Rita Sheena: in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen

Rita Sheena has performed her musical show Everybody Knows at her home in Vancouver several times.

Rita Sheena: in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen

Rita Sheena has performed her musical show Everybody Knows at her home in Vancouver several times. But in Montreal, “everything will be different,” she thinks. Because she is performing there tonight in the neighborhood where her source of inspiration grew up: Leonard Cohen.

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“There may be people who knew him, or who knew him during his lifetime, in the room. That would be amazing, right? “drops Rita Sheena on the phone.

A clinical pharmacist by profession, Rita Sheena gave up everything at the start of the pandemic to finally follow her artistic aspirations. Passionate about music and dance from an early age, the Canadian was now going to live her dream, whatever the cost.

“I loved my job. But something really clicked inside me. I realized that the only thing that matters in life is to be happy. And to be, I needed to put myself in danger, to challenge myself. Even if it means dying one day, I prefer to die on stage, ”she says.

The voices of First Aid Kit

Her Everybody Knows project thus took shape, slowly but surely. It is finally in its complete version – a 40-minute performance – that it arrives tomorrow as part of the Fringe festival.

Over the course of nine songs, the artist reveals himself and tells his story, in dance, in words and in music, blurring the barrier between the stage and the public. But don't expect to hear the voice of Leonard Cohen; Rita Sheena opted for the feminine energy of the Swedish duo First Aid Kit.

“I discovered them at Coachella a few years ago and they really impressed me. When I heard their album Who by Fire, in tribute to Leonard Cohen, I realized that they were the only ones capable of doing justice to his genius,” she explains.

A duty of memory

With a handful of performances scheduled at the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec, in Montreal, Rita Sheena hopes to accomplish part of the mission she has given herself: to perpetuate the memory of Leonard Cohen by making his art known to all audiences.

“Some young people do not know him, or very little. Leonard Cohen deserves to be celebrated forever, to be the subject of a great musical spectacle on Broadway, even. You have to make your music resonate at all costs for future generations, ”she pleads.

♦ The show Everybody Knows is presented from June 9 to 18 as part of the Fringe festival.

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