FOREWORD




Martin Fontaine is a very talented singer-actor from Montreal. He stars in the Elvis Story, which has been tremendously successful since 1995. Martin re-creates Elvis Presley from Elvisfs 1956 days to a final concert appearance in 1977 and projects a Broadway-scale illusion to the audience.

I had a dream that someday I would interview Elvis Presley and write about him. In order to make my dream come true, I thought I should live in the country where Elvis lived and learn the culture. I was determined to enroll in a college in the States, graduate from it, and find a job. In fact, I was able to do all three. But Elvis was no longer alive when I arrived at the States. He suddenly died one week before I departed from Japan.

In 1980 I returned to Japan from the States. While working on many projects, including editing corporate publications, producing promotional and advertising materials, and translations, I thought about what my life-work would be.

The Elvis Story came to Tokyo in Spring 2003. Honestly speaking, I did not have any great expectations when I bought a ticket for the opening night. The Japanese media portrayed it as being nothing more than an impersonation show. When I saw the show for the first time, I soon realized it was not. I saw the show three times in Tokyo and was inspired by the man on the stage who really captured the soul of Elvis Presley. His name is Martin Fontaine.

Martin Fontaine gave me an inspiration as to what my life-work should be. gPeople who interpret Elvis with sincerity.h I made a commitment to myself to start a project with Martin and the Elvis Story. It was incredibly challenging and I was ready for a challenge.

When I first emailed my request for an interview to Le Capitole de Quebec in May 2003, I did not even know to whom it should be directed. But, after waiting for a while, I got a response. It was from Lyne Landry, Production Director of the Elvis Story. Since then, we exchanged a lot of correspondence. In August, she wrote me, gThe Elvis Story production will do their best to meet your requests and arrange an interview schedule.h

Then, it was on September 18, 2003 in Quebec City, Canada. I explained to Martin Fontaine about my life-work in a face-to-face meeting. I told him that I would carry out the project on my own with no sponsors. It would take approximately two years to complete. Then I asked Martin why he agreed to the interview. He looked deeply into my eyes and said, gItfs your passion. I admire your passion.h

Martin is a very sincere, honest, and charming gentleman. Over the course of one-hour interview, he conveyed to me his passion and love for the Elvis Story. I came to understand the background behind the nine-year success of the Elvis Story. Martin motivated me. I gained confidence in doing my life-work.

Right after the interview, I saw the show for the second time in Quebec City. Itfs one of the greatest shows Ifve ever seen. The next morning, Lyne came to me and asked, gDid you notice the change in Martin?h She continued, gWhen you interviewed Martin yesterday, he was very motivated by you. Martin thinks you are very different from other interviewers. And this difference motivated Martin. He is changed.h

While in Quebec City, I conducted interviews with other cast and crew members, and sales people. They are indeed the Elvis Story family. I saw the Elvis Story three times in Quebec City. In addition to interviewing, I was allowed to visit Martin again in his private dressing room after the show on September 19. The next morning I left Quebec City for Tokyo.

I am preparing a special page on this website. The page will contain a series of articles of interviews and reports on the Elvis Story show. An account of the first group tour from Japan, which I planned and organized, will also be included. Some incredible shots taken by my photographer, Christopher, will be featured, selected from among 800 cuts.

I will continue working on my life-work. I want to witness the continued success of Martin and the Elvis Story and include it in a book. I know that it will take considerable time to release.


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the following people:

Mr. Martin Fontaine (Elvis, Artistic Director): He responded passionately to my interviews. He transferred his passion to me. Being motivated by him, I am now more assured of accomplishing my goal.

Ms. Lyne Landry (Production Director): Through her efforts, I was able to accomplish more than I hoped for in Quebec City. She served as my French-English interpreter when I interviewed the French-speaking crew.

Mr. Phillippe Brochu (Conductor, drums): As a conductor, he related what the most important thing was for such a long-year presentation.

Mr. Serge Turcotte (Chorus): With his words, I clearly understand why all the cast and crew are so proud to work with Martin and the Elvis Story.

Ms. Manon Chalifour (Make-up Artist): She explained me the make-up techniques involved. She showed me how it is easy to put on and take off the sideburns and wigs by allowing me to do it myself.

Ms. Francine Moreau (Head of Wardrobe): She told me how happy she is working with Martin. She allowed me to try on Martinfs wardrobe.

Ms. Lily Gagnon (Assistant, Wardrobe): She shared with me her excitement in working with Martin and the Elvis Story.

Ms. Melanie Pelletier (Sales Coordinator): She arranged my accommodation for five nights and the best possible seats for the show for three nights.

And Mr. Christopher Schulz, a photographer from Montreal: Not only did he shoot those priceless moments for me, he also motivated me and made me feel comfortable. He is truly a professional photographer.

 
 

 


Interviews and reports on shows along with photos will appear on a special page in this website. Some short articles can be read on the Essay Page (Japanese language) of this website until the special page is produced.



Besides working on many projects and assignments for my clients, I have started working on my life-work. It has been 26 years since Elvis Presley died. And there has been no person who really inspired me as to what my life-work should be until I saw Martin Fontaine on the stage in Tokyo in Spring 2003. Martin and the Elvis Story are the first and the most important phase of my life-work. It will take years to reach my ultimate goal, which is to write a book. If permitted, I also would like to interview other people who I think will credibly einterpretf Elvis Presley for our next generations.



A musical tribute to Elvis Presley who passed away in August 1977. All the songs Martin Fontaine and the chorus people sing are live. Combined with archival photos and film footage, the Elvis Story paints a portrait of the King. The artistic direction by Martin is tremendous. Since its first presentation in 1995 in Quebec City, the number of times of presentations reached 1016 on September 28, 2003, the closing date of its 9th season.



* Photography by Christopher Schulz.
* All rights extended exclusively to Fumiko Nakajima @El, Inc. Reproduction or any other usage is prohibited unless permission is granted.