Slideshow The Rake's Progress
// Tours


  • Opera in Three Acts by Igor Stravinsky
    libretto by W.H. Auden and Chestern Kallman
  • Coproduction with Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels, Belgium)
    Opéra de Lyon (France)
    San Francisco Opera (US)
    Royal Opera House (London, UK)
    Teatro Real (Madrid, Spain)
  • Design and Production
    Ex Machina
  • Director
    Robert Lepage
  • Assistant Director
    Neilson Vignola and Sybille Wilson
  • Set Designer
    Carl Fillion
  • Costume Designer
    François Barbeau
  • Choreographer
    Michael Keegan-Dolan
  • Lighting
    Etienne Boucher
  • Video
    Boris Firquet
  • Properties Designer
    Patricia Ruel
  • Make-up Artist
    Catherine Friedland (Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie)
  • Assistant Choreographer
    Rachel Poirier
  • Assistant Costume Designers
    Valérie Lévesque and Virginie Leclerc
  • Choreographic Research
    Anne Barry
  • Workshop Performers
    Arielle Warnke St-Pierre
    Rosalie Trudel
    Elinor Fueter
    Tom Casey
    Dominic Caron
    Christophe Garcia
  • Properties Research
    Ronald Fauteux
  • Make-up Research
    Sylvie Rolland Provost
  • Set Construction
    Scène Éthique (Varennes)
  • Costume Production
    Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels)
  • Inflatable camper
    Airbulle (Montreal)
  • Technical Director
    Michel Gosselin
    assisted David-Alexandre Chabot
  • Technicians in Quebec
    Patrick Durnin (Technical Director)
    Chloé Blanchet
    François Bélanger
    Frédérick Gasse
    Maxime Gosselin
    Richard Laroque
    Sylvain Beaulieu
    Daniel Bernatchez
  • Production Manager
    Bernard Gilbert
  • Production Assistant
    Viviane Paradis

The Rake's Progress


The 18th century engravings of William Hogarth inspired Stravinsky’s cyclothymic opera with its surrealistic tone, while Ex Machina’s version is more reminiscent of America in the 1950s.

The curtain rises on Ann Trulove and Tom Rakewell teasing each other in a field near an oil derrick. A panoramic screen shows a Texan landscape in the distance where more derricks are pumping out the wealth of the Truloves. When Tom exclaims, “I wish I had money!” Nick Shadow emerges from the derrick to inform Tom that an unknown uncle has left him a fortune. One by one, the various techniques Shadow will use to win Tom’s soul emerge from below, including a film studio, a blow-up camper, a car, a swimming pool and a graveyard.

Quickly disillusioned with his new life, Tom plunges into alcohol and drugs. He impulsively marries Baba the Turk, the bearded lady, on their opening night. A little later, at the end of his patience, he drowns his wife in their swimming pool. In a last attempt to salvage his dignity, he invests in television, the latest technological invention that is going to feed the masses, but loses everything in this noble project. At an auction of his belongings, Baba is resurrected, and tells Ann that Tom still loves her.

Tom and Nick settle their accounts in the neon sign graveyard in Las Vegas, where Rakewell finally realizes he’s been dealing with the Devil. Tom wins the card game, but before Shadow descends to Hell he inflicts Tom with insanity. Tom believes he is Adonis, and surrounded by his fellow lunatics at the asylum, he meets Ann, his Venus, for the last time. As fragments of his life parade across the common room TV screen, alternating with live close-ups, his meteoric career reaches its moving finale.


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