All the Verdis of Venice

By Normand Chaurette
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

All the Verdis of Venice
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All great art has the ability to move people collectively, to create within it some essential, participatory expression of their humanity, their culture, their heritage. But who creates this art?

What is it that gives some individuals the power or the gift to create such works? ... Read more


Overview

All great art has the ability to move people collectively, to create within it some essential, participatory expression of their humanity, their culture, their heritage. But who creates this art?

What is it that gives some individuals the power or the gift to create such works? Who are these works written for? Does the composer have a particular muse, or are they inspired by an abstraction, a composite muse? Who owns this great art? Is it illegitimate for either the author, the muse, or the people to claim it as their own? Do they all have a moral right to its power, its imagination, its authenticity?

Can great artists be forced to create utilitarian works specifically designed for some great or even banal purpose, to forge a nation or to pay one’s creditors, or does such an exercise always and necessarily create an empty shell?

Can a lover of Verdi ever, in any sense, become Verdi? If so, what happens to the person they left behind, no matter how briefly? Who is the ?real? Verdi? Can he ever be found, and loved, by anyone?

Normand Chaurette addresses all of these questions in his farce on the most ritualized, contrived and yet the most powerful of all art forms: the opera. But his answers remain as ineffable as the questions that seek them. In the end, who we are?composer, performer, or audience?is a collaboration of our illusions on a stage from which we remain forever absent.

Cast of 1 woman and 4 men.

Normand Chaurette

Normand Chaurette
Normand Chaurette was born in Montreal in 1954. His published plays include: Rêve d’une nuit d’hôpital; Provincetown Playhouse, juillet 1919, j’avais 19 ans; Fêtes d’autome; La Société de Métis; and The Queens (Talonbooks 1998). Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists (Talonbooks 1998) was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1987 and won the Prix de l’Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre for Best Play Produced in 1988. His novel, Scènes d’enfants, was nominated for a 1989 Governor General’s Award. His most recent play, available from Talonbooks, is All the Verdis of Venice (2000).
Linda Gaboriau
Linda Gaboriau is an award-winning literary translator based in Montreal. Her translations of plays by Quebec’s most prominent playwrights have been published and ­produced across Canada and abroad. In her work as a ­literary manager and dramaturge, she has directed ­numerous translation residencies and international exchange projects. She was the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Most recently she won the 2010 Governor General’s Award for Forests, her translation of the play by Wajdi Mouawad.

Linda Gaboriau

A major figure in Quebec theatre, MICHEL TREMBLAY has built an impressive body of work as a playwright, novelist, translator, and screenwriter. To date, Michel’s complete works include 29 plays (including 2 theatrical adaptations of his own work); 30 novels; 6 collections of autobiographical stories; a collection of tales; 7 screenplays; 46 translations/adaptations of works by foreign writers; 9 plays and 12 stories printed in diverse publications; an opera libretto; a song cycle; a Symphonic Christmas Tale and 2 musicals. His plays have been published and translated into 40 languages and have garnered critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, and more than 50 countries around the world. His name can be found in the Larousse and Robert Dictionaries, the Who’s Who Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of International Biography and the Encyclopedia Britannica. During his career, Michel has received more than 80 prizes, citations and honours including the Grand Prix de la Francophonie, awarded by the Académie française in 2018, as well as the Prince Pierre de Monaco Literary Prize and the Prix Gilles-Corbeil for his contribution to the arts in 2017. A six-time winner of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, he won nine Chalmers Awards and five Grand Prix du public presented during Montreal’s annual book fair le Salon du livre. In 1999, he was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. He has also received six honorary doctorates.

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