French chanteuse Jil Aigrot is tentative to compare herself and Edith Piaf, the legendary singer profiled in the 2007 film “La Vie en Rose.” Still, for some, the comparison seems an inevitable one.
Aigrot, who will perform a collection of Piaf’s music at the Lisner Auditorium this Saturday, was featured as the singing voice of Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose,” the film that brought Marion Cotillard, who played Piaf, an Oscar nomination.
“I never compared myself to Piaf as she had such a very difficult life and faced many troubles. I don’t attempt to impersonate or copy Piaf in any way – I just interpret the music,” Aigrot wrote in an e-mail to The Hatchet, adding, “I think it is just coincidental that my voice has a similar sound.”
Aigrot admits that since childhood people have compared her voice to the French singer’s. Still, it was not until 2005 that these comparisons were solidified, when Aigrot attended a book signing, prompting her later participation in “La Vie en Rose.”
Aigrot attended a signing for “Edith Piaf, My Friend,” written by Piaf’s secretary, Ginou Richter. Aigrot, who was working as a singer, was in the process of preparing a concert based on the work of Piaf. When she told Richter this, she asked her to sing a song on the spot, which she did. Richter later called Aigrot and encouraged her to audition for a film profiling Piaf – what would later be released as “La Vie en Rose.”
Aigrot garnered some attention before her work on the film, appearing in smaller roles on French television shows, including one role on ’80s American detective series “Remington Steele,” featuring Pierce Brosnan.
“It is only in the past four years that I have performed a concert tribute to Piaf,” said Aigrot, who was originally trained in classical music and has worked in musical theater.
“I perform the songs in my own interpretation and I don’t try to copy or imitate,” she later added.
She said working on the film exposed her to a broader audience, evidenced in this most recent tour – her first of North America.
She spoke to her vestment in the artist she is representing: “I love her music because it makes the listener feel so deeply.”
Jil Aigrot will perform at the Lisner Auditorium Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are between $20 and $35 for the public. Student tickets are priced at $10, $15, $20 and $25. Tickets are available at the box office, through PhoneCharge and on Ticketmaster.com.