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Robert Lepage

Robert Lepage is one of the most internationally renowned of Canadian artists. His work is regularly shown in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceana.

He was born in Quebec City in 1957 and raised in a bilingual household which he has referred to as “a metaphor for the divided Canada.” After graduating from Quebec's Conservatoire d'art dramatique in 1978, he went on to Paris to complete his training at Alain Knapp's theatre school. In 1980, he joined the Théâtre Repère, a Quebec City theatre company where, within a few years, he was to make his name as one of the major creative forces of his country.

Circulations, which was created in 1984 and presented throughout Canada, won the Best Canadian Production Award at the Quinzaine internationale de théâtre de Québec. It was in 1985, however, with The Dragon's Trilogy, that his work was to be internationally recognized. The production toured for five years and was presented in Canada, Europe (including the Galway Arts Festival in 1989), Mexico, Australia, and the United States. His subsequent productions with Théâtre Repère – Vinci, Polygraphe, and Tectonic Plates – continued to gain him local and international attention and tours.

From 1989 to 1993 he served as artistic director of the Théâtre français at the Canadian National Arts Centre in Ottawa, while touring his own productions including Needles and Opium. In 1992, he became the first North American to direct a play by William Shakespeare at the Royal National Theatre in London, with his controversial production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which he staged in half a foot of mud. Pursuing his passion for Shakespeare's works, he directed Coriolanus, Macbeth, and The Tempest, all “tradapted” into Quebecois French by Michel Garneau; the “Shakespeare Cycle” toured widely. His interest in Shakespeare also produced, in 1995, the solo play Elsinore, based on excerpts from Hamlet; it toured internationally and visited the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1997.

He has staged theatre productions at many of the world's great theatres including the Dramaten in Stockholm and the Tokyo Globe. In addition to theatre, he has directed operas (Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung) and has staged the musician Peter Gabriel's last two world tour concerts, Secret World (1996-7) and Growing Up (2002-3).

In 1994, in Quebec, he founded Ex Machina, a multidisciplinary company of which he became the artistic director. For that company he has created the large-scale theatre works The Seven Streams of the River Ota (1994-98); The Geometry of Miracles (1998-2000); and Zulu Time (2001-2); and the solo piece The Far Side of the Moon, which has proved to be Lepage's most successful work since The Dragon's Trilogy as regards both critical acclaim and awards, and touring longevity.

Lepage has also become a noted filmmaker. His films include Le Confessional (1995, which won Genie Awards for best film and best director); Polygraph (1996); No (1998); and Possible Worlds (2000). He is presently working on a film adaptation of The Far Side of the Moon. Other current projects include a new spectacular for Cirque de Soleil, scheduled to open in Las Vegas in 2004; a production of John Gay's The Beggars' Opera; and an opera based on the novel 1984 for the English National Opera.

He holds many honours including the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), the Order of Canada, and l'Ordre National du Québec.

Robert Lepage

PERFORMANCES

the far side of the moon

The Blue Dragon

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