Author: Justine Curatolo
Reviewer: Val Baskott
The Public Reviews Rating:
Snatches of athletic piano playing and a coloratura mezzo in full flight whet the appetite as you wait in the Georgian splendour of the Institut Français d’Écosse tucked away in elegant Randolph Crescent. Morceaux de Choix is the creation of Breton mezzo Justine Curatolo and pianist Elisa Bellanger. It is a song recital with a unique twist, a pre-theatre light supper with music attached.
Welcomed to the temporary bistro by Curatolo, fussed over to your table, proffered the ‘menu’, it is over to you and the fun begins. Guests can select a starter, mains and a dessert from a menu of over 80 art songs, arias and songs from the shows mainly with a French connection. Somewhere along the way good wine appears, and a delectable plate of charcuterie. (It should be good, it is the French Institute after all).
It’s a broad selection; Purcell through to Gershwin, songs to let rip the full voice which can rock the chandeliers, and songs of tendresse. Curatolo has a powerful but expressive mezzo able to do justice to the haunting Pergolesi ‘Se tu m’ami’ and equally to ‘Weil Youkali’ and the edgier ‘Les Filles de Bordeaux’, and is jaunty in ‘I like Paris in the Springtime’. There is something here for everyone.
Bellanger is a skilled and sensitive accompanist and there is great rapport between them as they translate some of the lyrics. At times there is a conflict between eating and listening and the waitress service is distracting but this is a pleasant divertissement that is little bit out of the ordinary.
Until 24th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Morceaux de Choix - Institut Français d’Écosse,