Patricia Kaas: chanteuse redux

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Patricia Kaas: chanteuse redux

Korean audiences remember the beauty, talent and charisma of Patricia Kaas, who held a sold-out concert in Seoul eight years ago. Ms. Kaas' powerful yet delicate voice, combined with her dynamic and feminine stage presence, has led the French chanteuse to be compared with Edith Piaf and Yves Montand. She and her chansons have been missed ever since, although she made a brief appearance during the Michael Jackson concert in 1999. This weekend, "Patricia Kaas Live in Seoul" will change all that.

Ms. Kaas is visiting Korea as part of an Asian tour to promote her new album, "Piano Bar." The new album includes remakes of such classic tunes as "If You Go Away" and "Autumn Leaves," and new songs inspired by her role as a piano bar singer in the movie "And Now ... Ladies and Gentlemen" directed by Claude Lelouch. "And Now ..." was the closing film of the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year.

Ms. Kaas was born in 1966 in France's Lorraine region. Her professional career began at age 13, when she was a resident singer in the German club Rumpelkammer in Sarrebrucken, Germany. She spent years honing her distinct style, modernizing the French chanson with an infusion of pop, jazz and blues.

Her 1987 debut album, "Mademoiselle Chante le Blues," became a national hit, and Kaas was named the Female Newcomer of the Year at the Victoire de la Musique. The album later earned double-platinum status in France, Belgium and Switzerland. Her other two albums, "Je Te Dis Vous" and "Dance Ma Chair," also went platinum.

She spent most of the early '90s globe-trotting. By 1994, she had logged in 145 concerts in over 19 countries, earning her the moniker "Nouvelle Ambassadrice" of the French chanson.

In the early 1990s, she became the first Western-born female performer to sing in Hanoi since the end of the Vietnam War.

Her Seoul concert will feature new numbers from "Piano Bar," as well as her standard hits, including "Il Me Dit Que Je Suis Belle," "Rien ne S'Arre," "Kennedy Rose" and "Les Chansons Commencent."

Patricia Kaas performs at 6 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 100,000 won ($33-$83). For tickets or information, call 1588-7890 or contact Rainbow Pulse Entertainment at (02) 3675-2754.

by Inēs Cho

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