A man of many talents that have manifested themselves in theatre and film directing, drama and acting, Robert Lepage has won worldwide recognition thanks to his original approach to practicing the arts and as a result of having shattered many dogmas of the classical directorial style and not in the least by wide employment of the newest technologies. Lepage derives inspiration from the modern history and his challenging and unconventional stagings transcend all borders.
Robert Lepage was born in Quebec in 1957. At quite an early age he showed interest in geography. After gaining practical knowledge of many arts Lepage finally opted for theatre. In 1975 at the age of 17 he joined the Drama Conservatoire in Quebec City. After taking a course of studies in Paris he returned to Quebec where he took part in a variety of projects gaining extensive experience as an actor, playwright and director. Two years later he joined Theatre Repere.
International Acclaim from the Very Stat
In 1984 Lepage’s play “Circulation” toured across Canada and took the prize in the Best Production Nomination at International Theatre Festival in Quebec. In the following year he became internationally acclaimed for the staging of “The Dragons Trilogy” that was followed by “Vinci” (1986), “Lie Detector” (1987) and “Tectonic Plates” (1988). In 1988 Lepage set up his own company “Robert Lepage Inc.”
Between 1989 and 1993 Lepage occupied the post of Artistic Director of the French Theatre at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. In the meantime he continued working on the projects of his own. During that period he directed “Needles and Opium” (1991), “Coriolanus”, “Macbeth” and “The Tempest” (1992). Lepage was the first North American to stage Shakespeare at the Royal National Theatre (“The Midsummer Night Dream”) in 1992.
Ex-Machina – a Turning Point
A turning point in Lepage’s career was the founding of his own multidisciplinary company Ex-Machina in 1994. Under his management the new company realized a series of productions including “Seven Streams of the Ota River” (1994), “The Midsummer Night Dream” (1995), and the monoplay “Elsinore” (1995)
Le Caserne (The Barrack)
In 1998 Robert Lepage established the International Production Centre Le Caserne in Quebec City. The venue accommodated Lepage and his team’s productions of “The Geometry of Miracles” (1998), “Greenwich Mean Time” (1999), “The Other Side of the Moon” (2000), “The Blue House” (2001), the new version of “The Dragons Trilogy” with a new cast (2003) and “Busker’s Opera” (2004). Those were followed by “The Andersen Project” (2005), “Lipsynch” (2007), “The Blue Dragon” (2008), “Eonnagata” (2009).
The production of “The Cards” consists of four parts: “THE PEAKS”, “THE HEARTS”, “THE DIAMONDS” and “THE CLUBS”. Each explores the world created in keeping with the values embodied by each of the suits. “THE PEAKS” premiered in Madrid in May 2012; “THE HEARTS” opened in the autumn of 2013.
Rock-Concerts, Exhibitions and Architectural Projections
Robert Lepage is often invited to apply his talents in new spheres. In 1993 he staged Peter Gabriel’s concert programme “Secret World Tour”. The collaboration with the British musician continued in 2012 with the staging of “Growing Up Tour”.
Lepage’s triumphant advent to the world of grand opera took place in 1993 with the staging of two one-act operas “Bluebeard’s castle” and “The Anticipation”. Those were followed by the operas “The Damnation of Faust” (1999), first shown at the Saito Kinen Festival in Mazumoto (Japan) and later presented at the Paris National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
The opera “The Gold of Rhein”, a prologue to the cycle “The Ring of the Nibelungs” was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2010. The entire cycle was presented during the 2010/2011 season. The opera “The Tempest” by Thomas Edison (libretto by Meredith Oaks) based on Shakespeare’s like-named play was premiered in Quebec City and New York in 2012.