Slideshow 1984
// Tours


  • Music by Lorin Maazel
    libretto by J. D. McClatchy and Thomas Meehan
    after the novel by George Orwell
  • Production
    Big Brother Productions in collaboration with the Royal Opera House (London) and Ex Machina
  • Director
    Robert Lepage
  • Assistant Director
    Neilson Vignola
  • Set Designer
    Carl Fillion
  • Costume Designer
    Yasmina Giguère
  • Lighting
    Michel Beaulieu
  • Choreographer
    Sylvain Émard
    assisted by Marc Boivin
  • Video images
    Lionel Arnould
    in collaboration with Jacques Collin and Mesmer
  • Projection Designer
    Jacques Collin
  • Properties Designer
    Patricia Ruel
  • Sound Effects
    Jean-Sébastien Côté
  • Assistant Costume Designer
    Isabel Poulin
  • Workshop Performers (Caserne)
    Arielle Warnke St-Pierre
    Anne-Bruce Falconer
    Harold Rhéaume
  • Set Construction
    Scène Éthique
  • Costume Production
  • Technical Director
    Michel Gosselin
    assisted by Cybèle Landry
  • Technical Consultant
    Tobie Horswill
  • Technicians in Quebec
    Patrick Durnin
    Technical Director
    Martin Genois
    Sylvain Beaulieu
    Richard Côté
  • Production Manager
    Bernard Gilbert



George Orwell’s depiction of the dictatorship of Oceania lends itself well to theatre. Crammed with surveillance cameras and telescreens, corrupted by denunciation and lies, Orwell’s universe inspired a set that uses transparency and movement, as well as a large electronic apparatus, to provide constant surveillance.

The scene opens at the Ministry of Truth, where the staff have gathered to express their hatred towards the enemy of the State. Winston Smith’s fury, however, is not directed at Eastasia, the enemy continent, but at Big Brother himself. As a Ministry employee, Winston is a disillusioned witness to the falsifying of history in favour of the one-party State. He keeps a journal, a deeply subversive act, and he and his colleague Julia become lovers, also forbidden. Is another world possible? Can the dictatorship be overthrown? Together they nourish this utopian hope in a secret hideout in the Proles’ neighbourhood, where they believe the telescreens cannot spy on them - until Big Brother destroys their dream. They are separated and tortured, and each finally denounces the other. Deadened by Victory gin and electric shocks, Julia and Winston are reintegrated into society. The opera ends with Winston singing of his love for Big Brother.


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