Serge Denoncourt makes his POV debut directing Les Feluettes, a co-commission and co-production with Opéra de Montréal, which made its 2016 world première to great acclaim in Montreal. Serge is now directing the second staging of the opera, in Victoria. He knows the play on which the opera is based (Michel Marc Bouchard's Les Feluettes), having directed it twice before: in 2002 at Montreal's Espace Go (winning the People's Choice Masque and Masque for Best Production) and in 2005 in English, at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre.
Serge Denoncourt is a dynamic presence on the theatre scene. The former director of Théâtre du Trident, co-founder and artistic director of Théâtre de l'Opsis for ten years, and a renowned stage director, he has combined his love of the great classics with his interest in the 20th century repertoire and Quebec theatre. He is also active in opera and in other forms of popular entertainment, directing shows by Arturo Brachetti and Eros Ramazzotti, and working with actors on the Cirque du Soleil series Solström. He also designed and directed the Cirque du Soleil's Believe in Las Vegas.
Recent credits include Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf? (La Compagnie Jean Duceppe); Un tramway nommé désir (Espace GO); La divine illusion (Théâtre du Nouveau Monde); Dialogues des carmélites (Opéra de Montréal).
While a prison does not promise much in visual variety, director Serge Denoncourt made a little — a crucifix, a hot-air balloon, a giant shroud, a few choice projections – go a long way. Party scenes at the Roberval Hotel (in the Lac-St-Jean area) as presented behind bars in institutional grey had an interesting resonance. Life, after all, can be like that.
Arthur Kaptainis, Special to Montreal Gazette, Review of Les Feluettes, Opéra de Montréal, 2016
The set design also achieves a lot with very little: a double layer of high, black prison bars, frequently shifted to create a varied sense of space and confinement, are augmented by a few props, such as a bathtub and a big white balloon. Dramatic lighting and projections do the rest in a cohesive, uncomplicated production directed by Serge Denoncourt.
Patricia Maunder, Bachtrack, Review of Les Feluettes, Opéra de Montréal, 2016