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Emmanuel Donzella

Actor, musician



Photo credit: ©Jean-Luc Grillot

Born in Ajaccio in 1968, Emmanuel Donzella is a French actor, humorist and musician. At the age of 16 he left Corsica for Haute Savoie and it was in Annecy that he became familiar with music and theatre. He took classes at the Conservatory and participates in his first shows (Frankenstein - L'Arlésienne). It is at this same period that discovered Brazilian music, which will influence his whole musical universe. He wrote his first songs and decided quite naturally to settle in Paris to train as an actor. By passing through the Cours Florent, he began his young life as an artist. In order to pay for his lessons, he worked at Antenne 2, and took his first steps on small Parisian stages such as the Aktéon theatre where he was hired to play Jacques et son Maître.

It was there that he and his high school partner Karine Lyachenko decided to create their first show, Collier de Nouilles, which marked the real beginning of an artistic adventure that would last more than 10 years. Collier de Nouilles was played all over the world,  appeared on all the Parisian stages of café theater (Point-virgule, Café de la gare, Comédie Caumartin...) They made their first TV shows (La classe FR3) and thus met the universe and all the actors of the comedy of the 90s.

Emmanuel Donzella, participated and animated during 5 years the International Festival Artistique Libre et Désordonné (FIELD) famous open stage where comedians of the time such as Elie et Dieudoné, Dany Boon, Jamel Debbouze, Gad Elmaleh... He met a real family and weaves links which are still today at the origin of more recent collaborations such as Les Darons.

Emmanuel defines himself as an "adventurer" and from the 2000s on, he has worked in theatre (Quand la Chine téléphonera - Les voila - La Bombe - Mes chers amis - La maîtresse en maillot de bain - La symphonie des faux culs - Les Darons - Diner de famille...), in stage direction (La tête ailleurs - Rebelles), and in cinema (the soul mate of JM Bigard). He also wrote columns or sketches for TV (La classe - Fous d'humour - Thé ou café). He can also be found in TV series such as Caméra café, Elie Semoun's classified ads, Scènes de ménage, la petite histoire de France, En famille M6.

In the early 2000s, he realized a dream: music. It is the meeting with Pascal Obispo (who will become his publisher) that led him to sign with Universal (Island). He made his first album (Donzella), which he sang in the first part of the Soledad tour. Then a second album was released in 2007 (Bandits de grands sentiments). With his guitar and his offbeat songs, Emmanuel Donzella sung at the Européen and in first parts of concerts of Zazie, Sanseverino, Dany Boon and Elie Semoun with whom he shares his love for bossa nova. With Elie, he participated in the creation of his first two albums, then he composed and arranges his third opus, Des paroles en l'air.

Thanks to music, Emmanuel Donzella was to meet one of the men who had inspired him so much: Henri Salvador. Together they recorded "les éboueurs de Saint tropez", the last duet Henri Salvador recorded. Emmanuel wrote "les amours qu'on délaisse" on his last album.

And to continue the adventure, Emmanuel Donzella finally discovered Brazil in 2009, this dream country where he travelled through at the occasion of four tours. The meeting with Brazilian singer Andrea Monteiro gave birth to the album "Tão longe e tão perto" which he composed and sang in Rio, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, New York, Brussels and Paris.
The influence of bossa nova and his role as a passer had naturally led him to meet Pierre Barouh, and it is through this link and that of Emmanuel De Ryckel that Emmanuel crossed paths with Bossa Flor. He was invited to participate in the programming in February 2020 with Andrea Monteiro for the presentation of their album "Tão longe e tão perto" with Julien Doumenjou (guitar). He is participating in a recording of a piece of the project « Brassens dans tous ses états » in 2021.

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