Romance and Revolution: Music from Les Misérables & More!In celebration of their 5th anniversary, Productions Coracole and l’Orchestre Philharmonique Équitable in collaboration with La Boîte Vocale proudly present the beloved musical Les Misérables in concert form.
“If you wish to understand what revolution is, call it progress; and if you wish to understand what progress is, call it tomorrow.”- Cosette, Les Misérables
Romance and Revolution: Music from Les Misérables & More!
In celebration of their 5th anniversary, Productions Coracole and l’Orchestre Philharmonique Équitable in collaboration with La Boîte Vocale proudly present four bilingual representations of the beloved musical Les Miserables in concert form, along with accompanying music from the Romantic era.
Musical and theatergoers can enjoy this treat throughout the month of May with up-coming shows both in English (May 25th at 3 pm) and in French (May 24th at 7:30 pm) at Salle Émile Legault, 613, avenue Sainte-Croix, Ville-Saint-Laurent. Throughout the run, proceeds go towards Kids Help Phone/ Jeunesse, J’écoute, that offers 24-hour, anonymous phone and web counselling.
Audience members will enjoy the creativity of Conductor, André Gauthier; Stage Director, Coralie Heiler; Vocal Director, Marc Deslandes and Vocal Ensemble Director, Frédéric Vogel in this sublime performance that includes a full cast of versatile singers, detailed costumes and interesting visuals.
Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that was adapted for the stage in 1980 with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg.
The story takes place in early 19th-century France during the Romantic period. The convict Jean Valjean is released from a French prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread for his starving nephew as well as for his subsequent attempts to escape from prison. Jean Valjean’s eternal quest for redemption leads him off the beaten path where he makes interesting encounters with various characters who are all swept up into the revolutionary period in France. This was a time where artistic, literary, and intellectual movements were set in motion due to a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. The play portrays the raw nature of humanity as the main characters grip with the realities of a harsh life and fight persistently for the ideals of compassion, dreams, hope, sacrifice and love.
I was privileged to attend both the English and French versions of the play and was impressed by the powerful voices, versatility and energy of the cast members. Both versions conveyed the passion the actors felt towards the ideals of justice set forth by the narrative. Overall, vocal Director Marc Deslandes did a wonderful job of teaching thirty people to sing in two languages.
Kenny Stein, singing the role of Valjean in French, feels that the artistic collaboration between Anglophones and Francophones is so important in the context of Montreal’s current political climate. “Our cast is a 50/50 mix of the two languages, and the majority of us are cast in both versions, which means we spend our rehearsals together. We have also made an extra effort to socialize outside of rehearsal. The time we spent getting to know each other as individuals directly contributes to the fight against intolerance; it cultivates understanding and acceptance of each other.”
Alisha Ruiss, playing Fantine in the English version, hopes people leave the theater wanting to be better citizens, “I would like audiences to think about sacrificing for the sake of others, like Fantine, Valjean, Eponine and many other characters.”
For Stage Director Coralie Heiler, who plays Cosette in the French version of the show and is the Artistic Director of Productions Coracole, this is a dream come true, “Working with a live orchestra has always been a dream of mine and this is the perfect project. I adore the music and the story of Les Misérables. These songs are treasured, and the fundamental narrative of adversity, passion and justice, is as recognizable today as in the time of Victor Hugo’s novel.”
André Gauthier, conductor for l’Orchestre Philharmonique Équitable (OPÉ), was drawn to the music, an equal balance of romantic-era ballads and military styles- glorious, stirring and emotional. Gauthier would like audiences to be touched by Javert’s transformation, “If someone as closed-minded as him could change, then to some extent, anyone could. The characters’ evolution throughout the story line resonates strongly for me.”
Rounding out the show are orchestra pieces written in the Romantic era, including Alexander Glazunov's 'Le Petit Adagio' from The Seasons, recognizable in Quebec as the theme song from Radio-Canada’s Un homme et son péché and Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut.
Whether you choose to enjoy the English or French production, this unique project will present a full orchestra on stage, contrary to most local musical theater productions which use pre-recorded tracks. Here, audiences will enjoy a wall of sound and vision produced by 100 dedicated, passionate and skilled artists on stage, including beautiful period costumes and video projections.
Romance and Revolution: Music from Les Misérables & More has two more runs at
Salle Émile Legault, 613, avenue Sainte-Croix, Ville-Saint-Laurent
In English: May 24 at 7:30pm
In French: May 25th at 3 :00 pm
Tickets: Adults- $35, Children under 12- $28