Saturday, 21 May 2016

Today : world première of Kevin March's 'Les Feluettes' ('Lillies') in Montréal

Today, the Opéra de Montréal presents the world première of Les Feluettes (Lillies), composed by Australian composer Kevin March, with a libretto (in French) by Michel Marc Bouchard after his own play.

Kevin March has already composed three chambers operas : : A 21st Century Romance (2001), Leading Lady (2004) and Razing Hypatia (2010).
In 1952 a group of ex-prisoners under the direction of Simon trap a bishop, Jean Bilodeau, and recreates a series of events for him that took place 40 years earlier when Simon and Bilodeau were at school in Roberval, a small town in Northern Quebec. Simon was in love with a young count, a ruined French aristocrat exiled with his mother (who had become mad while waiting for her husband's return and the fall of the Third Republic that would signal the return of the monarchy and the family's status). The ex-prisoners recount the troubled love story of the count and Simon and the attempts by Bilodeau to come between them. The actors are trying to get the bishop to admit to the real circumstances surrounding the death of the young count, a death for which Simon was unjustly condemned. (reproduced from the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia)
The cast includes baritone Étienne Dupuis (Simon Doucet young), tenor Jean- Michel Richer (Le Comte Vallier de Tilly), baritone Gino Quilico (Simon Doucet old), tenor Gordon Gietz (Monseigneur Bilodeau), baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson (La Comtesse Marie-Laure de Tilly), coutertenor Daniel Cabena (MademoiselleLydie-Anne de Rozier), tenor James McLennan (Jean Bilodeau) and bass Claude Grenier (Timothée Doucet). Timothy Vernon conducts the Opéra de Montréal Orchestra and Chorus. Serge Denoncourt directs.

The opera is performed at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier and should last about 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one interval. As a coproduction between Opéra de Montréal and Pacific Opera Victoria, the opera will be performed at the Royal Theatre in Victoria (BC) in April 2017 with the same cast.

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