Deanne Ratzlaff will be the main voice in La Vie en Rose, a concert coming to Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford on Sept. 14. Jenna Hauck/ Black Press

Singer launches career with French classic in Abbotsford

Deanne Ratzlaff of Chiliwack performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose

A romantic mix of French music, ballet and singing will blend together for La Vie en Rose, a unique concert coming to Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in September featuring a young Chilliwack singer.

La Vie en Rose is an original classical concert produced and directed by Tony James.

It features Grammy Award nominee and international violin virtuoso Pablo Diemecke, renowned British/Canadian pianist Anthony Booker, principal dancers from Ballet Etoile Canada Ashley Evans and Ian Szkolak, and singer/actress Deanne Ratzlaff from Chilliwack.

It will be the first professional gig for Ratzlaff, 24, who recently graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley.

“It feels very perfect and I feel very lucky.”

She was performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat put on by Gallery 7 Theatre in Abbotsford earlier this year when James – who was the guest director for the production – first met Ratzlaff.

“I felt Deanne had a good work ethic and that she was eager to step into the professional world,” he says, adding he thought “her presence, personality, and overall talent would make a wonderful addition to the show as a featured vocalist.”

So he spoke with her about La Vie en Rose and asked if she knew how to speak or sing in French. Her response?

“I’ll sing whatever language you want.”

RELATED: Gallery 7 Theatre presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Ratzlaff has learned different aspects of her voice, how to control her voice, and how to sing in different languages, including French, Italian and Latin.

“I think the hardest part about singing in French is being able to still convey the message to people that don’t understand French,” Ratzlaff says.

For those who do need a translation, the lyrics will be printed in English in the concert program.

La Vie en Rose premiered on Vancouver Island in February and now it’s coming to the Fraser Valley for two performances – on Sept. 13 at the Chilliwack Culture Centre and in Abbotsford at the MCA on Sept. 14, both at 8 p.m.

After the two performances, La Vie en Rose will be taken across the Atlantic to London and Paris in April.

“It’s so exciting, I can’t believe it. It doesn’t feel real,” Ratzlaff says.

Tickets are available at the door, or at eventbrite.ca by searching “La Vie en Rose.”

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