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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Etienne Roda-Gil, Ca Ira libretto author, passes on
Etienne Roda-Gil, Ca Ira libretto author, passes on Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Friday, 04 June 2004

Etienne Roda-Gil, renowned French lyricist, who wrote the libretto for Roger Waters forthcoming opera, Ca Ira, sadly passed away in Paris, France, aged 62, last weekend following a stroke.

Roda-Gil, who wrote songs for Julien Clerc, Mort Shuman, Juliette Gréco, Barbara, Louis Bertignac, Malicorne, Claude Francois, Johnny Hallyday, most famously wrote a song for Vanessa Paradis (when she was only 14) entitled "Joe Le Taxi", a massive hit in Europe in 1988.

Born in Catalunia, Spain, in August 1941, he had a turbulent life as a child and young man, which inspired songs of revolution - making him a natural choice to collaborate with Roger on his opera. Roda-Gil approached Waters with his libretto of Ça Ira in 1988 via mutual friend Phillipe Constantin, as he felt that Waters would write the perfect music for his French libretto.

However, he was a long time friend of Roger's, and a little known anecdote is that he was responsible for the French version of Summer 68 (Maquillez Vous) sung by french artist Michel Marceau in 1977. Our good friend Hervé sent us a scan of the back cover where you can see the credits, and we show a section of this to the right, under the picture of Roda-Gil (the single failed to bother the French charts!).

A good, thorough obituary can be read at the website of UK newspaper The Independent.

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