|Las Vegas Review-Journal|
Lazard studied opera and classical voice in college and at the San Francisco
Conservatory of Music. But she got fed up with opera's close-minded prima
donnas, so she experimented with a rock band, and then stumbled onto electronica
music, which is a more appropriate place for her smooth, soaring voice.
Now she sings what she calls "trance opera," and she's offering a short set of it tonight at Club Utopia, where a long lineup of DJs and electronica artists will perform through the night and morning. She sings while accompanied by an electric cellist and a DJ who mixes in rhythms and melodies real-time, sort of like Portishead and other electronica artists who fuse the future with the past.
Lazard has been doing this for two years with success. She sang the theme song for the American version of the 1999 film, "Princess Mononoke." her take on opera's "Ave Maria" has been used in trailers to promote "Holy Smoke" and other movies. She has performed for audiences both small and large. Lazard made 8,000 people dance at a club in Ibiza Spain, recently. And she's working on an album for the Higher Octave Music record label, a home to adult alternative and New-Age acts.
"The majority of songs (on the album will be) from the 17th century, a few opera songs and Russian folk songs," Lazard says in a smart but unfussy speaking voice. "Four will be originals in the classical vein."
"It will range from ambient atmospheres behind the melodies to pretty hard dance tracks. I'm trying to create organic rhythms behind the melodies, but make them beautiful...So it's not hard-edged."
Lazard enjoys this part of her career. She calls it a "project,"actually, that gives her a better life than opera. And it gives her a more suitable outlet for her voice than rock did. "I'm so excited, and I feel it's timely. It's strangely becoming mainstream. Well, it'll never be mainstream. But when we started it, it was this weird thing," she says. "People really get it now."