Who among us hasn't hummed Cole Porter's I Love Paris as we walk about the City of Light, or Oscar Hammerstein’s The Last Time I Saw Paris? Or wondered why -- knowing how it can rain -- someone would choose April in Paris as worthy of a song?
Americans have been fascinated by Paris for centuries. Did it start with Benjamin Franklin in the 1770’s, the New York elite at the turn of the 20th century, or the wide-eyed soldiers of World War I? Whatever the answer, Paris has fueled the dreams of generations of Americans.
The writers of the Great American Songbook were no less susceptible to Paris's charm. They wrote dozens of songs extolling Paris, its various neighborhoods, its citizens, its tourists, celebrating the beauty of the city and its excitement, as well as expressing the loneliness and bitterness one can find there.
In this course, our instructor will show us Paris through the eyes of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Yip Harburg, Stephen Sondheim and others who created the Great American Songbook. Building around a representative recording of their songs, he'll give us context, both historical and musical, for each piece, sharing the joys and sorrows – and the humor! – of a century of Americans in Paris.
About the instructor: Mark Carroll originally came to Paris for a six month project, and almost 25 years later is still here. A lifetime student of American popular songs, and a passionate collector of sheet music and recordings of the art, he has sung in concerts and theater productions in both the U.S. and Paris, and for thirteen years produced the annual gala concert for Les Arts George V, each year presenting the work of a different American composer or lyricist.
This event is open to non-members.