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Céleste • A Life in Music
Céleste Venard – born in Paris in 1824 – was a woman and an artist far ahead of her time.
A courtesan, singer, actor, trail-blazing dancer, chariot-rider, best-selling novelist and playwright, she was also the muse of the composer Bizet, and the inspiration behind his most famous operatic character, Carmen. Her lovers included novelists, artists and composers- but when she married the Count de Chabrillan, a prominent member of the French aristocracy, Parisian society was scandalised. And when the pair turned up in far off Australia, where the count served as the first French consul, Melbourne society was scandalised in turn.
This album accompanies a major new book by Roland Perry exploring Céleste’s life. The music celebrates her grace and courage, creativity and openness of spirit, and traces some of the key events and relationships of her unique and extraordinary life – from the opera that she inspired to the dances she loved.
Album features an introduction to the life of Céleste Venard by Roland Perry.
- 1. BIZET Habanera from Carmen
- 2. BIZET Toreador's Song from Carmen
- 3. LISZT At Lake Wallenstadt from Years of Pilgrimage: Switzerland
- 4. BIZET Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante from Carmen
- 5. CHOPIN Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. 66
- 6. BIZET Seguidilla from Carmen
- 7. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 1 Lady Gipps
- 8. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 2 Lady Franklin
- 9. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 3 Lady O'Connell
- 10. DELIBES Mazurka from Coppélia
- 11. BIZET La fleur que tu m'avais jetée from Carmen
- 12. DUPARC Chanson triste (Sad Song)
- 13. OFFENBACH Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld
- 14. DUPARC L'Invitation au voyage (Invitation to a Journey)
- 15. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 4 Lady Wilmot
- 16. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 6 Lady Forbes
- 17. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 8 Mrs Edward Dease Thompson
- 18. ELLARD The Australian Ladies: No. 11 Mrs Stephens
- 19. CHOPIN Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9 No. 2
- 20. LISZT Gondolier’s Song from Years of Pilgrimage: Venice and Naples
- 21. BIZET Duet: Au fond du temple saint from The Pearl Fishers
- 22. BIZET Duet: Au fond du temple saint from The Pearl Fishers
- 23. DEBUSSY Clair de lune (Moonlight)