Currently, as we know, in connection with what is happening now in the world, many cultural events are being canceled in Moscow, this has affected not only movie theaters, museums, but also the theatrical life of Russia.
Unfortunately for Russian fans, they canceled the show of the French musical Don Giovanni (but to little joy in the stream of bad news, the shows were postponed to 2021), the arrival of which we all looked forward to, as well as many creative meetings with artists, but Muscovites managed to enjoy beautiful France in Moscow, having attended a joint concert of musical artists Andrei Birin (Russia) and Laurent Bane (France) with the saying “Window to Paris”, as well as at a creative meeting with Laurent in the Alibi club, where the artist told about his creative the way, and also gave a little lesson on how to put your voice in order, especially before an important speech.
And for those who did not have time to attend Laurent’s creative evening, we prepared this article so that you can immerse yourself in the French atmosphere without leaving your house and drinking hot tea with croissants. We, unfortunately, did not begin to bring here all evening, but only chose the most beloved answers of our Monsieur to immerse you in the evening held at Alibi Club.
Spectator: How much more difficult or simpler is it to play characters that people already have a clear idea of? And how difficult is it to play characters that someone famous before you played?
Laurent: You know, it’s like the story of a book you read and then watch a movie. After all, it’s always a little disturbing to watch a movie from a book that we liked, because the film shows us only the picture seen by someone else, and it does not always coincide with the way we imagine it. Therefore, the interest is not to 100% convey the original vision. I always try to come up with a new version and convey something personal in the character. As for the question of how to play the role of someone else, I never “copy”, never “imitate”. Whatever you do, you will always be compared with the one who played before you, so the best way to avoid this comparison is to do something completely different and add yourself to the role. For example, when I played Salieri, I told the producers: “You know Florent Mota well, you know his voice, his appearance, but I will never play Florent Mota. He has his own positive sides, he plays his own way, but I will create my own version with who I am, with my voice, and the way I look. ” And I did what I always do. First, I look for a character biography, if one exists. I’m trying to understand how he really was in life. I take a little from the biography, a little bit of the director’s wishes and draw from myself to create a common dough. And that allows me to create something of my own. For example, Salieri in my performance was more authoritarian. And he shows his cracks, his internal faults. I had one lens that was blue to change the color of one eye, to show the duality of this character, fire and ice, jealousy – all those feelings that devour him. Every time I create a character, I saturate it with many details, although I understand that then people will see 30% of my work. And when you say that Iago is not a bastard for you – this is what is interesting in him. When I play bastards, and there are a lot of them played, I always serve them as nice characters. And people tell you: “Well, why do I love this character, because he is a bastard ?!” I create a character whom they “love to hate” and “hate to love.” Because it happens in life, if you meet a real bastard, the one who will betray you. This is the one who sticks a knife in your back with a smile, and it seemed to you that he is a very nice person. If a man with his appearance showed that he was a bastard this would be too obvious. The person who will betray you is the person you trust, whom you love, so I play the bastards they love.
Spectator: You voiced the French version of the film “The Phantom of the Opera”, as far as I know you were the “voice” of the Phantom. Please tell me if you still wanted to play this character? Would you like to play any other role in the productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Laurent: There are two musicals that motivated me to take up this profession. At 17, I heard the musical “Starmania”. Then I was an artist and it was thanks to this performance that I wanted to become an artist. This applies to French musicals. As for the American (musicals) – I discovered Broadway and the West End with “Jesus Christ Superstar” by Lloyd Webber. I was then 17-18 years old. And I said to myself: “Now, this is my dream, so that it becomes my profession.” And I wanted to work with Plamandon and Webber one day. Two roles and two goals in my life. Because if I do something, I do it at full capacity. I told myself that if I was an artist, then I definitely had to work with the two most significant people in this field.
In 2001, I started playing Notre Dame de Paris and fulfilled my first dream of working with Plamandon. And the second dream – in 2004 or 2005, I voiced the Phantom of the Opera. I recorded this version in London in one of the theaters and at the same time rehearsed another musical there, and I met artists in the corridors of the theater. It was a real dream for me when Lloyd Webber came along with his assistant to talk with me about the role. It was really unbelievable, and I said to myself, “I would like to work with him.” The music of the musical The Phantom of the Opera is incredible, it is very interesting to sing this material, and when they were casting for the play in Paris, I was in Korea with Mozart l`opera rock – I left for Korea for 2 months. The first day when I left the casting had just begun, and when I returned it was the last day of the casting. And unfortunately, the performance still did not take place, because the theater in which this performance was to be staged burned down (* laughs insidiously *). I am still the only person who voiced the Phantom of the Opera, that is, the only French actor who gave the voice to the Phantom of the Opera. And you know, thanks to this film, I gave many concerts around the world, because the Phantom of the Opera has millions of fans around the world and for those who know the history of this work, who love it, they know that the work of this work takes place in Opera Garnier in Paris, that is, in theory, the Phantom of the Opera is French and must speak French, so until some theater has put on a new version of this performance, the only Phantom of the Opera speaking in a French voice is me.
Spectator: Tell us about your album “Prima,” have you encrypted a message for us? Do you like rock?
Laurent: I started singing when I was 18-19 years old. We sang in the garage with a rock band. I had long hair, I dressed in leather, and we sang songs from bands such as Metallica and other heavy music, but mostly music that is suitable, for example, for slow dancing. Это такие группы как «Scorpions» и «Aerosmith». I adored them. And at my solo concerts, I’m rather for rock music, but since I really like playing on stage, I also perform songs from musicals and play them. For example, I spent a month in China, where I gave a lot of concerts with my band, and these were really rock music concerts. And I hope that I can return to Russia to give a more personal, recital, and I would really like to play you just such songs, because this is what brings joy. I love rock. But today my concerts are calmer. Today I am more romantic and play romantic songs, but this is another part of me that I would also like to show you.
In my Prima album, I really would like to convey very personal emotions that tell about my life. About what I experienced. For example, the first song called “Terre-mère”. She talks about my mother, and she starts with the countdown of Apollo, the first spacecraft to go into space. Just when I was little I asked: “Where is my mother?” and they answered me that she was among the stars in the sky. At the same time, I told myself that I would be like Gagarin. I wanted to become an astronaut. And this album begins with a song that tells about this first journey of a child who wants to fly to his mother.
But at the same time, I wanted to make this album so that every person who listens to it could recognize themselves in these songs. This is unbelievable! People often write to me: “This song is about me, it’s impossible, it really tells about me” and I say: “Yes, of course, these are my songs, but they are about you too.” And this is very touching, because thanks to the music, even if people don’t understand the words, then through the music they feel emotions and for me it is very important.