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Chez Chaminade

An Entertainment

Chez Chaminade

Alaina Warren Zachary interprets Cécile Chaminade.

Alaina Warren ZacharyChez Chaminade is an entertainment. Versatile lyric (and comic) soprano Alaina Warren Zachary in period costume with props and commentary, draws us into the era and music of Cécile Chaminade (more about Cécile Chaminade below).

Zachary regales us with stories and anecdotes about the diminutive, strong-willed composer: Growing up "under the piano." Her mentor and champion Bizet. Chaminade's experiences and impressions of America from the wildy successful 1908 tour. The feisty composer's opinions of her colleagues. Her belief in spiritism. Marriage and the creative woman. Instructions to singers in learning her music. The reviews from her sell-out Carnegie Hall concert and, of course, her remarkable "mélodies."chaminade hat

 Woven throughout are songs culled from the more than 135 composed by Chaminade. "Chez Chaminade" is available in a full concert length and a shorter program length. The entertainment includes post-performance discussion and a display of Chaminade memorabilia. A press kit and CD demo are available.)

Alaina Warren Zachary is uniquely qualified to portray and present this Chaminade Entertainment.

Zachary has the potent combination of classical vocal studies, a lovely lyric soprano voice, a theatrical degree, multiple Broadway credits, dozens of roles in plays and musicals outside of New York, and a gift for writing comedy and performance material. Early in her career, Zachary received a grant to create a one person multi-media vehicle for herself which was presented at the WestPark Theatre in New York City.

chaminade shoesAlaina brings a radiant presence to the stage and a terrific sense of comedy.

Whether it is in concert singing Fauré, Strauss, or Barber, or onstage breathing life into a theatrical character, Zachary brings sureness, sparkle and grace to every venue.

For more information about performances of "Chez Chaminade," the CD "Mon Coeur Chante!  The Songs of Cécile Chaminade," or to receive a press kit, contact us.

Cécile Chaminade

Cecile Chaminade

Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade was born to an upper middle class Parisian family on August 8, 1857. During her lifetime she enjoyed world-wide popularity as the most productive, most successful woman composer and that record still holds. She was the first woman composer to be awarded the French Legion of Honor, and yet, apart from a few piano compositions, such as Scarf Dance, Autumn, the Flatterer, and the popular Concertino for Flute and Piano, this remarkably prolific composer of songs ("mélodies") is unknown.

Chaminade died at the age of 87 in a small apartment in Monte Carlo on April 13, 1944. She was an invalid, having had her left foot amputated and she had been forgotten by the world.

According to the New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers, Chaminade's sharp decline in reputation was "partly attributable to modernism and a general disparagement of late-Romantic French music, but it is also due to the socio-aesthetic conditions affecting women and their music."

Chaminade had one very successful tour to America in the fall of 1908. Traveling with a soprano and a tenor, the company played 12 cities in eight weeks. The soprano also served as Chaminade's interpreter. The tour was the major musical AND social event of the Fall 1908 season.

Her signature song was The Little Silver Ring, (l'Anneau d'Argent) which enjoyed world-class success. John McCormack the famous Irish tenor, is said to have included it in every concert from about 1925 on. One particularly florid, coloratura piece, L'Été, was recorded and performed by some of the divas of the day, Emma Albani and Adelina Patti. Lillian Nordica sang "Le Noël des Oiseaux," Calvé sang "Sur la Plage," and Nellie Melba was known for her performance of "Viens, Mon Bien-Aimé."

La Chaminade's creative output of over 400 compositions includes 135 "mélodies" (songs), few of which have been recorded until now. Lyric soprano, Alaina Warren Zachary is the first American to record a CD of all-Chaminade songs.  Entitled "Mon Coeur Chante! The Songs of Cécile Chaminade," the CD was released on November 7, 2001.

For more information about the life and works of Cécile Chaminade: Cécile Chaminade: a Bio-Bibliography by Marcia J. Citron, Portrait de Cécile Chaminade by Cécile Tardif, "The Songs of Cécile Chaminade," article by Candace A. Magner, Journal of Singing, Vol. 57, No.4, March/April 2001.




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