Eurovision royalty visit to town to help celebrate St Edmunds Day
- Credit: Archant
A former winner of the Eurovision Song Contest and her French composer, musician, and arranger of songs and film music, were two high profile visitors to Bury St Edmunds to help mark the St Edmunds Day celebrations.
And they have now returned to their native country where they are collaborating on producing a musical based round the former patron saint of England.
Anne-Marie David and Jean Musy performed in front of an invited audience in St Mary’s Church, on Monday, and spent two days in the town feeling the atmosphere and linking up with members of the community.
“It was great to just get that feeling of the town and its people,” said Anne-Marie, ahead of the duo collaborating to create their musical which has the working title “A Bury St Edmunds Legend” which they hope will be performed at the town’s Apex, sometime next year. and performed by a 35-piece symphony orchestra plus local singers.
The pair were persuaded to come to Bury by James Sheen, a close friend and owner of the We Love Bury St Edmunds Facebook group, who was instrumental in creating three days of events and celebrations to mark St Edmunds Day.
He is a huge fan and supporter of the Eurovision Song Contest and befriended Anne-Marie after she won the contest in 1973 for Luxembourg with her song “Tu te reconnaîtras” (“Wonderful Dream”).
The contest crystallised into a three-way battle between Anne-Marie’s song, the Spanish entry “Eres tú”, and the United Kingdom’s “Power to All Our Friends”, performed by Cliff Richard. Ultimately six points separated third place from her, securing the second successive triumph for Luxembourg. She also represented France at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1979 and sang at the festival for the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Copenhagen.
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The 65-year-old said it was her second visit to the town and along with Jean they have already produced a four to five minute theme for the musical.
Jean has a CV which includes recording more than a thousand singles and 150 albums, consisting of nearly 200 music from movies and TV series and many songs. He composed an opera, illustrated poems and wrote a musical fresco inspired by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The 69-year-old said he had been delighted with his first ever visit to Bury and felt the warmth from the people he met in a trip sponsored by the Northgate and Hawkes Car Centre.
“It was important for Jean to join me on the trip so he could get a feel of the town ahead of writing the musical,” said Anne-Marie, who is planning to return to Bury in January.
And Jean added: “It’s a beautiful, peaceful town and it was essential for me to come here because I wanted to understand the impact St Edmund had on the town. There is a similarity to Jesus Christ in the way he sacrificed his life and I needed to see Bury and meet its people to gain inspiration for the musical.”