Where does Catherine Salvador, Henri Salvador's wife, live?


Where does Catherine Salvador, Henri Salvador's wife, live?

Jean Rice

Direction Place Vendôme, in Paris, in the footsteps of Henri Salvador. At No. 6, a commemorative plaque indicates that this is where the singer lived. Keeper of his work, Catherine Salvador, his last wife, opened the doors of their apartment: a box of memories. Interview on the occasion of the 55th edition of the Mondial and the "Salvador de la pétanque" which will take place in Marseille from July 3rd to 8th 2016.

If music was his life, Henri Salvador had another passion: that of petanque. He was one of the first artists to join the event launched by Michel Montana and Paul Ricard. At 90, he continued to compete and win!

Having worked on musical programming, before even meeting and marrying her, Catherine Salvador was already involved in this event. With the creation in 2009 of "Salvador petanque", it pays tribute to the memory of the artist by bringing together personalities.

To penetrate in the intimacy of this apartment where she lived with Henri Saldavor, is to discover a less known side of the singer: his passion for the antiquities, the design, his need of the light. This place still completely impregnated with the soul of the artist, she would like that one day, it be classified and become a museum. Exclusive private tour, a day of full sun.

Read also> Apartments and artists' houses: here the visit!

Ball competition (maybe the Marseillaise, year not defined)

Private collection Catherine Saldavor

Henri during a game of petanque (year not defined)

Véronique de Villèle collection

How long had Henri Salvador lived in this apartment?

Catherine Salvador: When Henri did not travel and did not stay in his Calanques paradise, this apartment was his main residence. He had lived there since 1962. Before this one, he was in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, rue du Docteur Blanche, with his first wife, Jacqueline: a very brilliant Egyptian whom he had married in 1950. She had a passion for Place Vendôme she considered "the most beautiful place in the world".

She had first managed to buy a small studio, transformed into an office, still today that of Salvador Productions. One day, she learns that the apartment just below is free and does everything to acquire it. Even though a compromise had already been signed, she does not hesitate to outbid one million old francs! Even today, when I leave my house discreetly, I see tourists stop in front of his plate. And for the anecdote, a little further at No. 12, there is that of another great musician: Chopin.

Is he here working?

Catherine Salvador: Absolutely. All his great songs were composed in this apartment since he had installed his recording studio. Everything is wired under the floor and the guest room is completely soundproof, - we sleep very well! -: it was his voice booth. Underneath is his recording studio, still in the state with all his musical instruments: his keyboards, his guitars, his percussion, his trumpet.

In the office section, furniture from the 50s was left, adding only storage furniture to classify seventy-five years of archives: his scores, his contracts some of which are on tracing paper. I miss him terribly but I work on his work: I would very much like this place to be classified.

Have you made any changes since his death in 2009?

Catherine Salvador: Apart from some pictures that I added, I left the apartment intact: every day, Henri is present at my side and whoever passes, can feel his soul. It is a 17th century apartment with a very high ceilings and many mezzanines. The interior is entirely white, with touches of black. Esthete, he needed light and there are mirrors everywhere. He loved the sparse interiors. I was careful not to invade too many objects. You feel calm and well-being in this apartment.

The most unusual or unexpected?

Catherine Salvador: Although on the surface, this apartment is not very large, the clarity and reflection of the mirrors give it a lot of depth. Located south, it is flooded with light by its huge windows. What strikes the first time is the high ceilings and the view of the rooftops of Paris.

The color that dominates?

Catherine Salvador: The White.

Your favorite room where you like to be and spend time?

Catherine Salvador: The living room, because you enter directly. There is a sofa with white armchairs on a very light gray wooden floor. In the background, the mirrored doors, always open, open onto the room that was his favorite room, outside the living room and his studio.

In the living room

Private collection Catherine Saldavor

What were his tastes in furniture?

Catherine Salvador: Henri loved both modernity and antiquities: he was curious. He used to shop at the Louvre, at antique shops, where he spent fortunes. At the same time, very avant-garde, he had a real approach to design. By his extreme sensitivity, he had the gift of identifying young talents in drawing and sculpture. Thus, he was conquered by the work of Jean Royère who had made him the furniture of his room in his apartment of the 16th: it is exposed to the Museum of Modern Arts.

In this apartment, all the styles coexist: from the oldest - with a marquetry dresser - to armchairs of the 50s. He also liked to divert the eras. For example, it was impossible to recognize Louis Philippe armchairs that he had transformed! He bought a lot and piled up. After Henri left, I wanted to create a nice place to work. In rummaging, I found an old folding boat desk mounted on two tripods and covered with red leather: a wonderful room.

An object or piece of furniture that you could not separate?

Catherine Salvador: His felt Panama hat from Lanvin! He had belonged to Jacqueline. It represents an inestimable sentimental value. With a head circumference of only 53 cm, Henri had his headdress.

And the kitchen? What were his favorite dishes?

Catherine Salvador: At lunch and dinner, Henri would go into the kitchen where we had our meals. Arranged under a glass roof, it is also a very bright room. In Paris, I cooked and in the south, it was Henry who started cooking: he prepared us his famous champagne chicken recipe that he simmered for 24 hours. He liked the dishes in his mother's sauce - the colombos - which reminded him of the West Indies. To make him happy, I would prepare duck with peaches, he loved it; and at the restaurant, his happiness was to order lobster!

And the TV, which room?

Catherine Salvador: There is a home theater in the room and TVs in all rooms: the living room, my office, the kitchen and the studio. A huge military parable had even been installed. Currently, that of the room is lit 24 hours a day like when he died. And then our dog Câline - a survivor of the SPA - mix of labrador and golden, needs to watch TV!

Do you live with music or rather in silence?

Catherine Salvador: Everywhere, at home and in the car, there has never been silence. What I miss, the more it is the small steps of Henri from his room to the studio, hear whistling or humming. All the time and all over the world, my Argos tag was his song! Like Henri, I'm curious, I need to learn. I worked in music and I am interested in news, I always stay connected. He had a huge talent for spotting young talents as was the case with Keren Anne, Thomas Dutronc, Bénabar, Benjamin Biolay ...

What is on your bedside table?

Catherine Salvador: An awakening and my book of the moment - Louis Chedid "Inner melodies". And on Henri's, there are his books - he reads as well on geopolitics, the art of breathing, science fiction, esotericism - a Nintendo console because he loved to play these electronic games, cassettes, a CD player, a pot full of pencils, a guitar string ... He always had his guitar handy. In the middle of the night, he could start playing or composing on a piece of newspaper.

Rather orderly or messy?

Catherine Salvador: It's an artist's apartment! Henri was messy: he was swinging his stuff everywhere and our first two years together were difficult on this domestic aspect. And then one day, he says to me: "Life is not the household"! So after two years, I proved him right ... Henri, like me, loved traveling, so always ready to leave, I keep a suitcase open in a room.

Henri and Catherine Salvador in front of the Odakyu store in Shinjuku (2007)

Private collection Catherine Saldavor

Are you green plants, flowers, balcony, terrace, garden?

Catherine Salvador: Henri went to the essential. I made him accept some vases of flowers and a beautiful ficus of my old apartment that is still there. His unique floral touch remained like a still life: they are two enormous one meter high marble pots, very wide, in which he had put branches of cherry blossoms.

The news :

- From 3rd to 8th of July 2016: the 55th Mondial de la Pétanque in Marseille with "les Salvador" awarded to partners and faithful friends of the World Cup, to the personalities of the Trophy of Artists, as well as to the victorious team of the Competition.

For more information:

- Since the spring of 2016, in front of the Olympia, was inaugurated "Henri Salvador Square".

- To read and reread "The joy of living", a collection of thoughts, replicas and anecdotes of Henri Salvador, published at Cherche Midi (2010).

Catherine Saldavor

Private collection Catherine Saldavor

Personalities around Catherine Salvador, on the left Michel Montana, on the right Véronique de Villèle (year not defined)

Catherine Salvador private collection