Elton John plays Paris opera for tsunami relief

24th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 24 (AFP) - British pop star Elton John gave a one-off concert at Paris's Bastille Opera house on Sunday, with proceeds going to the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy.

PARIS, Jan 24 (AFP) - British pop star Elton John gave a one-off concert at Paris's Bastille Opera house on Sunday, with proceeds going to the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy.

The flamboyant singer-songwriter's appearance was also part of a plan by Paris Operas boss Gerard Mortier to broaden the fare on offer at the French capital's opera venues.

The sell-out crowd of 2,700 included former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing and his wife Anne-Aymone, head of the Fondation pour l'Enfance (Foundation for Childhood) charity which was the main beneficiary of the concert.

Also in the crowd, which greeted each familiar song with a standing ovation, were veteran French crooner Charles Aznavour and British ambassador Sir John Holmes.

Elton John, resplendent in a long jacket adorned with an angel, accompanied himself on the piano as he raided his extensive back catalogue during a concert lasting almost three hours, without an interval.

The French charity hopes to use the funds received to rebuild a children's shelter in the streets of Moratuwella, south of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo which was hit by last month's deadly tsunami which killed over 227,000 in several Indian Ocean countries.

Most of the victims were in Indonesia, but Sri Lanka suffered the second-highest death toll with 31,000 people killed and more than 400,000 people still sheltered in public buildings, temples and churches along the island's coast.

Speaking in French, Elton John told the crowd: "Throughout the years, I've done a lot of drugs and alcohol. It's true that I was a nightmare, impossible.

For the last 14 years I've been normal. Now my drug is called David (Furnish, his partner)".

"I love France," he added after belting through his hit single "I'm still standing" during a third encore.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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