Marlene Dietrich, Jean Cocteau and The Begum Aga Khan enjoying Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran

Gilbert Becaud, the most Sung french artist in the world and has a sense of the verb and the incomparable melody. Essential figure of the variety at the turn of the 1960s, his titles ‘Age tendre et tête de bois’ and ‘Salut les copains’ are borrowed by the most iconic TV shows for youth and his most famous song, ‘Et maintenant ’, just published (1961).

Gilbert Bécaud

Gilbert Bécaud (Click photo to enlarge)

Gilbert Bécaud then at the height of his fame, began at cross-purposes of evolution that was taking his artistic career, the crazy bet to compose an opera that might combine a lyrical drama talents of popular melodist. Before becoming ‘Mr. 100.000 volt’, Bécaud had received classical training at the conservatoire de Nice and began his career at many film scores, notably for Marcel Carné. This enigmatic work, whose booklet is signed Pierre Delanoë, Jacques Emmanuel and Louis Amade, brought together all artistic Paris and many friends, like Marlene Dietrich, Jean Cocteau and Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III, during his performance at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in 1962.

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich and Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III at the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran’ at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962 (Click photo to enlarge).

Marlene Dietrich, JEAN COCTEAU and Her Highness The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud's 'L'Opéra d'Aran' at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962.

Marlene Dietrich, Jean Cocteau and Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran’ at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962 (Click photo to enlarge).

Marlene Dietrich, Gilbert Bécaud, JEAN COCTEAU and Margarethe Wallmann attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud's 'L'Opéra d'Aran' at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962.

Marlene Dietrich, Gilbert Bécaud, Jean Cocteau and Margarethe Wallmann attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran’ at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962 (Click photo to enlarge).

An opera which then toured around the world for more than 30 years. Directed by Laurent Balandras and Olivier Julien in agreement with Gilbert Bécaud succession,

Couv+Dos Opera Aran

Gilbert Bécaud ‘L’Opéra d’Aran (Click photo to enlarge).

Now availble, offers a restored version of the Opera with for the first time in the outcome documents of unpublished tapes from the personal archives of the artist.

by Jean Amr