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Van Hautem Set To Stun At Taranaki Festival

Monday 27 June 2005

Micheline Van Hautem Set To Stun At Taranaki Festival

“Short of major surgery, cancel whatever you have on tonight and hear Micheline Van Hautem…” – Sydney Morning Herald

“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,” so says spellbinding Belgian performer Micheline Van Hautem.

Micheline performs her Jacques Brel-inspired repertoire alongside musical partner and virtuoso accordionist, Frederik Caelen at the Taranaki Festival of the Arts in July.

Last year, Micheline and Caelen stunned packed houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Festival and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. In 2005 with a more intimate and intense show, they are once again set to seduce New Zealand, performing at the Taranaki Festival of the Arts and Christchurch Arts Festival.

“… she takes Brel’s standards and remakes them in her own image. Frederik Caelen, worth the price of admission on his own.” The Times
Jacques Brel was one of the 20th century’s greatest songwriters, 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 using her fluent body language, Micheline channels Brel’s pure emotion in stunningly sensual detail.

‘She has an uncanny ability to be all woman, yet to sing as if she were a man.

In Brel’s Au Suivant she becomes both soldier and prostitute.’ – The Scotsman
Hailing originally 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 there, in her self-imposed exile, that she felt driven to reinvent the work 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.

Her 2001 CD, Songs of Jacques Brel, which reached the charts in The Netherlands, was reissued in 2003 in expanded format and Canadian and Australian releases are imminent.

As the CD testifies, the performer herself is une interprête par excellence, but Micheline’s prowess as a songwriter has also gained 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. Other songs of hers have featured in the movies Work and For Love and Money (starring Michael J. Fox), and she sang and acted in the movie Crazy Love.

Micheline has won numerous awards including the much coveted Herald Angel trophy and Spirit of the Fringe award at the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in March 2005, New York’s Back Stage magazine awarded her the ‘Outstanding Achievement: International Artist trophy at its annual Cabaret Bistro Awards.
Micheline performs at the Taranaki Festival of the Arts from 27-30 July at 9pm at the Theatre Royal, TSB Showplace, New Plymouth.

The Taranaki Festival of the Arts follows the sell-out success of WOMAD New Zealand 2005. Both events are organised by the Taranaki Arts Festivals Trust.
Tickets for the Taranaki Festival of the Arts are available through Ticketek and the full programme is available online at

The Taranaki Festival of the Arts 2005 is funded and supported by the
following organisations;

CORE FUNDERS: New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Electricity Trust

MAJOR FUNDING PARTNERS: TSB Community Trust, Creative NZ

GOLD SPONSORS: Hooker Pacific, Staples Rodway, The Zieltjes Family in
association with the Practical Education Institute

GOLD MEDIA: Classic Hits Taranaki, Taranaki Daily News, More FM Taranaki

SILVER SPONSORS: Reeves Middleton Young, Clelands Construction Ltd, Price
Waterhouse Coopers, Transfield Worley Services, Plymouth International Hotel

BRONZE SPONSORS: Billings, Fuji Xerox, Swift Energy NZ Ltd, The Most FM,
Newstalk ZB, Westgate Transport Ltd, TSB Bank

FESTIVAL GRANTS: South Taranaki District Council, New Zealand Community
Trust, Venture Taranaki, Lion Foundation


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