurt Weill Cabaret plays from 28 to 30 October 2010. Tickets are available at The Arts House's box office.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.