Les Feluettes is the first opera by playwright, screenwriter, and exhibition curator Michel Marc Bouchard. Co-commissioned and co-produced by Pacific Opera Victoria and Opéra de Montréal, with music by Kevin March, the opera made its world première in Montreal in May, 2016. It is being staged again in Victoria in April, 2017, and in Edmonton in October, 2017.
He is writing his second opera, La reine-garçon, for the Canadian Opera Company, with music by Ana Sokolovic.
Michel Marc Bouchard, OC, CQ and Member of the Academy of Letters of Quebec, has written some 25 plays, which have been translated into over 15 languages and performed all over the world. A recipient of the National Arts Centre Award, the Chalmers Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Primo Arte Candoni (Italy), the Prix de SACD (Paris), and the Lambda Literary Award (New York), he is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Knight of the Order of Quebec, and a member of Quebec's Academy of Letters.
His best known works are: Lilies (Les Feluettes); The Orphan Muses (Les Muses orphelines) ; Down Dangerous Passes Road (Le Chemin des passes dangereuses); The Tale of Teeka (L’Histoire de l’oie); The Coronation Voyage (Le Voyage du Couronnement); Heat Waves (Les Grandes Chaleurs); Tom at the Farm (Tom à la ferme); Christina, the Girl King (Christine, la reine-garçon); and The Divine, a Play for Sarah Bernhardt (La Divine Illusion).
The English translations of his works, all of them by Linda Gaboriau, have been staged or produced in English-speaking Canada at the Factory Theatre; the Passe-Muraille; the Vancouver Playhouse; the Touchstone Theatre; the Centaur Theatre; the Belfry Theatre; Buddies in Bad Times; the National Arts Centre; Can Stage; as well as at the Shaw Festival and Stratford Festival. Michel Marc’s translated works have been seen abroad at New York’s Ubu Rep and Brooklyn Academy of Music; Chicago’s Cor Theater; the American Repertory Theater in San Francisco; Belfast’s Prime Cut Theatre; and London’s Royal Court Theatre.
Several of his plays have been adapted for the screen, namely: Lilies (John Greyson, 1996) Génie Award for Best Motion Picture; The Tale of Teeka (Tim Southam, 1998) Gémeaux Award for Best Dramatic Program; The Orphan Muses (Robert Favreau, 2002); Heat Waves (Sophie Lorain, 2005); Tom at the Farm (Xavier Dolan, 2013) FRIPRESCI Critics Award at the Mostra of Venice; and Christina, the Girl King (Mika Kaurismäki, 2015) Audience Award at the Montreal World Film Festival.
Michel Marc also collaborated with Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon on Cité Mémoire, a multi-media installation homage to the City of Montreal's 375th anniversary. He is currently working on a major Italian initiative that is bringing together a group of European writers for a project whose focus is the eclectic works of James Bidgood.
M. Bouchard was born in Saint-Cœur-de-Marie (Alma), Quebec, in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, not far from Roberval, where Les Feluettes is set. He studied theatre at the University of Ottawa.
Les Feluettes ... is a rare case of a full-size and full-length contemporary opera that holds the stage while remaining artistically true to itself.... The all-Canadian cast ... could hardly have been better chosen ... There was not a moment in the unfolding of the central romantic story that seemed less than universal ...
Arthur Kaptainis, Special to Montreal Gazette, Review of Les Feluettes, Opéra de Montréal, 2016
New operas with sufficient force and good fortune to become fully staged productions by a company of note are rare beasts ... which makes Les Feluettes something precious indeed ... Les Feluettes may be rooted in Québec, but this powerful and darkly beautiful opera seems likely to flourish much further afield.
Patricia Maunder, Bachtrack.com, Review of Les Feluettes, Opéra de Montréal, 2016
Avec son romantisme consommé, sa théâtralité exacerbée et son abondance de ressorts tragiques, la pièce de Michel Marc Bouchard avait tout pour servir de trame à un opéra.
With its consummate romanticism, its heightened theatricality and its abundance of tragic impulse, the play by Michel Marc Bouchard had all the ingredients to be the basis of an opera.
Christian Saint-Pierre, Le Devoir, Review of Les Feluettes, Opéra de Montréal, 2016