Slideshow The Busker's Opera

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The Busker's Opera
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  • The Busker's Opera
    Based on The Beggar's Opera by John Gay
  • Original design & direction by
    Robert Lepage
  • Musical direction
    Martin Bélanger
  • Assisted by
    Steve Normandin
  • Dramaturg
    Kevin McCoy
  • Music composed, arranged and performed by
    Frédérike Bédard
    Martin Bélanger
    Julie Fainer
    Claire Gignac
    Frédéric Lebrasseur
    Véronika Makdissi-Warren
    Kevin McCoy
    Steve Normandin
    Marco Poulin
    Jean René
  • Contribution to the musical arrangements
    Jacques Leblanc
  • Text
    John Gay
  • Adaptation
    Kevin McCoy, Robert Lepage
  • Assistant to the director and stage manager
    Félix Dagenais
  • Assistant set designer
    Marco Poulin, Véronique Dumont, Paul Bourque
  • Assistant lighting designer
    Laurent Routhier
  • Costume designer
    Yasmina Giguère
  • Assisted by
    Isabel Poulin
  • Seamstresses
    Janie Gagnon, Louise Guay, Sophie Royer
  • Technical designer
    Tobie Horswill
  • Properties
    Sylvie Courbron
  • Images produced by
    Jacques Collin, Lionel Arnould
  • Set building
    Conception visuelle Jean-Marc Cyr
  • Choreography consultant
    Denise Biggi (Les Sortilèges)
  • English coaching
    Cynthia Gates
  • Robert Lepage's agent
    Lynda Beaulieu
  • Production manager
    Louise Roussel
  • Production assistants
    Marie-Pierre Gagné, Emmanuelle Nappert
  • Technical director
    Paul Bourque
  • Lighting manager
    Laurent Routhier
  • Sound manager
    Frédéric Auger
  • Video manager
    David Leclerc
  • Costume and property manager
    Sylvie Courbron
  • Head stagehand
    Frédéric Labelle
  • Produced by
    Ex Machina
  • In coproduction with
    Festival Montréal en Lumière
    La Filature, Scène National de Mulhouse
    Maison des Arts, Créteil
  • Associate producer, Europe, Japan
    Richard Castelli
  • Associate producer, United Kingdom
    Michael Morris
  • Associate producer, The Americas, Asia (except Japan) Australia, NZ
    Menno Plukker
  • Producer for Ex Machina
    Michel Bernatchez
  • Guest artist
    Lucie the dog
  • Aknowledgements
    Doctor John Christopher Pepusch
  • Ex Machina is funded by Quebec's Arts and Literature Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Fonds de stabilisation et de consolidation des arts et de la culture du Québec, the City of Quebec.

The Busker's Opera


Freely adapted from The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay’s 18th century masterpiece, The Busker’s Opera (the street musician’s opera) is a new musical work for the theatre. The show, directed by Robert Lepage, is performed by a group of musicians, singers and a DJ. Together, they have composed more than 30 new songs as well as reinvented Gay’s classic story for today’s audience. Fans of the original will recognize the characters of Macheath and his jealous lovers, Polly and Lucy; the prostitute, Jenny; as well as the ruthless Mr. and Mrs. Peachum and the corrupt Mr. Lockit. In The Busker’s Opera, however, the characters do not belong to the criminal underworld, but rather to the underworld of the music industry.

Like its source, The Busker’s Opera begins in London, but the show quickly changes gears and embarks on a Trans-Atlantic journey, first landing in New York and then traveling south through Atlantic City and New Orleans before arriving at its final destination, Huntsville, Texas, principal capital punishment centers in the U.S. Somewhere between road trip and rock show, classical concert and the zydeco of the bayou, between the street musician and the sharks who seek to hold the keys to power, fame and fortune, the show concerns itself with the artistic freedom that remains after the steamroller of the music industry has driven by. Irreverent and eclectic.

The play was first performed in February 2004 at the Spectrum de Montréal as part of the Montreal High Lights Festival.


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