Representations

Simons

Starmania Opéra
Luc Plamondon / Michel Berger      

May 17 (7:00 p.m.), 20, 22
and 24 (8:00 p.m.), 2008
SUPPLEMENTARIES
May 19 and 26 (8:00 p.m.), 2008
July 14 and 16 (8:00 p.m.), 2008
July 15 (8:00 p.m.), 2008

Co-production of
Opéra de Québec / Opéra de Montréal

Guest Conductor : Simon LECLERC
Directors : Michel LEMIEUX et Victor PILON

Marie-Jeanne
Zéro Janvier
Stella Spotlight
Johnny Rockfort
Cristal
Ziggy
Sadia
Marie-Josée LORD, soprano
Marc HERVIEUX, tenor
Lyne FORTIN, soprano
Etienne DUPUIS, baritone
Raphaëlle PAQUETTE, soprano
Pascal CHARBONNEAU, tenor
Krista de SILVA, mezzo-soprano

Le Chœur de l’Opéra de Québec
L’Orchestre symphonique de Québec

Original French version with French supertitles

This international work, Starmania, has received more media attention than any other work in the history of Québec. The Opéra de Québec offers a meeting of two worlds: the worlds of classical and popular music, a truly operatic version of Starmania!

Starmania was created in 1977 in collaboration with the composer Michel Berger. The premiere performance was presented at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. This first truly French-language rock opera was an immediate international success. The Québec public gave it a triumphant reception and, in 1988, Starmania reconquered France, remaining on the boards for two seasons. It was subsequently well received in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and then in Germany. Tim Rice wrote English lyrics and, in 1992, the album Tycoon, his English version of Starmania, was released throughout the world. Céline Dion is one of the artists that has interpreted its music. In 1993, a new production saw the light in Paris in a futuristic setting by Lewis Furay. Then, on to Madrid, Berlin and London!

Authors and Distribution

Luc Plamondon
Luc PLAMONDON

Lyricist, producer and author of Starmania, Luc Plamondon was born in Saint-Raymond de Portneuf, near the city of Québec, where he completed studies in music and the classics before travelling to Europe to perfect his knowledge of languages. He is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the French-speaking entertainment world. In the beginning of the 70s, he conquered the record market at a time when a wave of American and English-language pop music was flooding the whole world. On his return from Europe, he went to New York to become an interpreter at the UN, but got sidetracked on Broadway. He returned rapidly to Québec and presented his lyrics to André Gagnon who chose one, Les chemins d'été, to put to music. The song was interpreted by the popular idol Steve Fiset, renamed Dans ma Camaro and the rest is history. His texts have been sung by Monique Leyrac, Renée Claude, Donald Lautrec, and of course, Diane Dufresne. Success upon success! In the 80s, Luc Plamondon became one of the most sought-after lyricists in France. He began to write for Françoise Hardy, Catherine Lara, Petula Clark and Johnny Hallyday. Luc Plamondon has contributed to the success, in France, of generations of Québec singers such as Robert Charlebois, Fabienne Thibeault, Claude Dubois, Louise Forestier, Martine Saint-Clair, Bruno Pelletier, Isabelle Boulay, Garou, and Patrick Fiori. Luc Plamondon then began to write modern operas: Starmania (1977 – music by Michel Berger), Suite rock en rose (music by Nanette Workman), la Légende de Jimmy (Michel Berger) et Lily passion with Barbara who created the opera with Gérard Depardieu. In 1991, Céline Dion recorded the album Dion chante Plamondon. This album was certified platinum in 1992 and broke all existing records for sales in Québec. His last masterpiece of the end of the Twentieth Century was, undoubtedly, the musical version of Notre-Dame de Paris, written in collaboration with the composer Richard Cocciante in 1998. Luc Plamondon holds a unique position in the Québec music industry because of the scope of his work and his international success. He is a founding member of the Société professionnelle des auteurs et compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ). He has been named a Chevalier of l’Ordre national du Québec (1990), decorated by l’Ordre des francophones d’Amérique (1991), inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame (2003) and received innumerable honours in France and in Québec.

Michel Berger
Michel BERGER (1947-1992)

French author, composer, music arranger, performer, artistic director. Michel Berger was well known as a singer in the 1960s. He subsequently moved to EMI as a producer where he wrote several works, including Les Girafes for Bourvil in 1967. In the early 1970s, he moved to Warner, and produced Véronique Sanson's first albums. He also produced Allah for her in 1989. In 1973, he also produced an album for Françoise Hardy, thereby relaunching her career. In 1974, he began to write for France Gall, who became his wife in 1976. After 1975, he produced all of her albums. In 1985, for Johnny Hallyday, he produced the album Rock 'n' Roll Attitude, and directed the subsequent stage show, before directing France Gall's show in 1987 (Le Tour de France 1988). In the mid-1970s, he composed the music for Starmania, for texts written by Luc Plamondon. The Studio album, interpreted by France Gall, Daniel Balavoine, Diane Dufresne, Nanette Workman, Éric Estève and Fabienne Thibeault, was released in 1978. Starmania, the show, was a resounding success in 1979, and was revived in 1988 with Maurane and Renaud Hantson and many other artists, and with different casts during the 1990s. An English-language version, Tycoon, was created in 1991. In 1990, he created a new musical with texts again written by Luc Plamondon. This new show, La Légende de Jimmy, was inspired by the life of James Dean and starred Diane Tell, Renaud Hantson, Tom Novembre, and Nanette Workman. He composed the music for a number of films: Mektoub, an Algerian film by Ali Ghalem in 1970, Sérieux comme le plaisir by Robert Benayoun in 1975, Tout feu, tout flamme, by Jean-Paul Rappeneau in 1982 and Rive droite, rive gauche by Philippe Labro in 1984, as well as the music for commercial publicity like Orangina. On August 2, 1992, all of France is in mourning for one of its most talented Twentieth-century musicians. Only a few weeks after having released a long-awaited duo album with France Gall, Double jeu, Michel Berger died suddenly at 44 years of age. He was buried in the Montmartre cemetery in Paris. A visionary composer and musician, Michel Berger will long remain a pillar of French song of the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Simon Leclerc, Guest conductor and arranger

After a very busy year at the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal in 2002, the soprano Marie-Josée Lord made her highly successful debut at the Opéra de Québec as Liù (Turandot). Immediately afterwards, she presented an evening of Gospel music before flying off to the Opéra de Rennes to hold the role of Julia in Passionnément by André Messager. In February 2004, the Opéra de Montréal enlisted her for the title role of la Bohème (Mimi), which was a great success, and which earned her a second engagement with the Opéra de Montréal as Liù (Turandot) in October 2004. Also in August 2004, she returned to Québec for a solo recital with Musique de chambre de Sainte-Pétronille. In November 2004, she was Marie-Jeanne in the Montréal Symphonic Orchestra's production of the concert version of Starmania, which was repeated at the Palais des Congrès in Paris (from January 18 to February 6, 2005). Marie-Josée Lord was invited to represent Canada against 25 of the world's best at the highly prestigious BBC Singer of the World competition in Cardiff (Wales). In 2005 she received the Prix de la Fondation de l’Opéra de Québec for the excellence of her presentations in Québec for the year 2003-2004. This prize was awarded at Québec City's annual banquet to honour excellence in arts and culture. Last fall, she held the title role of Suor Angelica at the Opéra de Montréal.

Michel Lemieux
Michel Lemieux, Director

Internationally renowned for the originality and accessibility of his creations, designer, director, scenographer, multimedia designer, multidisciplinary artist and visionary Michel Lemieux stands alone in the field of international scenic arts. He completed his studies in production at the National Theatre School of Canada in 1979. He and his close collaborator Victor Pilon are on the prestigious list of Quebeckers who have successfully exported their talent to the outside world, from Montréal to New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Toronto and Melbourne. He created a number of multimedia (and other) spectacles including l’chœur rechargeable (1983), Solide Salas (1984) and Mutations (1988), which all toured around the world; le Souffle de Pythagore, Voix de passage (1990); In Mid Air (1991) presented at the Festival of Hong Kong; Michel Rivard's tour Naïf; la Nuit de Montréal, scenic projections during the celebrations for Montréal's 350th anniversary; Grand hôtel des étrangers (1994), presented during a 18-city international tour; Hommage à la musique du Cirque du Soleil, a megashow presented at the Montréal Jazz Festival before an audience of 200,000 spectators; Pôles (1996), a dance performance presented on another international tour; Orféo (1998), a multimedia visual performance presented in a 10-city international tour; Anima (2002), a work that allies the real and the virtual, presented in Canada, Korea, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain; les Planètes (2003); Soleil de nuit (2004), la Tempête (2005). The eclectic Michel Lemieux was also a founding member of the dance company La La La Human Steps.

Victor Pilon
Victor Pilon, Director

Victor Pilon is a product of the generation of multidisciplinary artists; he works as an artistic director, director, scenographer, visual designer and photographer for both the stage and large public events. After a two-year period in Europe, he studied visual arts at the University of Ottawa, with a concentration in photography. As a visual artist, Victor Pilon has exposed his works in numerous galleries in Canada, and his works are included in the bank of artistic works of the Canada Arts Council and the Canadian Public Archives. In 1988, a book about his work was published. In 1990, he joined the Michel Lemieux Musique Performance team as the company's co-artistic director and subsequently, with Michel Lemieux, founded the 4D art Lemieux/Pilon company (1997). This company has toured in Canada, the USA, Europe, South America and Asia. Victor Pilon and Michel Lemieux have created four major multimedia shows in Canada, and have been partners with the Cirque du Soleil on a number of occasions. As Official Photographer Victor Pilon has covered more than 31 Canadian visits of Great Britain's Royal Family. He has also covered the official visits of numerous heads of states for the governments of Québec and Canada. He received the Royal Victorian Order in 1992.

Lemieux/Pilon
Their teamwork has earned a number of awards, including a Felix for the direction of Michel Rivard's tour Naïf (1995), The Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology's Award of Technical Merit and the Gascon-Roux Prix du public for the direction of La Tempête at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (2005), as well as a number of other awards in recognition of the excellence of their projections and innovative soundtracks.

Marie-Josée LORD
Marie-Josée LORD, soprano (Marie-Jeanne)

After a very busy year at the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal in 2002, the soprano Marie-Josée Lord made her highly successful debut at the Opéra de Québec as Liù (Turandot). Immediately afterwards, she presented an evening of Gospel music before flying off to the Opéra de Rennes to hold the role of Julia in Passionnément by André Messager. In February 2004, the Opéra de Montréal enlisted her for the title role of la Bohème (Mimi), which was a great success, and which earned her a second engagement with the Opéra de Montréal as Liù (Turandot) in October 2004. Also in August 2004, she returned to Québec for a solo recital with Musique de chambre de Sainte-Pétronille. In November 2004, she was Marie-Jeanne in the Montréal Symphonic Orchestra's production of the concert version of Starmania, which was repeated at the Palais des Congrès in Paris (from January 18 to February 6, 2005). Marie-Josée Lord was invited to represent Canada against 25 of the world's best at the highly prestigious BBC Singer of the World competition in Cardiff (Wales). In 2005 she received the Prix de la Fondation de l’Opéra de Québec for the excellence of her presentations in Québec for the year 2003-2004. This prize was awarded at Québec City's annual banquet to honour excellence in arts and culture. Last fall, she held the title role of Suor Angelica at the Opéra de Montréal.

Marc Hervieux
Marc HERVIEUX, tenor (Zéro Janvier) )

Ever since he was chosen personally by Valery Giergiev for a production of La Traviata in St-Petersburg, Marc Hervieux's career has been in continual motion. He has held numerous lead tenor roles: Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Edgar (Lucia di Lammermoor), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Rodolfo (La Bohème), the Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto) and Chevalier des Grieux (Manon) (a role that he played in Québec and in Spain when he made his European début), Alfredo (La Traviata), Nemorino (L’Elisir d’amore), Cassio (Otello), Nadir (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), and Hoffmann (Les Contes de Hoffmann). He has lent his voice to the soundtrack of three films, and has performed in several oratorios, primarily in Québec. In 2005, he interpreted the role of the Businessman in Starmania with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra. This production was repeated at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, and again at the Festival international d'été de Québec; He opened as a remarkable Cavaradossi in Tosca in Victoria and London (Ontario), In Edmonton as Rodolpho in La Bohème and at the New Israëli Philharmonic as Alfredo in La Traviata under the baton of Zubin Mehta. In the spring of 2006, Marc Hervieux joined the Metropolitan Opera of New York and sang at the Richard Tucker Gala. More recently, he obtained a resounding success in the role of Luigi in Il Tabarro at the Opéra de Montréal, and participated in the world premiere of Estacia's Frobisher in Calgary.  In October 2006, he again met with success with his interpretation of Rodolfo (La Bohème) here at the Opéra de Québec.

Lyne Fortin
Lyne FORTIN, soprano (Stella Spotlight)

Lyne Fortin is one of Canada's most respected sopranos. At the Opéra de Montréal she has interpreted the roles of Violetta (La Traviata), Mimi (La Bohème), Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Micaëla (Carmen), Leïla (Les Pêcheurs de perles), the Countess (Les nozze di Figaro), Olga (Fedora), Thaïs (Thaïs) and Agrippine. In Québec she has held the title role in Die Lustige Witwe, and the roles of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), the Countess and Suzanne (Le nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zuberflöte) and Violetta (La Traviata). She has also sung for the operas in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Hamilton. In the United States, she has sung in the Baltimore, Seattle, Connecticut, Opera Pacific, Arizona, Detroit, New Jersey and Portland operas. At the Opéra de Flandres, she created the role of Madame de Tourvel in a contemporary opera inspired by Liaisons dangereuses. She currently teaches at the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal. She recently performed the  role of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Opera Ontario; and will soon be Violetta (La Traviata) in Ohio, Donna Elvira at the Opéra de Montréal, the Second Prioress (Les Dialogues des Carmélites) in Belgium, and in September 2007, Carmen (Carmen) in Edmonton. With the Opéra de Québec's production of Madama Butterfly in 2005, she added the role of Cio-Cio-San to the long list of her achievements. This earned her the Prix de la Fondation de l’Opéra de Québec. This prize was awarded at Québec City's 20th annual banquet to honour excellence in arts and culture.

Étienne Dupuis
Étienne DUPUIS, baritone (Johnny Rockfort)

Having received his training at McGill University and subsequently the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal until 2004-2005, Étienne Dupuis has received awards from the Fondation Jacqueline Desmarais and the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques. He has appeared in the roles of Marcello in la Bohème at the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre (Toronto) and Belcore in l’Elisir d’amore at Opéra McGill. During the past few seasons, he sang Escamillo et El Dancaïro in Carmen on tour with the Atelier lyrique, and the Father in Hänsel et Gretel. At the Opéra de Montréal, he participated in productions of Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto (Marullo), Die Zauberflöte and la Bohème. In 2004-2005, still with the Opéra de Montréal, he sang the roles of the Mandarin (Turandot), El Dancaïro (Carmen) and Enée (Didon et Enée). His most recent productions include Lescaut (Manon Lescaut) at the New Israeli Opera, the Mandarin (Turandot) at Vancouver, and numerous concerts with various Montréal and French organizations, including a presentation of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Orchestre Métropolitain du grand Montréal. He appeared twice in Québec last season, when he participated in the Gala de l'Opéra and returned in the role of El Dancaïro (Carmen) in May 2006. He was Marcello (La Boheme) in the October 2006 production of the Opéra de Québec, participated in the 2006 edition of the Gala de l'Opéra and will interpret Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) in March 2007 at the Vancouver Opera and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette here in Québec in May.

Raphaëlle Paquette
Raphaëlle PAQUET, soprano (Cristal)

Raphaëlle PAQUET has earned a Bachelor's degree in classical performance, after fifteen years of classical piano lessons and nine years of classical dance training. Thanks to her complete artistic education, she is an artist who commands the attention of critics. She has received a number of grants, including an award from the Fondation Jacqueline Desmarais and the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques. As the third prizewinner of the Concours national des Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, she sang in a number of concerts with Gino Quilico and Joseph Rouleau. Later, she was offered a number of roles. She has been Adèle in Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss, Amélia in Amelia Goes to the Ball, by Menotti. She gave a memorable interpretation of the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, and was brilliant in the roles of Olympia (Les Contes d'Hoffmann) Caroline (Le Testament de tante Caroline by Offenbach), Frasquita (Carmen), and Lucy (The Telephone). She has also given a number of solo recitals and was a member of the cast of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra's concert version of Starmania by Luc Plamondon, a concert that was repeated at the Palais des Congrès in Paris and again at the Festival d'été de Québec. Here in Québec, she held the role of Oscar in Un Ballo in maschera in October 2004 and returned for the Gala de l'Opéra. She will soon lend her voice to Missia in Die Lustige Witwe for the Société d'art Lyrique du Royaume and Nadia, in the same work, at the Opéra Théâtre de Rimouski.

Pascal Charbonneau
Pascal CHARBONNEAU, tenor (Ziggy))

Pascal Charbonneau completed most of his musical training at McGill University before studying at the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal for three years. This young Canadian tenor has already interpreted a number of roles including, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), Jupiter (Semele), Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Gonzalve (L'Heure espagnole), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with Opera Ontario - a role that he repeated with great success at the Aspen Music Festival, Brighella (Ariadne auf Naxos) andRemendado (Carmen) at l’Opéra de Montréal. He also enjoys oratorios, and has sung with the Violons du Roy, Tafelmusik, the Cincinnati Opera and the Opéra de Flandres. In September 2004, after having won the Oratorio/lied award at the Concours International de Chant Julian Gayarre, he was offered four recitals in Brussels and in Spain. In the near future, he will participate in an international tour with Les Arts Florissants and will sing the Messiah with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Krista de Silva
Krista de SILVA, mezzo-soprano (Sadia)

Having received her diploma from McGill University under the guidance of Thérèse Sevadjian, Krista de Silva is working on her Master's degree, and at the very beginning of her career. She has undertaken a number of roles, including the title role of Mignon by Ambroise Thomas at the Summer Operatic Lyric Theater in August 2005. She has been in the cast of a number of different productions: Florence in Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten, Quickly in Falstaff by Verdi (2004); Idamante in Idomeneo by Mozart at the McGill Opera and has sung in both Haendel's Messiah and Mozart's Requiem. In March 2006, she held the title role in Haendel's Radamisto at the McGill Opera. Audiences in Québec have been able to appreciate her during the 2005 and 2006 editions of the Gala de l’Opéra. She will participate this year in a production of Berlioz's la Mort de Cléopâtre.

Grégoire Legendre