Robert Lepage

Robert Lepage

The mentor

Published in 2016

Demonstrating a virtuosity in every type of theatre craft, Canadian Robert Lepage has made his mark as an equally talented theatre, opera and film director, playwright and actor whose multimedia, often-bilingual and avant-garde work has captivated audiences worldwide. “Robert is a real visionary, a transformational catalyst,” says Peter Gabriel for whom Lepage has directed two world tours. Passionate about theatre early on, following his studies at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Québec and a year in Paris, Lepage began shaking up classical stage direction at Quebec’s Théâtre Repère. He soon gained an international reputation, first with the six-hour-long Dragons’ Trilogy (1985) and then as artistic director of the Théâtre français at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (1989–1993). Lepage founded his multidisciplinary production company, Ex Machina, in 1994, and began producing a steady output of plays such as the The Seven Streams of the River Ota (1994) and, from 1997, at La Caserne, his production centre in Quebec City, such mould-breaking productions as The Far Side of the Moon (2000) and The Andersen Project (2005), which he wrote and directed. Recent works include SPADES (2012) and HEARTS (2013), from what will be the Playing Cards tetralogy, and 887, a solo performed by Lepage in Toronto in July 2015. Concurrently, since the early 1990s, Lepage has gained renown in cinema and opera. He appeared in the film Jésus de Montréal (1988), directed by Denys Arcand, co-directed Triptych (2013) and, from 2010–2012, famously directed Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera. In June 2015, he staged The Tempest opera in Vienna. Equally known for his direction of rock shows, circuses and exhibits, he has designed a permanent Cirque du Soleil show, (2005), in Las Vegas; The Image Mill (2008), the largest-ever architectural projection; and the lighting installation Aurora Borealis (2009), both in Quebec City. Bestowed with numerous awards, Lepage received the 2012 Académie des lettres du Québec Medal and the Glenn Gould Prize in 2014.