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Never Let Me Go (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

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Thursday, May 5, 2005

NEVER LET ME GO (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

"Short of major surgery, cancel whatever you have on tonight and hear Micheline Van Hautem." The Sydney Morning Herald.

"... she takes Brel's standards and remakes them in her own image. Frederik Caelen, is worth the price of admission on his own." The Times

"Even though he lived quite a few years ago, and he's a man, and he sings in French, I still find a very strong connection with his music." And so does everyone that comes to see the spell-binding Micheline Van Hautem abandon herself to the passion of Jacques Brel.

Opening the Jazz and Cabaret season at the "Applaud" Christchurch Arts Festival 2005 on July 21, Micheline will perform her Jacques Brel inspired repertoire alongside her musical partner and virtuoso accordionist, Frederik Caelen.

Last year, Micheline and Caelen stunned packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Melbourne International Festival and the Adelaide Cabaret festival. In 2005 with a more intimate and intense show, they will seduce New Zealand with the passion of Jacques Brel too.

Brel was one of the 20th century's greatest chansonniers, tapping the light and the dark in songs such as Seasons in the Sun, In the Port of Amsterdam and Ne Me Quitte Pas.

Singing in French, Flemish, English and fluent body language, Micheline channels Brel's pure emotion in stunningly sensual detail.

From Belgium, Micheline first took to the stage as a teenage singer with Flemish rock-bands and worked for several years as a radio DJ. But then in 1998, eager to make a personal statement in the world's greatest musical melting pot, she relocated to New York City. It was only then, in her self-imposed exile, that she felt driven to reinvent the oeuvre of her legendary countryman, the late Jacques Brel.

Micheline continues to live in New York City where she regularly performs at cabaret venues with local musicians.

In 2001 CD, Songs of Jacques Brel, which reached the charts in The Netherlands, was reissued in 2003 in expanded format with Canadian and Australian releases imminent. As the CD testifies, the performer herself is une interprête par excellence, but Van Hautem prowess as a songwriter has also gained some heavyweight endorsement over time.

Her song Deux Fois was featured in the movie Tadpole (starring Sigourney Weaver and BeBe Neuwirth), where her studio-performance is lip-synched by the actress in a bar scene. Others of her songs were featured in the movies Work and For Love and Money (starring Michael J. Fox). She sang and acted in the movie Crazy Love (directed by Dominique Deruddere).

For full festival details, visit the "Applaud" Christchurch Arts Festival 2005 website,, or collect a copy of the quirky purple programme from outlets around the country or by phoning 0800 ARTS 05.


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