Gérard Chambre - live - Logo

« Bulles de chant »
Au Palais Bulles

Recital of Gérard Chambre
directed and performed by

Gérard Chambre


It is about letting the public rediscover, during an informal evening, the great French songs, the unforgettable ones Those who are for ever kept in our memories, through our souvenirs, our loves, our dreams...And why not, sing them together? New songs, former songs, beautiful songs which we share ... under the open sky, as easy as that...How? The audience will receive at the entrance a small brochure with the most popular songs, that they can sing ... if they want to... if it is their song: « Y a d’la Joie », « revoir Paris », « Avec le temps », « Bruxelles », « Les grands boulevards », « La Bohème » ...enjoy listening to a song - enjoy singing it.... (translated from Gérard Chambre's original French text)



To all fans of Gérard Chambre who is best known as Chevalier Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, in the Catherine, il suffit d'un amour TV-Series, the best friend of Arnaud and Catherine de Montsalvy, one of the chief captains of Jeanne d'Arc and close comrade of La Hire.

text by Mistral/Linda 2009
As some of you might know, last month I received an email from Gérard Chambre in which he wrote about his latest endeavours – his new musical creation called Le petit  groom de chez Maxim's, with music written by Jacques Offenbach, and a Recital of French chansons at the 8th International Festival of Palais Bulles, Théâtre Pierre Cardin in Théoule-sur-Mer.

Seeing the flyers during my July holiday in
Italy, the thought crossed my mind... how marvellous would it be to go and see at least one of the performances with Gérard Chambre? At Lacoste with that ancient castle? Or even Théoule-sur-Mer on the Côte d'Azur?

Back home in Switzerland, the vision of going to France to see one of the performances stayed with me.  That famous little voice we all have inside us kept telling me, Yes!  Just visualize it! And how I did! Meeting one of the main stars of the TV-Series Catherine for the first time? But going to
Cannes with my family, and finding a hotel in the high season with all of France and the rest of Europe on the road? No way...."rien ne va plus".  That is, until last Thursday 6 August, when all of a sudden - my imaginary fairy godmother wanted to know how flexible Mistral really is!

Voilà – on Friday morning we jumped in our car (sorry no Ferrari, but a nice French Renault!) with destination Nice (Nizza).  The journey went well except for a few minor hiccups, such as my cellphone not working, and being unable to find our agreed meeting place.  After a couple of hours and a husband getting slightly nervous (nooooo it wasn't me, I can read maps, can't I?), we finally arrived at the most beautiful house I have ever seen, and with a view looking down to the Mediterranean - Nice, Cannes and as far as Théoule-sur-Mer!

I must not forget to mention our hostess, a wonderfully adorable lady who was quite amused when she learned of the purpose of my trip - and immediately began to support us in word and deed! A grand Dame with a big gracious heart to whom I would like to say thank you again for all her encouragement and humour!

Saturday, 8 August 2009 and we are on our way to Théoule-sur-Mer. It is now around five hours before the concert, and I am equipped with my camera and the flyer I was sent by Monsieur Gérard  himself. So far so good. However, we just couldn't find
Théoule-sur-Mer! We got lost in a place I shall never forget called  Mandelieu near Cannes. Embarrassing, I admit it openly, but thankfully the French are helpful people who speak English very well and won't let you down if you are in trouble! 

Thus we finally arrived... only to find out that we had no clue where the bus was leaving from, and time was already short.  We made it to the Office de Tourisme and were handed a  map to find the parking spot!

Why was this trip so chaotic?  It was summer on the Côte d'Azur!

At long last there was time to relax in a lovely restaurant.  We sipped delicious French white wine, enjoying the beautiful view and watching the swimmers in the water. With an eye on the clock, we waved to the garçon to pay our bill. He smiled and we waited. He kept smiling and we kept waiting... I envisaged my husband sporting a Gandalf beard by this time. I couldn't let this happen after promising my website visitors a surprise!

We had to run up a hill and arrived out of breath to secure the last two seats left on the bus. I sat down next to a charming young woman who told me she'd seen Gérard Chambre two years ago, that he was brilliant and she could not wait to hear him perform again. I'd only seen him on television and cinema and heard him singing in a YouTube video, and couldn't wait to see him perform live. Soon we entered Monsieur Pierre Cardin's Palais Bulles. You should have seen this place - absolutely breathtaking!  It looked like a modern amphitheatre  and the view from our seats in the fourth row was incredible.

The announcer introduced Gérard Chambre and the musicians, and the star of the evening came on stage looking most handsome in his white shirt. He said he was very happy to be here tonight and thanked Monsieur Pierre Cardin the producer of the show, at which point we all turned around and saw this very elegant, unique and world famous couturier sitting with us in the audience!

The show began. I will try to describe to you how it was, how it felt, to have the priviliege to listen to Gérard Chambre sing. The sky darkened, and the moon and stars appeared from nowhere,  and Gérard sang the most ravishingly beautiful songs – love songs, ballads and poetry performed so divinely that the audience were spellbound – splendid chansons that we knew from Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand, Charles Trenet – and also some that Gérard had written himself! Ah... he was marvellous!  Sublime! I have never seen Yves Montand, Charles Aznavour or any of the others live... but I can tell you, this performer had his audience enchanted.

We'd all been given a brochure with the lyrics of some of the songs. Gérard asked the audience to sing along with him! There are no words to tell you how awesome that was, and when we later sang with him "C'est si bon" ,"La Mer" or "For me, Formidable" (to mention a few of these so popular alluring French songs) we were under a magic spell, cast by Gérard Chambre and his band.

Near the end of the soirée a beautiful Asian artist appeared on stage with a huge transparent balloon and started to dance... then she vanished into the balloon, let down her long silken black hair, undressed and wrote with a pen "Save the Children of this world"... and then dressed herself again and came out with her hair up again! This final presentation complemented many of the songs which were rather contemplative, in a exquisite way.


And so the time came to introduce myself to Gérard Chambre. Politely, I waited for my turn, holding on to my flyer and pen.  With what I hoped was a calm voice, I held my hand out and said: "Hello Monsieur Gérard, it's me – Mistral"! He turned around, searched his memory and then he recognized me. With a surprised, yet joyful expression he held my glance. And before I knew what happened he hugged me and kissed my cheeks. Oh là là!

We chatted for a while before I asked him to sign my flyer. I stood there smiling and watching him signing the now precious piece. Despite being a celebrity, an attractive, charming and well-known star, he is very conscious of the environment. A real gentleman, who was delighted that a fan came all the way to France to listen to his songs and message!  

My husband then stepped down and took a picture of the two of us. So there I was posing with Xaintrailles/Jason/Gérard - but as life would have it, this was the only picture that did not turn out well. Nevertheless, I had all the beautiful memories of an unforgettable evening.

I would like to thank Gérard and his band  (Mika Apamian, Jacques Deville, Thierry Jan, Yorfella) for their outstanding performance and him personally for his kindness towards me and my website.

Along with all the pictures of this wonderful evening, I have included the autograph for you to enjoy as well. The dedication is a bit longer than what you can see, and I hope you can forgive me that I cherish some personal words for only myself


photos © Linda Compagnoni Walther
August 8, 2009 Théoule-sur-Mer, France



 © 2008 - 2020 linda compagnoni walther
non profit site
All rights reserved