Swiss Entry to Eurovision Song Contest trained in Nyon – Interview with Mélanie René

On Saturday the 23rd May, the Eurovision Song Contest will celebrate its 60th anniversary and this year it will take place in Vienna, Austria. This Song Contest is one of the longest running television shows in the world and has an estimated viewing audience of 180 million! The first ever Eurovision Song Contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland, at the Teatro Kursaal, on the 24th of May, 1956. Celine Dion once represented Switzerland with her song “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” and she went on to win the contest for the country in 1988.

The Swiss entry to the contest for 2015 is Mélanie René with her song “My Time to Shine”.   Mélanie, originally from Mauritius, trained for seven years at a performing arts school at Les Atelier du Funambule in Nyon.

Pressebild Mélanie René  Mélanie René aus Genf vertritt mit dem Song «Time To Shine» die Schweiz am Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Wien Copyright: SRF/Oscar Alessio NO SALES NO ARCHIVES Die Veröffentlichung im Zusammenhang mit Hinweisen auf die Programme von Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen ist honorarfrei  und muss mit dem Quellenhinweis erfolgen. Jede weitere Verwendung ist honorarpflichtig, insbesondere auch der Wiederverkauf. Das Copyright bleibt bei Media Relations SRF. Wir bitten um Belegexemplare. Bei missbräuchlicher Verwendung behält sich das Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen zivil- und strafrechtliche Schritte vor.

Photo above – Mélanie René – Copyright – SRF Oscar Alessio

Sadly, the *school no longer exists, but Mélanie has fond memories of the place and of the town. When she was competing in the first step of the contest to represent Switzerland, Nyon and its landscape featured heavily in the background in her promotional video. Living in Nyon caught up with Mélanie for a short interview before she headed off to Austria for her big moment.

She will first perform at the Semi-Final 2 day on Thursday 21st May. If she passes this stage, she will be through to the final on Saturday night.

 Read on to find out why Mélanie elected Nyon to train in the performing arts and how she has fond memories of the town.

You chose to train at a theatre school in Nyon and spent many years there. Why did you chose this school and why Nyon?”

 Les Ateliers du Funambule was a pioneer school of performing arts in French Switzerland that helped young people develop their skills through sponsorships. It was a comprehensive training that included dance lessons as well as theatre, music theory, songwriting masterclasses, and singing lessons of course. I learnt so much from this school, and had so many opportunities that helped develop the singer songwriter that I am today.

 “What memories do you have of the town?”

 So many great ones, sunshine reflecting on the lake, the view from the castle, as well as the amazing pancakes next to the school and the lovely town where we used to go window shopping with the other students! After spending seven years in Nyon, 3 to 4 days a week, it feels like my home town somewhat!

Aubonne Cinema and Nyon by lake May 2013 062

“Are you always composing new songs in your head?” 

Yes, everything inspires me! It may be a word, a scenery, someone or even a feeling. I always have a pen and paper in my bag to write down ideas.

“Which other Swiss musicians/bands do you like to listen to?” 

I love Voxset (acapella group), Jyaleen, as well as Aya Waska, and Sebalter to name only a few.

Can you reveal  if there will be any  kind of Swiss element to your performance at Eurovision? (dress etc?) 

I can’t tell you much about the performance just yet I’m afraid, but I can tell you that everything we will bring onto the stage in Vienna will be representative of the song and it’s message!

Good luck Mélanie!

Pressebild Mélanie René  Mélanie René aus Genf vertritt mit dem Song «Time To Shine» die Schweiz am Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Wien Copyright: SRF/Oscar Alessio NO SALES NO ARCHIVES Die Veröffentlichung im Zusammenhang mit Hinweisen auf die Programme von Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen ist honorarfrei  und muss mit dem Quellenhinweis erfolgen. Jede weitere Verwendung ist honorarpflichtig, insbesondere auch der Wiederverkauf. Das Copyright bleibt bei Media Relations SRF. Wir bitten um Belegexemplare. Bei missbräuchlicher Verwendung behält sich das Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen zivil- und strafrechtliche Schritte vor.

 

Photo above – Copyright SRF Oscar Alessio

 * The Funambule used to be situated in the basement of the Beau Rivage hotel.

Classical Music Concert in Nyon performed by Royal Academy of Music Graduates.

On the 22nd May at 19:30 the “Ansermet Ensemble” will be performing at the Salle de la Colombière in Nyon. This chamber orchestra is comprised of four students who have recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London. They will play works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Jean Sibelius, Claude Debussy and Ernest Bloch.

For tickets CHF 20/CHF 15 email ansermet.ensemble@gmail.com  Tel 079 575 4210.  Click here for Facebook page

Ansermet

“The “Ansermet Ensemble” takes its name from the Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet (1883-1969 – see more info below)
The four members of the ensemble are; Hoei Lien The, Liam Brolly, Auriol Evans and Theodor Küng.

Hoei Lien

Liam Brolly

Auriol Evans

Theodor

Ernest Ansermet was founder of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and a contemporary of Furtwängler and Klemperer.  Following several years teaching mathematics at the University of Lausanne he went on to have an extremely distinguished career that included several international tours, the directorship of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russe, and worldwide recognition from both his audiences and his peers.

A champion of 20th century contemporary music – notably that of his compatriots Frank Martin and Arthur Honegger – he is perhaps most famous for conducting several notable premieres for Stravinsky, including ‘Histoire d’un Soldat’ (1918), Pulcinella (1920), and Les Noces (1923), and for his book Les Fondements de la Musique dans la Conscience Humaine. Written with great care over the course of 50 years, it examines the origins, meanings, and perception of music by the human mind. The great detail and intricacy of thought in this work makes it less a career memoir and more a philosophical treatise. A passionate though occasionally severe conductor, his letters reveal a personality that is intimate, friendly, and marvellously sincere.

Amongst his correspondents and frequent collaborators on stage, one finds many great names of his time, including Pablo Casals, Alfred Cortot, Joseph Szigeti, Carl Flesch, and Kathleen Ferrier. The ensemble is named after him in order to honour his achievements and commemorate his contribution to music.

 

 

From Garden Fêtes to Naval Parades and Neighbours’ Day – Events in May

This weekend (on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May ) it’s the Jardins en Fête which will be held in the park and grounds of the Château de Coppet. This event is dedicated to plants and the art of the garden and brings together gardening professionals all in one space. With over 130 exhibitors it is one of the biggest garden events in the region. Hester Macdonald from the Swiss Gardening School will also be at the show. Hester runs gardening courses in English throughout the year. See our post from 2014 when Living in Nyon attended one of her courses.

Jaridins en fete 2010

On Sunday 24th May, it’s the annual CGN Naval Parade and this year it will gather in Rolle from 10:00 – 19:00. The main choreography of boats will take place between 14:00 and 14:30 and can be seen from the quayside in Rolle. It’s an impressive sight when all the lovely Belle Epoque boats gather together in one place! See photos from last year.

En Mai etc and Naval parade Rolle 2011 A

On Friday 29th May it’s Neighbours’ Day in both Prangins and Nyon. If you have just arrived here and don’t yet know your neighbours, this event is an ideal time for neighbours to get together. Look out for posters in your building or community to see if anything is being organised in your area, if not, why not take the plunge and invite your neighbours over for an apéro to say “Bonjour!”  If you don’t live in Nyon or Prangins, click here to find out when and where the event is taking place in your area.

FDV_FlyerA5_2015_Nyon

 

The outdoor swimming pool in Nyon has now opened. In May, June and September it is open from 09:00-20:00 and in July and August from 09:00 to 20:30.

Swimming pool

 

 

Open House at the Geneva English School – Saturday 14th March

The Geneva English School, set in lovely grounds in picturesque Genthod with view of the lake and Mont Blanc, is holding an Open Day on Saturday 14th March from 09:30 – 12:00.

The school is a not-for-profit co-educational international school for children aged 3 to 11. The Open Day is is an ideal opportunity to visit the school, see the classrooms, talk to the headmaster and find out about the school’s curriculum which is based on the English National Curriculum and which includes a strong French programme for all groups throughout the week.

It’s also a good opportunity to check out the Library Learning Centre with its cosy new reading room which was opened by children’s author Anne Fine in October last year.  Register here

IMG_6581

Photo above – A room with a view and a choice of children’s books!

IMG_6579

Online reading and a cosy sofa!

IMG_6584

IMG_6580

IMG_6585

Geneva English School 022

Geneva English School 021

Two Oscar winning films in English at Nyon cinema

“Still Alice”, the film in which Julianne Moore won the 2015 Oscar for “Actress in a Leading Role”, will be shown at Nyon cinema on Monday 9th March at 20:30. This is an Avant Premiere Monday movie in English. As Alice Howland, Julianne Moore plays a college professor who learns that she is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Still Alice

The second film which won an Oscar for “Best Picture 2015″ is “Birdman” starring Michael Keaton and will be shown at Nyon cinema tonight, Wednesday 4th March at 20:30 and also on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and next Tuesday. The film is a satire of showbusiness and fame.    For full listings at Nyon cinema – see here

Birdman 2