CELINE DION & FRANCO DRAGONE|
This spectacle project takes form when Céline and René watch the show O, from Le Cirque du Soleil, in Las Vegas.
They so love it than they ask to its producer, Franco Dragone, to create a new show
for Céline allying the singer's talent and the scenic concept from the famous circus.
Here is Céline Dion with a clown when she watched the show O.
"O changed my life, Céline reveals. I had never seen something like this.
From the moment when the act-drop rose, I stayed open-mouthed, and when the spectacle ended, I could not rise anymore from my seat.
I said at once to René : 'There is no way, I can't come back onstage, and not do something like this.' "
Franco Dragone immediately accepted 'the immense challenge' to take up the show which the
singer offers from March, 2003, at the new theater Caesars Palace Colosseum, in Las Vegas.
"It is the first time I work with song as the raw material, he admits.
And I fell well. First because Céline is the biggest singing star, a extraordinary talent,
but also because she has readiness of mind and an remarkable availability.
Now I understand why Jean-Jacques Goldman wonders how he can never work with somebody else."
"When I met Céline and René in their house in Florida, almost two years ago, I felt a
certain magic. A new alchemy was formed that inspired us to develop a partnership to
create a show for Céline, Dragone commented. Since then, we have been joined by a number
of superb partners and together we are pooling our creativity and talents to bring this
fabulous project to life."
"If I had had no luck to work with Franco, resume Céline, I do not think that I would be gone back up on stage at once..."
THE COLOSSEUM |
"Our mandate from Céline was to bring her as close as possible to her fans, said Colosseum
designer Patrick Bergé, president of Scéno Plus. Our mandate from Franco was to create a
vast performance space, in order to totally immerse the audience within the action on the stage."
"The circular building configuration, that strikingly calls to mind a Colosseum, was
the perfect solution, with the farthest seat only 120 feet from the stage. This distance
compares to showrooms that have one-third or one-fourth of the Colosseum’s seating capacity.
And the shape also enhances the acoustics, which will be amazing," Bergé added.
The construction of the Colosseum began when Park Place acquired the resort on December 29, 1999.
The magnificent room of 4,000 places and with an area of 171,235 sq ft, which costed $95 millions to the Caesars Palace,
is connected in the heart of the Caesars Palace hotel complex.
In Las Vegas, all the big productions rose on a base of 4,000 daily spectators,
with two representations in a 2,000-seat room. Because she has to take care of her voice,
Céline Dion will give only a single show a day, but in a 4,000-seat room.
THE REHEARSALS |
It is in La Louvière (Belgium, 30 miles south of Brussels), on June 24, 2002, that the rehearsals of the show start in
fitted out studios by the company Dragone, first with 60 artists. Céline Dion comes on October
17, 2002 and the rehearsals go on until November 15, 2002.
Why La Louvière?
"It is true that in La Louvière, tells Dragone, we have handicaps which we would not have somewhere else, in terms of activities and hotel infrastructures.
Nevertheless, this allows to the artists to concentrate on the show. They have nothing to distract themselves, and it generates a certain introspective quality. "
As for Céline : "What I want it is to be with Franco, with the team, she says. I would have followed him wherever, even up
to Mouk Mouk islands."
"La Louvière is going to offer me a present, is going to give me the chance to rediscover
me myself, Céline says. For the first time in my career, I am going to be able to take time,
surrounded well, to exclusively dedicate me to the show. I long to go there, to work there,
to live there, with my family. It is a new experience. I attach it a big importance."
"I've just arrived in Belgium and I'm so surprised by this warm welcome. I'm a bit tired, but happy to be here for a month. I was never worried... The house to
Bousval (22 miles southeast of Brussels) is magnificent, my family likes it. We have a swimming pool, it is the big luxury. From our arrival, my son
hurried to run through the house. We feel at home."
As for the 58 selected artists for the show, they were chosen after castings in Amsterdam, La Louvière,
Londres, Paris, Montréal, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. More than 4000
candidates proposed their services for this show; finally, 1500 'performers' were auditioned.
The rehearsals include dance, aerial, vocal, percussion, acrobatic and theatrical workshops.
Franco Dragone has begun to gather a who’s-who of internationally renowned
multi-disciplined artists to develop the essence of the show.
"With Franco, Céline tells, I can finally take time. I have never had the chance to put cards on table and to try,
to put me to bare; I find myself. Here, in La Louvière, we are going to manage to surpass ourselves ".
"Here, Franco adds, Céline concentrates on the spectacle. We listen and, together, everything takes a sense. She is our
source of inspiration..."
Furthermore, the rehearsals for Céline, are not specially vocal, but especially physics: she follows a physical training,
every morning; she attends workshops, with the artists. Céline passes in the hands of the make-up women, so that they
realize a moulding of her head for the preparation of hats; between the fingers of the wardrobe master...
"We do not make the show in La Louvière. We buy vegetables here to simmer the soup of Las Vegas ", Franco Dragone
THE TITLE AND THE VISUAL |
The show name was the subject of controversy in last October, 2002, when British rock act Muse posted a message
on its official Web site
saying it had refused offers by the producers to use the word Muse in the show's title.
Paul Farberman, a lawyer representing Dion, tells Billboard.com that Celine Dion Muse was only one of the titles
being considered for the show:
"We were talking to them to try to work it out, but they made unrealistic demands to get the clearance," he says. "Once negotiations broke off, we didn't feel
comfortable with it and decided to go with another name."
And finally the spectacle is called A New Day... logically after her album A New Day Has Come released in
Designed by Marie-Josée Gravel of Triplex communications, the A NEW DAY… visual took its inspiration from Celine and the Dragone creators’
vision for the show.
"At the heart of the illustration is a mouth - lips formed by the suggested pulse of a heartbeat, vocal chords, the vibrations of an instrument. We
discover an image of Celine that is grand and pure in its simplicity. The silhouette evokes a force, a passion, a fragility. Celine emerges from amongst
the brilliant lights of Las Vegas. Her rhythm is internal… she is listening, watching."
Céline Dion was moved by the final result of the visual:
"For me, this image represents the moment in music when all instruments are in harmony - a strong and intense moment. I see a heartbeat in the fire
of the desert, a soft but powerful feeling in the center of Las Vegas, the city of lights and passions. I see my old self to the left, the new to the right.
This show marks a turning point in my personal journey. It will guide me to self-discovery, to push the limits of performance and offer a new stage
experience to my devoted fans..."
THE SHOW |
A NEW DAY... is a spectacle created for, with and about Celine Dion. Dragone continues to assemble an all-star production team that
Lighting Designer Yves Aucoin, Associate Director Pavel V. Brun, Set Designer Michel Crête, Projection Content Designer Dirk Decloedt,
Musical Director Claude (Mégo) Lemay, Costume Designer Dominique Lemieux, Choreographer Mia Michaels, Sound Designer Denis Savage.
A NEW DAY... features the largest indoor LED screen in North America. Dragone uses the screen to evoke the mood within
the music and create an environment that transcends the usual physical limitations of theatrical productions. With
lighting, projected images, traditional props and remarkably sharp three-dimensionnal screen graphics, the set for
A NEW DAY... places Céline, the performers and, indeed, the audience in European town squares, great city centers,
picturesque antique temples and starry sky-scapes.
"Our goal with this project is to create a spectacle like no other - a fusion of song, theatre, dance and technical innovation" said Franco Dragone.
"I see Celine as a satellite who captures images. She will use the stage to create her own universe and share it intimately with the audience.
A NEW DAY… will expose Celine’s immense talent in a new art form. We hope to heighten and intensify the senses so that each spectator leaves
the show 'seeing' more than they did the day before…" Dragone added.
"Our purpose is to reveal the words behind the words."
"Let us create a piece of exception, one of these fragile and suspended in the time moments,
during which we can touch the deep soul of the world."
The spectacle will last only one hour and thirty : "It is the standard in Las Vegas, explains Céline, because the hotelkeepers who offer spectacles
also want that people go to eat in the restaurant... "
"My home, it is where I meet myself with my husband, my son, those who I love. The place where I was born, my roots, it is Quebec, but roots grow
and they can go very far. So, in Las Vegas, we built a house rather 'cosy' with 3 bedrooms. My parents will stay there
"Can you imagine? Céline grins, my son is going to be at home. I'll leave in the afternoon
around 5, do my show five nights a week, come in my own bed. No travel. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah!"
Performances of A NEW DAY... will be presented 200 evenings a year, Wednesday through Sunday, at 8:30 p.m.
Regular ticket prices are US$87.50, US$127.50, US$150.00 and US$200.00.