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ex machina - robert lepage
CURRENT PRODUCTIONS
Touring in Europe and Japan
Performances
> Quills (2016) by Doug Wright, directed by Robert Lepage and Jean-Pierre Cloutier
quills
Quills © Stéphane Bourgeois
Censorship and freedom of expression collide and come face to face in this landmark piece that questions both the responsibility of the artist when it comes to his work's repercussions and the very definition of morality, which is not as immutable as is often believed.

Premiere: 12 January 2016 at Theatre du Trident, Quebec (CA).
> 887 (2015)
887 lepage
887 © Érick Labbé
New solo performance directed and performed by Robert Lepage, commissioned by the Arts and Culture Program of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

World premiere the 14th of July 2015 in Toronto (CA).
> Needles and Opium (2013)
needles and opium
Needles and Opium © Nicola-Frank Vachon
Lepage's masterpiece (1991) re-created in a new staging and set, with Olivier Normand and Wellesley Robertson III.

Premiered the 17th of September 2013 at the Théâtre du Trident in Quebec (CA).
> Playing Cards (2012-2015)
playing cards hearts
Playing Cards: HEARTS © Érick Labbé


playing cards spades
Playing Cards: SPADES © Érick Labbé
Since 2010 Robert Lepage has been working on Playing Cards, a project initiated by the 360° Network, an international group of round artistic venues.

Card games consist of a series of rules, symbols, signs, mathematical or numerological structures, mythologies, and, above all, characters. By combining and ordering them, you can create as many stories as there are possible arrangements. At least that's the intuition guiding Robert Lepage and his collaborators on the project called Playing Cards. With such a range of possibilities, the creators imposed the structure of a deck of cards on the project. It will consist of four parts: SPADES, HEARTS, DIAMONDS, and CLUBS, each exploring a universe inspired by the asset the suit represents.

SPADES: premiered the 9th of May 2012 in Madrid at the Teatro Circo Price (ES).
HEARTS: premiered the 29th of September 2013 at the Ruhrtriennale in Essen (DE).

 

> The Blue Dragon (2008) - Marie Michaud and Robert Lepage

The Blue Dragon © Yanick MacDonald
Robert Lepage’s characters like travelling: that disturbing but revealing encounter with difference, with the stranger, the Other. Yet of all the stories created by Lepage, whether in the form of opera, cinema or theatre, only one of his characters stays permanently in exile: Pierre Lamontagne, supreme figure of the Dragons' Trilogy, who leaves to study art in China as the play closes.
Twenty years later, Lamontagne surfaces in the heart of Moganshan 50, a Shanghai neighbourhood known for experimental art, where he has a gallery. A stranger comes to find him: Claire, a Montreal advertising executive. Like so many others, she is attracted by the bounty of China but not just for the good deals. In a former life, she knew Pierre at Art School. After their reunion and then a confrontation, their common distant past opens for each an unexpected door to the future.

Co-written by Robert Lepage and his collaborator Marie Michaud (who also co-authored The Dragons' Trilogy), and originally performed by Robert Lepage -replaced by Henri Chassésince Autumn 2009-, Marie Michaud, and dancer Tai Wei Foo.

Premiered April 2008, the 22nd in Châlons en Champagne (FR).
> Lipsynch (2007-2008) - Production Ex Machina / Théâtre sans Frontières

Lipsynch © Érick Labbé
From its most primitive expression; a baby’s cry – to its most sophisticated; opera singing – the human voice is a select locus of identity and emotion. Lipsynch explores its many manifestations, declensions and implications through different procedures that convey and reproduce it.

The Dragons' Trilogy and The Seven Streams of the River Ota, the singularity of individual destinies is superimposed on the magnitude of collective history, forming a gigantic modern fresco in the image of our modern world, fragmented and plural, burlesque and tragic, and layered with multiple languages, sounds and meanings.
> The Andersen Project (2005) - Commissioned by Hans Christian Andersen 2005 (Odense)

The Andersen Project © Érick Labbé
The Andersen Project was inspired by Andersen’s visit to the Paris World Fair of 1867, and by his tales called The Dryad and The Shadow, which he wrote following his stay in Paris.
With Yves Jacques.
> The Far Side of the Moon (2000)
la face cachée de la lune
The Far Side of the Moon © Emmanuel Valette
Created in Quebec City (CA) in March 2000, The Far Side of the Moon concentrates on the conflict between two brothers who are trying to come to grips with the death of their mother. It is also concerned with Russian cosmonaut Leonov, confronted with the immensity of interplanetary space as he took his first steps out of the Soyouz spacecraft. And it also sees a goofy but touching video recording by the main character sent out to space, in an attempt to show potential extraterrestrial viewers the poetry that sometimes hides in human daily life.
Opera staging
> The Tempest (2012) - Thomas Adès
In Lepage's production, Prospero's island will be portrayed as the antique stage and auditorium of Milan's Teatro alla Scala, a setting that symbolizes the Milanese society from which Prospero has been banned. By setting an opera inside an opera, Lepage underlines the "mise en abyme" – or the story of the King, Antonio, Ferdinand and their court marooned inside Prospero's story – present in the libretto.

Premiered in July 2012 at the Grand Théâtre de Québec / Quebec Opera Festival (CA).
> Der Ring des Nibelungen (2010-2012) - Richard Wagner
Robert Lepage and the design team have started working on this project since the fall of 2006, through workshops, research, creation and development held mainly at the Caserne in Quebec City. Ex Machina’s Ring for the Metropolitan Opera will be presented during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, with presentation of the complete cycle in the spring of 2012.

Premiered September 2010, the 27th in New York (US).
> The Nightingale & Other Short Fables (2009-2010) - Igor Stravinsky
Production Ex Machina / Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

The Nightingale (act III) © Carl Fillion
The idea of a double bill with Le Rossignol (1914) and Renard (1915/1922), two short operas by Igor Stravinsky, is rather atypical in the world of opera houses. The scenography and the theatrical language put to use have a similar feel.

Very early in the creation process, Robert Lepage joined the well-known American puppet designer Michael Curry. In fact, the art of puppetry will occupy a central role in this show, as well as shadow theatre. Asia is a great source of inspiration for this piece, with references to Vietnamese traditions, the mua rôi nuac, a water puppet, and Japanese traditions, the bunraku.

The Nightingale and other short fables premiered October 2009 at the Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), and was presented at the Festival Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence (FR) in July 2010, before playing at the Lyon Opera during the autumn of 2010.
> The Rake's Progress (2007) - Igor Stravinsky
The 18th century engravings of William Hogarth inspired Stravinsky's cyclothymic opera with its surrealistic tone, while Ex Machina's version is more reminiscent of America in the 1950s.

Directed by Robert Lepage, The Rake's Progress was premiered at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels (BE) in April 2007.
> 1984 (2007) - Lorin Maazel after the novel by George Orwell
George Orwell's depiction of the dictatorship of Oceania lends itself well to theatre. Crammed with surveillance cameras and telescreens, corrupted by denunciation and lies, Orwell's universe inspired a set that uses transparency and movement, as well as a large electronic apparatus, to provide constant surveillance.
Directed by Robert Lepage, music by Maestro Lorin Maazel.

Premiered May 2005 at Royal Opera in London (UK).
> The Damnation of Faust (1999-2008) - Hector Berlioz
Ex Machina production of The Damnation of Faust premiered in 1999 in Matsumoto, Japan, with conductor Seiji Ozawa. Lead roles were played by Susan Graham (Marguerite), Guiseppe Sabatini (Faust) and José Van Dam (Mephistopheles)
For the 2008 revival at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the team explored ways of incorporating images animated by the movement of the actors and the voices of the singers: interactive video at the beck and call of lyric song.
Installation and exhibitions
> The Library at Night (2015)

The Library at Night © Stéphane Bourgeois
As part of the festivities surrounding the Grand Bibliothèque’s 10th anniversary, Robert Lepage and Ex Machina have created, based on an original idea by Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, an exhibition inspired by Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night.

In this work, the Argentine-born Canadian author addresses the philosophical, logical, architectural and social dimensions that underlie any library’s existence. Multifaceted, The Library at Night offers visitors a museum-like, design-based and virtual immersion experience.

This exhibition is a voyage through time, and around the world, to 10 mythic places—an immersive and sensory adventure that involves both our intelligence and our memory.
> FRAGMENTATION (2010)

FRAGMENTATION © MBAM, Denis Farleyé

FRAGMENTATION is the adaptation, by Richard Castelli and Volker Kuchelmeister, of three scenes from the play Lipsynch written by Frédérike Bédard, Carlos Belda, Rebecca Blankenship, Lise Castonguay, John Cobb, Nuria Garcia, Marie Gignac, Sarah Kemp, Robert Lepage, Rick Miller and Hans Piesbergen and directed by Robert Lepage, for the ReACTOR, a 3D environment designed by Sarah Kenderdine & Jeffrey Shaw.

Premiered April 2011 as part of "Matter-Light" exhibition / Bethune 2011 Capitale régionale de la culture (FR).

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