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.

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

 

 

Dancing at Lughnasa – Next GEDS production 3 – 7th March

The next Geneva English Drama Society production is Dancing At Lughnasa by Brian Friel. This play has won the Olivier Award, the Tony Award, the Evening Standard Award and the New York Drama Critics Award. Synopsis below.

Dancing

Michael, now a young man in 1960, relives the late summer days of 1936, when music on the radio seemed miraculous, the church seemed infallible, and love briefly seemed possible for his unmarried mother and her four sisters. On the west coast of Donegal, the five brave and hardworking Mundy sisters welcome home their frail elder brother Jack, who has re-turned from a life as a missionary in Africa.

The summer is made unforgettable by three arrivals: Uncle Jack, Michael’s prodigal father Gerry, and a wireless radio – the family’s one luxury. Unbeknownst to the sisters, tragic and brutal events will make this the last time the family would all be together.  They step out into the afternoon September sun to enjoy their tea, unaware that this is the best it ever will be.

Cast members are:  Cathy Boyle,  Andrew Brookes, Viki Lazar, Catherine Monagle, Daire O’Doherty, Gemma Parkes, Colin Paterson and Béibhinn Regli.

The play is directed by Charles Slovenski

Dates – 3- 7 March  Tuesday-Friday 20:00  Saturday 19:00 Théâtre de l’Espérance, 8 rue de la Chapelle, 1207 Geneva

Tickets: CHF 30 (seats numbered), students CHF 20 on presentation of student card (must be purchased at the theater on the night of the show)

For more info: See GEDS

To buy tickets:  See here 

Theatre show in English at the Usine a Gaz – 4 pairs of tickets to be won.

Western

There are four pairs of tickets (2 pairs per night) to be won to see “Western Dramedies” at the Usine a Gaz in Nyon on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th February.

This show will be performed in English and the production is based on a travel trip which the actors took along Highway 66, between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.

You can read more here (in French only)  To be in with a chance to win tickets, email info@usineagaz.ch, and specify which night you would like to attend (Thursday or Friday).  Note: please do not email Living in Nyon for the tickets.

2b Usine

Nyon girl appearing in Royal Opera House production in London- live streaming Wednesday 21st, 20:30

A dramatic scene from Orfeo– Courtesy of Tristram Kenton for the Guardian

 


From the Elastique Citrique to Circus Space and beyond….

Lili Parson, a Nyon native has joined the troupe of the Royal Opera House’s latest co-production- a modern version of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, one of the first operas ever made.

Part of the Elastique Citrique, Nyon’s circus school since she was 5, training, performing and teaching there until last year, she left for London in August to join the National Center for Circus Arts (aka Circus Space) with the aim of becoming a professional circus artist. She is currently doing a year’s preparation course before auditioning for several Circus schools across Europe and the world (Brussels, Stockholm, Quebec, London…).

Lili performing in Nyon

Although she has already had some pretty impressive experiences, performing this year in Denmark at the European youth circus festival, and participating in 2013 in Labo’Cirque, a three week program aiming to give a near-professional experience to promising young Swiss circus artists through the creation of a show, the Orfeo performance is of another scale.

Produced by the Royal Opera and the Roundhouse, this daring new version of Orfeo uses an English translation of the original text, is performed on the circular stage of the Roundhouse and features a collaboration with the East London Dance Company. Lili is one of 14 young artists from dance or circus backgrounds chosen by the Company to support the singers throughout the play in a series of acro-dance pieces, giving the Opera a grounded and embodied bonus.

Lili performing on the Cyr wheel at Labo’Cirque

Although Lili’s main discipline is the Cyr Wheel- a huge ring in which she turns and performs acrobatics (you can see her in action here) she is a multi-talented artist and has been taking dancing and theatre classes as part of her year at Circus Space. She auditioned alongside some 30 people and was chosen to perform in this great experience! The rehearsals- a whole day a week since the end of October, and some more intense work over the Christmas holidays- were added to her already full schedule of training and getting ready for the Circus auditions at the end of the year, a pretty spectacular achievement!

Orfeo started on the 13th of January, to appraising critics acclaiming the freshness and directness of the production. The Royal Opera has decided to offer a free live streaming of Wednesdays the 21st’s performance, on its website. The Opera will begin at 20:30 Swiss time, at this location.

You can read a review of the Opera here.

You can catch a glimpse of Lili in this sneak-peak video.