L’amour, the French way

Six seasons of love sung en français at French cabaret in Victoria

Clockwise from left

Four seasons are apparently not enough when it comes to expressing love.

That is one of the messages Emmanuel Hérique will deliver through the production of his third French cabaret in Victoria on Thursday at the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre in Vic West.

With so many French songs to draw from for the show, the Six Seasons of Love, Hérique and his cast decided to take the audience on an extended journey through spring, summer, fall, winter and another spring and summer.

“We decided after several rehearsals that love cannot end on a winter. It’s a different story, so we gave it six seasons,” Hérique says. “It’s the nature of love … love with someone or for something. You want to portray a cycle.”

Having produced two previous cabarets in 2007 and 2009 in Victoria, Hérique says this event has become an important part of the roster of French events that celebrate a culture dating back to Victoria’s early days.

The shows have proven popular with francophones, whose first language is French, and francophiles, who are anglophones who enjoy experiencing French culture.

The cabaret, says Hérique, fills a niche in Greater Victoria, where an estimated 7,000 Francophones and 30,000 Francophiles live, according to the Société Francophone de Victoria.

Hérique puts on his shows to share French culture with a wider audience in order to educate and increase understanding between cultures. The cash-bar event will feature dancing, and spectators are invited to sing along to lyrics projected on the wall.

“It’s French for all. It breaks down barriers. It sounds trite but it’s true,” says Hérique, a linguist who can speak six languages and is a professor of French at the University of Victoria. “I think culture makes people melt and it brings people together, and it’s not a bad thing in this world.”

The cabaret lineup includes Saanich singer/actor Cam Culham, Saanich singer and guitarist Réjean Bussières, Vancouver comedian and accordion player François Laberge, Victoria vocalist Val Vanille and Saanich singer/actor Stéphanie Geehan. They will perform songs from Quebec and France.

“It’s a gorgeous repertoire, all these songs in the French repertoire, from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s,” says Hérique, who is originally from France. “There’s a tradition in the French culture that’s absolutely stunning, and I think people are sensitive to that, and deep down, that’s why I do it.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

Six Seasons of Love

• When: Thursday (Nov. 24) from 7:30 to 9:20 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Where: Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay St.

• Tickets: $18 at the door, or $15 in advance from the Société Francophone de Victoria, #200-535 Yates St. or at ticketrocket.org. To reserve a table for six to 10 people, email eherique@hotmail.com or call 250-595-2544.

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