FRANÇOIS RACINE

Stage Director

BIOGRAPHY

Canadian director Francois Racine is firmly established as one of the most visionary leaders on today’s opera scene, engaged by companies throughout North America and beyond.

 

Named “Best Artist of 2008-09” by Seattle Opera for his powerful staging of Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung, Mr. Racine received accolades for Cosi fan Tutte with Pacific Opera Victoria and for his innovative interpretation of Dido and Aeneas in Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland in 2010.

 

While a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, Mr. Racine assisted Robert LePage on his productions of Erwartung and Bluebeard’s Castle, and later supervised and restaged performances at Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Melbourne Festivals and later in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Cincinnati, Montreal, Quebec and Seattle.

 

Francois Racine has a long association with Pacific Opera Victoria (Carmen, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème) as well as the Canadian Opera Company (Un Ballo in Maschera, Carmen, Norma), and L’Opera de Montréal (Rigoletto, Macbeth, Werther).

 

In collaboration with Kent Nagano and L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Mr. Racine staged concert versions of Tannhauser, Norma, La Sonnambula and Saint-Francois d’Assise (Messiaen) and with Yannick Nezet-Seguin and Orchestre Metropolitain at Orford Art Centre, he staged La Clemenza di Tito.

 

Francois works frequently with young artists, and is a guest professor for the Opera Studio of McGill University, where he directed Tragedie de Carmen, and La Rondine. In 2005 he was awarded the Prix Opus for Evenement de l’annee for his production of Somers’ Louis Riel. He returns to McGill to direct Handel’s Rinaldo, and writes and directs "La recreation de Mozart" for Jeunesses Musicales in December, 2012. This summer, students at Richard Margison's Highlands Opera Studio were directed in "La Tragedie de Carmen", and Francois was Acting Coach for singers at Centre d'Arts d'Orford.

 

Mr. Racine works closely with Atelier Lyrique de L’Opera de Montréal, where he has directed productions of Cosi fan Tutte, Dido and Aeneas and Amelia Goes to the Ball. In 2012, Francois directed La Traviata and Pagliacci for Montreal's Opera Immediat.

 

As Opera Acting Professor at L’Universite de Montreal, Francois directed Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande in 2012 and returned this season for Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.

BEST ARTIST, 2008-09 SEASON, SEATTLE OPERA

 

Directing Dido and Aeneas with Theatre Bleue, Switzerland –

"From an aesthetic point of view, François Racine’s staging is a gem. The subtle lighting effects, using a colour palette that seems to reflect the characters’ very soul, the coherent style and the use of a refined body language (choreography by Etienne Frey) make this a mesmerizing show.”

Denise de Ceuninck, L’Express

SELECTED ENGAGEMENTS

Pacific Opera Victoria | Carmen, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème

Canadian Opera Company | Un Ballo in Maschera, Carmen, Norma

L'Oprera de Montréal | Rigoletto, Macbeth, Werther

PRESS KIT

HEADSHOTS

DOCUMENTS

Updated Mar 2017

Francois Racine, Stage Director

RESUME

Stage Director, Opera

2017

Nina (Paisiello)

L’ivrogne corrigé (Gluck)

L’enfant et les sortilèges

2016

Didon et Énée

Vérismo (concert version)

Aïda

Cosi fan tutte

La Flûte enchantée

Prima la Musica & Le directeur de théâtre

Gounod à l’apéro (concert version)

Nuit à Venise

La Vie Parisienne

L’Elisir d’amore

Le Nozze di Figaro

2015

Madama Butterfly

Les mamelles de Tirésias

L’Etoile

Orfeo

Madama Butterfly

Nabucco

2014

La Veuve Joyeuse

Gianni Schicchi/Suor Angelica

Madama Butterfly

Dido and Aeneas / The Old Maid and the Thief

2013

Romeo et Juliette

2012

Pelléas et Mélisande

La Traviata

 

Rinaldo

La Tragedie de Carmen

Pagliacci

2011

Die Fledermaus

Eugene Onegin

Barber of Seville

201

Rigoletto

Tragédie de Carmen

Dido and Aeneas

Cosi fan Tutte

2009

Cosi fan Tutte

La Rondine

La Sonnambula

2008

Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein

Coucou Musique

Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly

Tannhäuser

Norma

Saint-François d’Assise

2006-07

The Magic Flute (Canadian Tour)

2006

La Bohème

Norma

Bach to Tango

Suor Angelica

L’Heure Espagnol

2005-06

Die Fledermaus (Canadian Tour)

2005

Louis Riel

Bach to Tango

La Clemenza di Tito

Tosca

Tosca

Dido and Aeneas

Gianni Schicchi

The Nightingale

2004

Carmen

2003-04

Hansel et Gretel (Canadian Tour)

2003

The Magic Flute (Excerpts)

2002-Present

Annabelle Canto

2002

La Bohème

Die Fledermaus

Le Nozze di Figaro

Amelia Goes to the Ball

La Traviata

2001

L’Isola Disabitata

1998

Werther

1996

West Side Story

1995

Lucia di Lammermoor

Macbeth

The Bartered Bride

1994

Daughter of the Regiment

La Traviata

Louise

1993

La Bohème

Carmen

A Midsummer Night's Dream

1992

Die Entfürung aus dem Serail

Die Fledermaus

1991-92

The Impresario (Canadian Tour)

1991

Street Scene

Guacamayo Old Song and Dance

1990

The Medium

Amahl and the Night Visitors

1989

Paris à Nous Deux

Le Nozze di Figaro (Concert version)

L’Étoile

Un Ballo in Maschera

1988

La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein

1987

Barbe-Bleue

1986

L’Ile de Tulipatan

Les Bavards

 

Conservatoire de Montréal

Conservatoire de Montréal

Université de Montréal

 

Université de Montréal

Tempêtes & Passions, Québec

Opéra de Montréal

Productions Alma Viva (Opera in the parc)

Camp Musical Lac St-Jean

Festival Opéra de Québec

Festival Opéra de Québec

Théâtre Lyrique de la Montérégie

Conservatoire de Montréal

McGill University

Université de Montréal

 

Opéra de Montréal

Universite de Montréal

Universite de Montréal

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

Opera de Montreal

Seattle Opera

 

Opera de Quebec

Universite de Montréal

Opera Lyra Ottawa

Conservatoire de musique de Montréal

 

Opera Immediat

 

Université de Montréal

Opéra Immédiat (cabaret version at the Rialto)

L'Opera de Quebec

Opera Studio McGill

Highlands Opera Studio, Haliburton ON

Opera Immediat, Montreal

 

Opéra de Québec

Opéra de Québec

Festival de Saint-Eustache

 

Opéra de Montréal

Opera Studio McGill

Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland

Pacific Opera Victoria

 

Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal

Opera Studio McGill

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Concert version)

 

Opéra Bouffe du Québec

Jeunesses Musicales du Canada

Pacific Opera Victoria

London Symphony

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Concert version)

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Concert version)

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Concert version)

 

Jeunesses Musicales du Canada/Opéra de Québec

 

Opéra de Quebec

Canadian Opera Company

Festival de Lanaudière

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

 

Jeunesses Musicales de Canada

 

Opera Studio McGill

Centre d’arts d’Orford

Centre d'Orford

Pacific Opera Victoria

London Symphony

Atelier Lyrique, Opéra de Montréal

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

 

Jeunesses Musicales de Canada/ Atelier Lyrique de L’Opéra de Montréal

 

Atelier Lyrique, Opéra de Montréal

 

Jeunesses Musicales de Canada

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

Atelier Lyrique, Opéra de Montréal

Opéra de Montréal

 

Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

 

Opera Studio McGill

 

Cincinnati Opera

Opéra de Montréal

Opera Studio McGill

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

Canadian Opera Company

Opera Studio McGill

 

Edmonton Opera Association

Canadian Opera Company

Opera Studio McGill

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

Pacific Opera Victoria

 

Jeunesses Musicales du Canada

 

Opera Studio McGill

Canadian Opera Company

 

Opera Studio McGill

Symphony Nova Scotia

 

Music Faculty, McGill University

Music Faculty, McGill University

Opéra Comique du Québec

Canadian Opera Company

 

Opéra Comique du Québec

 

Opéra Comique du Québec

 

Opéra Comique du Québec

Opéra Comique du Québec

VIDEO

François Racine

Bluebeard's Castle & Erwartung Director's Talk

Seattle Opera

 

Seattle Opera (Original production, Robert Lepage)

 

Opéra de Québec

 

Edmonton Opera

 

Canadian Opera Company/concept Nic Muni

 

Opéra de Montréal

 

Cincinnati Opera

Canadian Opera Company

 

Vancouver Opera

 

Hong Kong Arts Festival (Concept, Stephen Lawless)

 

Los Angeles Opera (Concept, Stephen Lawless)

Hong Kong Arts Festival  (Concept, Stephen Lawless)

 

Los Angeles Opera  (Concept, Stephen Lawless)

Associate Director, Opera

2009

Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung

2008

Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung

2006

Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung

2005

Macbeth

2004

Macbeth

2001

Macbeth

Macbeth

1999

Macbeth

1995

Un Ballo in Maschera

1992

Ariadne auf Naxos

Tosca

1991

Cosí Fan Tutte

 

Brooklyn Academy of Music of New York

Canadian Opera Company

 

Canadian Opera Company

 

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

 

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

Assistant Director, Opera

1993

Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung

Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung

1992

Werther

1991

Albert Herring

La Traviata

Le Nozze di Figaro

Die Fledermaus

1990

La Rondine

Madama Butterfly

Der Rosenkavalier

 

Salle Maisonneuve

 

Centre Culturel de Beloeil

Collage, Productions Les Chants du Coeur

Théåtre de Saint-Mathais

 

Production TVSM, Centre Culturel de Beloeil

Productions TVSM, Théåtre de Marieville

Collage de L’Ensemble Cantabile,

Centre d’art du Mont Orford

Stage Director, Musical

1997

Jeanne la Pucelle (French version by Antoine Maillet)

1993

Phi-Phi

Vignault, Leclerc

 

1989

Woodstock Woodstock

C’est La Faute à Elvis, vol. 2

Souvenirs des années folles

Accomplishments

EDUCATION

2002 | Master degree in arts, Université du Québec in Montréal

1989-90 | Ensemble Studio Program , Canadian Opera Company

1983 | Bachelor degree in theatre, Université du Québec à Montréal

 

AWARDS

2008-09 | ‘Artist of the Year’, Seattle Opera

2008 | Production of the season, Mirror magazine for Madama Butterfly, Pacific Opera

2006 | Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical and Outstanding Lighting Design for Edmonton Opera’s production of Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung

2005 | Prix Opus for the Best Young Audience Production of the Year for the Jeunesses Musicales production of Annabelle Canto

2005 | Prix Opus for Événement de l’année for Opera McGill’s production of Louis Riel

2005 | Prix Opus for Événement musical de l’année, région for the Centre d’arts d’Orford, Festival de Lanaudière’s production of "Bach to Tango"

2004 | Prix Opus for Événement musical de l’année, à Montréal et au Québec for Opéra de Montréal’s production of Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung

REVIEWS

Die Fledermaus, Opera de Quebec –

“Francois Racine, warmly remembered for his sparkling treatment of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, mounted the current staging, which did not disappoint. He mined his singers’ acting skills successfully, making the spoken dialogue and the stage action he devised for them fully credible.”

Irene Brisson, Opera Canada

 

 

Madama Butterfly, Opera Lyra Ottawa –

"Director François Racine has infused the production with a sweet quality that allows the audience to fall in love with the heroine. By setting the table in such a way it makes the coming tragedy grander and Butterfly an even more compelling figure."

Charlesbois Post

 

Les Dialogues des Carmelites, University of Montréal –

"Once more, the University of Montréal offers the sound and substance of music theatre presented with taste, cleverness, delicacy and efficiency. Both the set designer Carl Pelletier and the lighting designer Nicolas Descoteaux provided a functional setting that was just right for the excellent director François Racine. To do so much so well with such simple resources is brilliant."

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir

 

Die Fledermaus, l'Opéra de Québec –

"Stage director François Racine cleverly exploited the many comic triggers of the work. In Act One, new developments occur at a quick pace, constantly eliciting bursts of laughter from the audience. A number of spectators with a particularly happy disposition could hardly control their giggling. Several scenes were received with thunderous applause, leaving no doubt. The most appreciated gags, however, did not originate from the libretto but from the imagination of the creative team assembled by (GM) Grégoire Legendre, including two or three delectable allusions to current local politics that are yours to discover…"

Richard Boisvert, Le Soleil

 

Dido and Aeneas, Theatre Bleue, Switzerland –

“From an aesthetic point of view, François Racine’s staging is a gem. The subtle lighting effects, using a colour palette that seems to reflect the characters’ very soul, the coherent style and the use of a refined body language (choreography by Etienne Frey) make this a mesmerizing show... Dido and Aeneas was preceded by some of Monteverdi’s most sublime pages. To enhance these marvellous compositions, François Racine called upon the golden architecture of the Italian-style theatre. Positioned in the upper boxes, seven voices delivered substantial musical selections that transcended the mere madrigal.”

Denise de Ceuninck, L’Express

 

"Double Bill", Montréal –

“…quelqu’un qui me comprend très bien, que j’aime beaucoup et en qui j’ai pleinement confiance.’’

Robert Lepage, Le Devoir

 

‘’Tosca director Francois Racine’s skilfull handling of the material includes the shockingly realistic scene in which Scarpia attempts to rape Tosca. It could have been grotesque or ridiculous, but is horrifying.’’

James Reaney, The London Free Press

 

Cosi fan tutte, Atelier Lyrique, Opéra de Montréal –

“Director François Racine treats Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto as the masterpiece it is... The simulated suds of Dorabella in her bath rank among the theatrical masterstrokes of the season.”

Arthur Kaptainis, The Gazette

 

Louis Riel, McGill University –

“Racine’s able and fluid direction not only illuminated the drama, but also coaxed performances of natural grace and authority from his student cast.”

Richard Turp, Opera Canada

 

“Louis Riel: très fort! Cette impressionnante réussite, on la doit principalement au metteur en scène François Racine.”

Claude Gingras, La Presse

 

“Impressionnant Louis Riel! La mise en scène sobre et radicalement provocante de Racine gomme les trous et ajoute à la réussite.”

François Tousignant, Le Devoir

 

“François Racine should therefore be given full marks for his inspired and inventive staging.”

Dean Burry

 

 

“Stage director François Racine combined symbolism with verismo to great effect.”

Arthur Kaptainis, The Gazette

 

La Bohème, Pacific Opera Victoria –

“Racine handles the crowds of the second act with a choreographer’s nerve.”

David Lenman, Times Colonist

 

The Abduction from the Seraglio, Pacific Opera Victoria –

“Director Racine’s approach is appropriately cheeky and irreverent. The stage direction is playful and carefully choreographed.”

Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist

 

Carmen, Canadian Opera Company –

“From the very top of the show, Racine puts his audience on notice that life in this time is a tenuous thing. And he never lets us forget it, underscoring at every turn the immediacy of the passions which inflame his timeless and tragic heroine.”

John Coulbourn, Sunday Sun

 

Carmen, Pacific Opera Victoria –

“…but a fiery production such as this, directed with keen understanding and real passion by François Racine, is nothing less than pleasurable.”

Robert Jordan, Opera Canada

 

Dido and Aenas, Atelier Lyrique, Opéra de Montréal –

“François Racine’s direction stressed balletic beauty.”

Arthur Kaptainis, The Gazette

 

“La mise en scène tient de la haute voltige zen.”

 

“François Racine prend bien garde de tomber dans le cliché, ne retenant que l’essence, sculptant des mouvements et des images archétypales naïves, originelles dans leurs aspirations.”

François Tousignant, Le Devoir

 

La Traviata, Canadian Opera Company –

“Racine creates a production that shimmers in clarity…the visual is also a clean reading that cuts to the heart of the plotline and relationships.”

Paula Citron

 

Macbeth, Opéra de Montréal –

“La mise en scène de François Racine… allie la sobriété, l’intelligence et une réelle compréhension de l’Art lyrique.”

Dominique Olivier, Voir

 

“Opera de Montréal added a powerful and commendably cohesive production of Verdi’s Macbeth to the company’s list of recent successes. A great deal of credit for this fine production goes to Montrealer François Racine.”

Carl Urquhart, Opera Canada

 

“Reste à parler de la magistrale mise en scène de François Racine. Cet artiste sait exactement quoi faire dans les ensembles, créant tour à tour des images fortes ou tendres.”

François Tousignant, Le Devoir

 

“…le travail de Racine est prodigieux.”

Claude Gingras, La Presse

 

La Bohème, Opéra de Québec –

“Mais c’est par sa mise en scène que cette Bohème est, pour moi, la meilleure de toutes celles que j’ai vues à ce jour; nous le devons à François Racine, dont c’est la première prestation à l’Opéra de Québec.”

Planète Québec

 

“Une excellente mise en scène de François Racine, une réussite!”

Isabelle Guilbault, CBV-R

 

“Et chapeau au metteur en scène, vraiment, François Racine a démontré beaucoup de maîtrise.”

Lynda Tremblay, CITF-FM