Friday, May 20, 2016

Barihunk duo in world premiere of gay-themed Les Feluettes

Tenor Jean-Michel Richer & barihunk Étienne Dupuis (right in both photos)
In March, we briefly mentioned the world premiere of Australian composer Kevin March and Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's opera Les Feluettes (Lilies) at Opéra de Montréal. The production opens tomorrow and runs through May 28. It features barihunk Étienne Dupuis as the main character Simon Doucet and hunkentenor Jean-Michel Richer as the Count Vallier de Tilly, who is in love with Simon. Barihunk Tomislav Lavoie plays the crucial role of Father Saint-Michel.

Tenor Jean-Michel Richer and barihunk Étienne Dupuis (right)
The opera is based on the play, which tells the story of the confession of an aging prisoner to a bishop. Through the confession we learn that the bishop and the prisoner were part of a gay love triangle and that the bishop was responsible for the death of a young man many years ago. The play was was made into a film called Lilies, which was directed by John Greyson. All of the roles in the opera, including the female roles of La Comtesse Marie-Laure de Tilly and Mademoiselle Lydie-Anne de Rozier, are sung by men as the story is told by actors in an all-male prison.

The term Feluette is Quebec expression with its root in the word fluet, (thin, frail in appearance) which, in common parlance of the time, referred to men who were weak, frail, or effeminate.

The opera will be performed at Pacific Opera Victoria from April 20-30 with Jean-Michel Richer reprising his role. Tickets for the Montréal performances are available online.

You can read more about the opera in Richard Burnett's article in DailyXtra.

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