LSM Newswire

Monday, December 16, 2013

Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard at the Opéra de Montréal in May 2016

For immediate release

Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard at the Opéra de Montréal in May 2016

Montréal, December 16, 2013 – The Opéra de Montréal is pleased to announce an all-new project for the world premiere of a opera from Quebec in May 2016: Les Feluettes (Lilies), after the play by Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, set to music by Australian composer Kevin March. This project marks the Quebec dramatist’s first foray into the world of opera, and a third world premiere for the Opéra de Montréal, after Nelligan (1990) and Thérèse Raquin (2002). The Opéra de Montréal will soon be inviting the media to a press conference at which the playwright and some artists will be in attendance, and during which complete details will be announced.

Preview: an early-stage workshop

Artistic Director Michel Beaulac adds: “A leading work of Quebec theatre, Les Feluettes, with its lyricism and dramatic power, simply called out for an opera version. The call has been heard. Building on the strengths of Michel Marc Bouchard’s libretto and Kevin March’s music, our company, through this world premiere, will play a part in the rebirth our art form is enjoying at the dawn of the 21
st century.”


In 1952, a group of prisoners led by Simon confine a bishop named Bilodeau, performing a play for him, thereby relating a series of events that took place forty years earlier, when Simon and Bilodeau were at school together in Roberval, in the Lac St-Jean region.

Much like a trial, the aim of this confinement is to get Bilodeau to admit to a crime he committed, and for which Simon was unjustly condemned, at a time when he was in love with Vallier de Tilly, a young, ruined French aristocrat exiled with his mother to Quebec.

This theatrical mise en abyme—a play within a play—, in which men alone perform both the male and female roles, has captured the public’s imagination the world over with its theatrical qualities and emotional resonance.


Premiering in Montreal in 1987, directed by André Brassard, with a revival staged in 2002 by director Serge Denoncourt (Prix de l’Académie du Théâtre québécois, 2002), the play has been produced over 50 times throughout the world. It was presented at a number of festivals, including the Avignon, Dublin, and Limoges festivals. It enjoyed a run of over three months at Théâtre du Ranelagh in Paris. It is part of the repertory of the Los Endebles company in Mexico City and of Studio Life in Tokyo, where it is frequently re-staged.

In 1996, Canadian film director John Greyson directed a film adaptation of the play, called LILIES (Genie Award for Best Canadian Film of 1996).

Premiering in Antwerp in 2011, the Flemish musical LELIES, inspired by the play, won the 2012 award for best musical in Belgium; it will be remounted in Belgium and in Holland in 2015.


Playwright, screenwriter, and exhibition curator Michel Marc Bouchard has written some twenty plays including Les Feluettes (Lilies), Les Muses orphelines (The Orphan Muses), L’Histoire de l’oie (The Tale of Teeka), Le Chemin des passes dangereuses (Down Dangerous Passes Road), and, most recently, Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm) and Christine, la reine-garçon (The Girl King). His works, translated into more than ten languages, have been performed in major theatres in Quebec, Canada, and abroad, as well as at some of the most renowned international festivals. A recipient of the National Arts Centre Award, the Chalmers Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Prix de l’Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre, the Primo Arte Candoni, and the Prix de SACD (Paris), he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Knight of the Order of Quebec in 2012.

His plays Les Feluettes (Lilies – Genie for Best Film, 1996), Les Muses orphelines, L’Histoire de l’oie (Gémeau for Best Dramatic Work, 1998), Les Grandes chaleurs, and Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm – Critics Award, Venice Film Festival) have been adapted for the screen. The Girl King will be presented at the prestigious Stratford Festival in 2014, and will be adapted for the screen by Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki.

For additional information on Les Feluettes and Michel Marc Bouchard, please see


Kevin March is an award-winning Australian composer whose works have been performed In North America, Europe, and Australia by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Ironwood Ensemble, Halcyon, The Arcko Ensemble, ASTRA Chamber Music Society, Chronology Arts, Brave New Works, and The New York City Opera. Kevin received 1st Prize in the 2010 3MBS National Composer Awards for his orchestral work Kambarang, and the 2009 Dorian La Galliene Prize for his chamber work Ophélie. Recent commissions include Beautiful Apocalypse, a multi-media chamber opera based on the life of Joachim of Fiore and the 2012 apocalypse, for the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble; Ouvre-moi la Porte, commissioned for Neal Perez de Costa and Daniel Yeadon by The Sydney Conservatorium and Ars Musica Australia for the 100
th anniversary of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music; and Tango & Terror, written for violinist Sara Curro. In April, 2014, a concert comprised of his Catalogue des Papillons (a large cycle for solo piano) and Mythweaver (a song-cycle for soprano and piano based on the poetry of Sappho) will included in Melbourne’s 2014 Metropolis Festival. His works have been broadcast on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and 3MBS radio, and excerpts from his song-cycle Mythweaver were featured in the ABC National documentary Modern Muses: The Greeks and New Music.

Kevin was born and raised in the United States and completed his Masters and Doctorate at the University of Michigan before moving to Melbourne in 2004. While at the University of Michigan, his principal composition instructors were William Bolcom, William Albright, Michael Daugherty and Curtis Curtis-Smith. Since his move to Australia he has been mentored by or has studied under notable Australian composers Richard Mills, Gerard Brophy, Maria Grenfel, and Paul Stanhope. He currently teaches composition and music theory at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

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