Interview of Barbara Vetere

Barbara Vetere, musician Yves Frulla’s, partner, published her very first book « Chroniques de Las Vegas ». (Chroniques of Las Vegas). It has been available from February 23rd, 2010 in bookstores in Québec.

Barbara gave an exclusive interview to The Red Heads.

You are publishing a book about the community of québécois who came and settled down in Las Vegas in the past few years, what made you want to talk about this experience in the Sin City?

In the first months of our exile I started a writing project recounting my feelings, like a diary, about our settlement in the heart of the desert. But I quickly gave up on it. It is only six years later, when I found my writings randomly, that I realized all that we had achieved since our settlement.

This phenomenon is linked to the settlement and success of the Cirque de Soleil’s different shows as well as Céline Dion’s venue in this city of games and entertainment. How do these show artisans, who have decided to live the American adventure, live their migration?

A community of québécois does exist in Las Vegas, even if it is diluted in this population of 2 million inhabitants! But we succeed in meeting each other. Some are well integrated, but for some others it is more difficult.

For Yves and I it was quite easy as we are surrounded by Céline’s team who we have known for many years. Which is very comforting, sometimes even reassuring!

Can we say it is the American dream?

Las Vegas is the American dream’s peak! It is a decadent city where everything seems simple and easy. Luxury, money and excess are the rule. Big house, luxury car and shopping! Everything seems reachable, I sometimes feel like I live in an advertisement for happiness!
Many lose their way looking for this American dream… Las Vegas is, above everything, a city of illusions and dreams.

Your partner Yves Frulla has been one of Céline’s fellow travellers for many years, was it difficult for you to follow the “A New Day” adventure? How did you manage to adapt to the “Céline Dion” rhythm?

It was quite easy for me to follow Yves in Las Vegas for A New Day show. Actually, Las Vegas allowed us to really live together. When Céline sang and travelled all over the world, Yves and I lived apart for a long time. In Las Vegas we have a normal relationship. But I have to say that I was happy when the Taking Chances World Tour was announced, because living a nomad life was also good for us. We left Las Vegas and now we are going back there!

Did you have any trouble settling down in Las Vegas, and what is the americans’ opinion on you?

I sure had some difficulties. Several obstacles slowed down my integration process: the american’s state of mind in a country in war, a different culture, putting aside my professional life to become a housewife, creating a new social network, etc. You will have to read the book to know how we lived these difficulties! There are also great happiness of course!!

Do you feel homesick sometimes?

Yes I do, sometimes but not very often! Moreover, we go back to Québec several times a year. And family and friends also visit us often.

At the other side of the world, the image sent by this migratory movement is very positive. It represents the worldwide recognition of québécois artistic know-how, examples of success. In spite of this, is it difficult to find a place in this environment where show business is at its peak?

As the Cirque du Soleil and Céline Dion are dominant on the Strip, it is difficult for others to find a place. Some succeed to but have to be patient and insisting. As the quality of the shows is amazing, the aspirants have to have strong projects. Americans sometimes criticize this québécois invasion in Las Vegas, accusing them of taking all the place.

As part as your researches, who are the persons that you approached and interviewed and what motivated your choices?

« Chroniques de Las Vegas » is a personal project, this story is mine. My experience in the heart of the desert. I speak about my new environment and friends, who are for the majority linked to Céline’s team. Our everyday life, our happiness and misadventures too!

Céline is the example of success on the international scene. Do you estimate that she is an influential ambassador of Québec? Why?

Céline is definitely the biggest ambassador of Québec. In spite of a dazzling international carrer, she still speaks (and sings) in her native language (french). She is a Québécois and proud to be one, her origins follow her all over the world.

Céline’s return to Vegas in 2011 has just been announced. Does this mean that your family will stay in Vegas for a few more years?

Yves and I took the decision to live in Las Vegas for a few more years. We will take the decision concerning our future after Céline’s second tour in Las Vegas. But for now, we are happy here.

Thank you Barbara for this first confidences. Facebook link :