music

Church Cantatas – 11/8/2015


One of our own, Soprano Francisca Vanherle Maxwell [see previous post], will be performing on Sunday November 8, 2015, at 4pm in the Julia Thompson Smith Chapel at Agnes Scott College in Decatur.  You are cordially invited to Church Cantatas by Georg Philip Telemann (1681-1767) performed by the ensemble Philo Melante**, directed … by Francisca’s own sister: Sofie Vanherle, visiting from Brussels!  Aaron Cain, baritone, will be the other voice.

Sofie studied at the Flemish and French Conservatoires in Brussels where she obtained First Prize diplomas for seven subjects, including piano , music history, and practical harmony.   Since 2012, she is also an active researcher for “Trobador”, a research commission of the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. The subject of her research is a collection of 150 manuscripts of sacred cantatas by G.P. Telemann that are held in the Library of the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels.
This research project called for the establishment of an ensemble that could concentrate fully on this repertoire, which led to the founding of “PhiloMelante” in October 2013.  Its main purpose is to put the results of the research project into practise, and share it with a broad international audience.

Details

  • When – Sunday November 8, 2015 at 4 pm
  • Where – Agnes Scott College | Julia Thompson Smith Chapel, 141 E. College Drive, Decatur GA 30030
  • Free Admission ~ voluntary contributions for the musicians will be encouraged

** Melante is an anagram of Telemann

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Stromae – c’était formidable


Formidable resumes perfectly Stromae’s performance last night at the Buckhead Theatre.  Our national maestro was in a superb shape, totally connected with his audience,  respectuous of his team … As a rap/hip-hop version of a modern Jacques Brel with powerful songs based on personal experiences and realities of life, he blew us away.  Our compatriot is not just a singer, a musician and a composer but a true entertainer.  Inoubliable.

Shortly after being advertised, the concert was sold out with, as usual, a few tickets circulating on the black market at high price. We were all relieved to see it go through since the cancellation of Stormae’s previous concerts was alarming. His youngest fans were already queueing since mid afternoon and beATLe Mathilde was among the lucky ones to intercept Stromae for a selfie.

While all of his songs were sung in French, Stromae showed multilingual talents.  He interacted with his public in English including French and even a few words in Spanish.  This language-switch was masterly handled and was no bother. Simply said: he was understood.

Our star was accompanied by four musicians soberly dressed with bowler hats and bow ties.   The stage was relatively simple but the background was a projection of animated visuals and shadows were playing a huge role.

Starting his concert dressed in black and white with his cardigan and bow tie, Mr. Paul changed outfits a few times during his show.  Nothing extravagant.  Simplicity being his forte.

Danse , t’inquiète pas tu vas danser…  And we did.  Starting his show with ‘Ta fête’, he immediately set the pace for a fabulous night.  ‘Bâtard’ was nextje suis, j’étais et resterai moi…. followed by ‘Peace Or Violence’ forming a V with his longitudinal fingers.

As expected, he built up some suspense with his four Chapters each time interrupted by a retentissant TINTIN from his fans… Sitting at a corner of the stage, Chapter I gave him the chance to wipe the sweat off his face. During Chapter II we saw him put on pink lipstick and jewelry before starting the next Chapter during which he put on a pink and black jacket. Chapter IV was the performance itself: ‘Tous les mêmes’… rendez-vous, rendez-vous, rendez-vous sûrement aux prochaines règles… with dance moves demonstrating both feminine and masculine demeanors.

Many times he interrupted his show to refresh his face and at a certain moment, shuffling with his earpieces, he candidly stated ‘I am sweating inside my ears‘ …

We were thrilled to listen to ‘Quand c’est ?‘, his new but somber song [the clip was released on 9/14] dealing with the hardships of cancer.  Stromae’s choreography, made of contorsions to get away from the disease’s shadowy reach, was gripping.

‘Papaoutai’ was frantically requested and Stromae, dressed in his summery blue and yellow outfit, as rigid as a a figure from Madame Tussaud, was carried onto the stage, by his musicians.  They put him in standing position until he jumped back to life to perform insane moves.

Te quiero,  Ave Cesaria,  Formidable,  Carmen,  Humain à l’eau (Leçon n°23),  Alors on danse were all included in his repertory.  However, the evening was not all about singing … As a proud Belgian, he talked about the burger he ate but more importantly what was on the side: the fries, the Belgian fries.  He also claimed the croissants to be Belgian and he was loudly applauded when he stated that even France comes from Belgium!  But trèves de plaisanteries, de vannes pourries and he went on with Paulo qui aime les moules frites, sans frites et sans mayo.

At the end, a big merci appeared on the screen behind Stromae who thanked not only his public but everyone involved with his show, from his muscians to the security guards…. A real gentleman, appreciative of all. He had some humoristic gestures when, surrounded by his musicians, he tried to put an end to the concert imitating the flight attendants presenting the emergency exits.

The excited crowd insisted for une autre … Suddenly a microphone magically appeared.  He ‘chuuuut’ the public and in perfect synchronization with his four musicians transformed into chorists, Stromae performed an astonishing a cappella version of Tous Les Mêmes.  With powerful snaps of their fingers as only instrumental accompaniment the act was absolutely divine.

Loin d’être minable, tu étais formidable, Stromae!

I compiled a few clips from last night that you can watch here but it last slightly over 10 minutes.

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Save the dates


While you make plans for your summer vacations, beATL is planning cool events for you.  Grab your agenda, your sharp pencil and write the following down and if something gets in the way: cancel it!  You should always prioritize a beATL-time!

  • Movie Night – our Matthias [Schoenaerts] as Gabriel, a man who will stand by your side, is back on our screens! Join us on Tuesday June 2nd at 7.30 pm for the screening of Far From the Madding Crowd at the Lefont Sandy Springs Theater (5920 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30328) on Sandy Springs Circle, lower level of the Parkside Shopping Plaza.  Book your tickets online if you want to save time and/or guarantee your seat.
  • Ladies Lunch is on Tuesday June 2nd … Ladies, you got mail!
  • Belgian THIRSTdays on the first Thursday of the month from 7 pm.  June 4th should already be in your calendar.  This time, we will enjoy the fairly newly opened Midtown Fado Irish Pub (933 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309).
  • Buy your tickets for the ‘Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tour on July 15th for … the guided tour on Saturday 24 October.  This is your only chance to experience Oakland Cemetery after dark, and walk amidst the Cemetery’s beautifully lit gardens.  You will play audience to first-hand re-enactments, narrated by a host of Oakland’s eternal “residents,” which bring to life the city’s past.
  • Save the date for our National Day Gathering. We will celebrate on Sunday July 19th … if you have wonderful ideas for such an event, let me know!  Don’t be shy! Otherwise you will have to follow my inspiration!
  • Get your lightening experience at the Botanical Garden on Sunday August 9th.  Bruce Muro’s luminous exhibit is a must see; especially if you enjoyed the Holidays’ Festive Lights.
  • Meet our maestro Stromae on Monday September 14th.  If you haven’t book your tickets, don’ t wait too long!

Stay tuned!

bored? … not with beATL


Think twice if you think there is nothing to do for the Belgians (and Belgophiles) in and around Atlanta!   Just look at the amount of blog posts published, and the coming events listed below (and it’s not even mid March)!

So here is what’s cooking … (put those dates in your calendar!):

  1. A repeat THIRSTday … Since beATL’s favorite local band Atlanta Boogie would love to have a Belgian-style audience, we will oblige.  Join us for another bowling (or not) evening at The Painted Pin on Thursday March 12th at 8 pm.
  2. This gives you sufficient notice: our fabulous dance pop singer-writer STROMAE will be in concert in Atlanta on Monday September 14th (Doors @ 6:30 pm/ Show @ 7:30 pm) at Buckhead Theater.  Tickets for the East Coast leg of Stromae’s tour will go on sale 10 am PT on Saturday, March 14th via his Facebook page or via the Theater.
  3. On March 19th, 2 events have been scheduled: one musical, one business-related.   Click on each link for more info.
  4. The Belgian Ladies Spring Luncheon has been scheduled for March 26th.  Ladies, a RSVP-invite should have reached your inbox.
  5. Atlanta Film Festival will be held March 20-29, 2015 and two Belgian productions (Trans and Jennah) will be on show.  Details on blog that will be posted on 03/16.
  6. Our Master Brewer Joran will share his experience(s) on April 9th at Three Taverns Brewery.  Blog post is scheduled to be published on 03/25.
  7. A kids-oriented Easter Egg Hunt by BCA will be announced soon.
  8. Participate in a HACKATHON to Hack Epilepsy here in Atlanta – or in Brussels – on 24-26th April, 2015. Blog post is scheduled to be published on 03/18.
  9. Hop with beATL on the Atlanta Streetcar on Sunday June 14th!
  10. Be ready to buy your tickets for the ‘Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tour‘.Tickets go on sale on July 15th for …  tours in October (2015 ticket sales open to members of Oakland’s Historic Foundation on July 1)!  This is your only chance to experience Oakland Cemetery after dark, and walk amidst the Cemetery’s beautifully lit gardens.  You will play audience to first-hand re-enactments, narrated by a host of Oakland’s eternal “residents,” which bring to life the city’s past.
  11. On Sunday August 9th, beATL takes you to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for another lighting experience: Bruce Muro brings to Atlanta his Light in the Garden’s exhibit featuring unique installations created from hundreds of miles of optic fiber.

Of course, every month we have our Belgian THIRSTdat from 7 pm at a ‘surprise’ location.

Anyone knowing about an upcoming event?  Anybody willing to host/organize and event? Contact Queen beATL!

 

Figure Humaine – 3/19/2015


As 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, Skylark presents, under the direction of Matthew GuardFrancis Poulenc’s monumental and rarely-performed Figure Humaine, composed in 1943 in occupied France and featuring poems of the resistance movement by Paul Éluard, sung in French.   Its first performance in French was in Brussels in December 1946. Regarded as one of the greatest works composed for a cappella choir, it is an exploration of the grim realities of war, culminating in a cry for liberty.  Skylark will also perform well-known English-language songs from the American Civil War, together with forgotten songs recently rediscovered in the Duke University Historical Sheet Music Archives.

Join our Consul, Ms. Genevieve Verbeek on March 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, for “Clear Voices in the Dark”.  It is one of the greatest works of 20th century choral music, and one rarely if ever gets the chance to hear it sung in French by professional singers anywhere in the world, much less in Atlanta!

The Atlanta History Center will be on site displaying artifacts from the Civil War and World War II.

Logistics:

our own Soprano in concert – 3/1/2015


Those who came to our last Belgian THIRSTday at the Withehall Tavern will remember meeting beATL Francisca Vanherle Maxwell.

Francisca Vanherle Maxwell was born in Argentina but grew up in Belgium where she started her musical education at the age of 5. She attended the Royal Conservatorium in Brussels and obtained a Bachelors and a Master’s degree in Vocal Arts and a degree in Vocal Pedagogy. In 1997, she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her education at the University of Texas at Austin. She graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance in 2002. Currently living in Atlanta, she teaches voice, opera and vocal ensemble to people of all ages in her private studio and at Agnes Scott College. Her versatility as a musician allows her to approach different styles of music as well as to work with students in light of their individual goals.

Francisca also works as a freelance soloist in a versatile repertoire comprising all ages. She has been staged in lead roles of many operas and operettas, among which L’Incorronazione di Poppea, Rinaldo, Alcina, Die Fledermaus and Paganini. She equally portrays herself in oratorio and as a chamber music vocalist. She is a member of the Atlanta based early music group Harmonie Universelle and has been featured several times on public radio in the program “The Atlanta Music Scene”. Her concert life has taken her all over Europe, Russia and the United States.

beATL is pleased to announced that our Soprano will perform a few times in March.  Mark your calendars!

  • Sun 1 March @ 3pm, Ferst Center for the Arts – The Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra and Choirs present Mendelssohn’s “Symphony-Cantata,” Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise), joined by sopranos Francisca Vanherle Maxwell, Elizabeth Wilson, and tenor Timothy Miller. Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Hsu. The concert is free and open to the public.
  • Thu 12 March @ 7:30pm, Gaines Chapel, Agnes Scott College – Collaborative concert with Agnes Scott Music Faculty and visiting composer Augusta Read Thomas.  Details.
  • Tue 31 March @ 7pm, Druid Hills Presbyterian Church – J.S. Bach, St John’s Passion with baroque orchestra Harmonie Universelle and the GA Tech Chamber choir.  Details.

Manneken-Sax – 11/15


In celebration of the 200th Birthday of Adolphe SAX, the inventor of the Saxophone, the Consul General of Belgium Geneviève Verbeek is cordially inviting you and your guests to a duo performance by Belgian saxophonist Robin Verheyen & pianist Marc Copland on the Belgian Royal Holiday, Saturday November 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm, in the Rebekah Scott Hall, Agnes Scott College.

Light refreshments will be served after the concert.

RSVP only  if you plan to attend: 404-659-2150

Learn more about Robin Verheyen and  Marc Copland

The sax by Vigo Universal is 25 cm.

a soprano of our own in atlanta – 10/26


A unique Recital by our very own and wonderful soprano Francisca Vanherle on Sunday October 26th at 4 pm.

The soprano Francisca Vanherle was born in Argentina but grew up in Belgium. She studied at the Royal Conservatoroire in Brussels, where she obtained both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Arts and a teacher’s certificate in Vocal Pedagogy. In 1997, she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship by the Commission for Educational Exchange between the USA and Belgium and Luxembourg. With this scholarship, she continued her education at the University of Texas at Austin. She graduated as a Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance in 2002.

In Europe, she worked as an ensemble singer with groups such as the Huelgas Ensemble, Il Fondamento, La Petite Bande, the Brussels Cathedral Choir and the VRT Radio Choir. Later, she has worked as a freelance soloist in a vast repertoire comprising many genres. With the Texas Early Music Project, she sang a number of leading roles in Haendel operas (a.o. Armida, Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo) and in two of Purcell’s operas  (King Arthur and The Fairy Queen). She has performed in many famous oratorios and often sings as a concert soloist and in song recitals. In 2004, she became a regular lead for the Belgian light opera and musical theatre group TOP, with whom she sang most notably in Die Fledermaus, Paganini and Eine Nacht in Venedig. Her performances have taken her all over Europe, Russia and the United States.

Francisca has been teaching voice, opera and vocal ensemble for over a decade to people of all ages. Her versatility as a musician allows her to approach different styles of music as well as to work with students in light of their individual goals.

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tomorrowworld, the return


TomorrowWorld … Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift, Tomorrow is Mystery…

The 3-day music electronic music festival is back in Atlanta for its second year.   And it looks like they’re here to stay: according to the media, the festival has signed a ten year contract with Chattahoochee Hills. Lodged on +/- 500 acres within the 8,000-acre of the Bouckaert Farm, an equestrian paradise owned by one of our Belgian citizens, the artists will perform among eight uniquely designed stages.  Be ready for innovative and immersive experiences with mind-blowing décor, enchanting acts and animation, A-class camping, eccentric VIP areas and gourmet food..

TomorrowWorld is the daughter festival of the Belgian Tomorrowland, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary this July.   And in 2015, TomorrowLand will party in Brasil, on the mythical grounds of Itu…

Before the festival starts, the Belgian American Chamber of the South (BACoS) invites you Behind the Scenes at TomorrowWorld on September 25th, 2014 (exact time to be announced).  During this exclusive members-only event, guests get the opportunity to take a sneak peek behind the scenes of the world-renowned electronic music festival: tour of the beautifully themed TomorrowWorld stages and the mind-blowing decor.  And to top that off, they will experience “The Gathering”, the warming up party for the TomorrowWorld campers!

For more details and registrations about this BACoS event, visit their website.

Meet some of the Belgian artists expected on stage:

  • Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (Willebroek) are a Greek-Belgian electronic DJ duo composed of two brothers Dimitri Thivaios and Michael Thivaios. They currently hold the 6th spot on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs poll.
  • Yves V (Antwerp) is the artist name of the Belgian DJ Yves Van Geertsom. He is mainly known for his record “CloudBreaker” which he made in collaboration with the Belgian producer Basto.
  • Romeo Blanco (Antwerp) – Christened as future talent by CR2 Records, Romeo Blanco has continued to prove himself a worthy new member of Electronic Music Aristocracy.  Listen to his performance with Yves V.
  • Koen Bauweraerts, more commonly known as Coone, is a Belgian jumpstyle and hardstyle producer, and DJ. He has been producing since the year 2002, when he started with hard house productions
  • DJ Licious (Antwerp) – Belgium-based but beaming the love of house all over the world with a blend of funky rhythms, groovy sax and smooth vocals: Dj Licious knows good vibes come from nothing but house music.

And finally, the details for the festival:

  • Dates: September 26-27-28, 2014
  • Where: Chattahoochee Hills, GA
  • Parking: Parking Passes are required for all vehicles entering site
  • Restrictions: strict 21+ age requirement. Anyone born on or after September 26, 1993 will not be permitted entrance, even if accompanied by an adult.
  • More info: visit the website

last minute – Belgian Sarah Bettens of K’s Choice


Thanks to Steven, here is your concert for tonight … Yes, some people have nothing else to do on a Saturday evening and depend on last minute decisions.  So here is your good fortune: the lead singer of the Belgian band K’s Choice, Sarah Bettens, will perform alongside Sarah Peacock at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth @ 8pm tonight.  Doors open 7 pm.  Purchase your tickets here.

K’s Choice, originally formed in the early ‘90s by the brother-sister tandem of guitarist/singer Gert and Sarah Bettens (from Kapellen), split after 10 years of musical adventures to do ‘their own thing’.  After a period of swapping song files via email (Sarah now lives in Johnson City, TN, while Gert remains in Belgium), the group reconvened for rehearsals with a line-up featuring both former members (bassist Eric Grossman and drummer Koen Lieckens) and new members (guitarist Thomas Vanelslander and keyboardist Reinout Swinnen).

Sarah, Gert and band are excitedly working on the next K’s Choice album. To be more specific, they just finished recording the first demos in Belgium.  A bunch of new songs are ready to be finalized and several others are in the pipeline. The album’s working title is “Phantom Cowboy”.

A taste of Sarah’s songs – ‘Come Over Here’