A monument is extinguished

A monument has gone extinct

DAY

An emblematic figure who, in the 1960s, projected Quebec theater into modernity, André Brassard received a concert of praise in the hours following his death, Tuesday evening, after a long illness, surrounded by relatives and friends. Strongly linked to the dramaturgy of Michel Tremblay, the 76-year-old has directed most of his works, including Les Belles-Sœurs, Tomorrow morning, Montreal is waiting for me, Hosanna< /strong> and Forever yours, your Marie-Lou.  

The director and director with Lorraine Pintal, at the Cinémathèque québécoise.

Hospitalized for several weeks, André Brassard had been going through difficult years since suffering a stroke in 1999. He passed away at Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal. His death has greatly shaken the Quebec theater community.

“I am in shock. He was one of the most important people in my life”, launched Michel Tremblay, Wednesday morning, during radio interviews.

With Denise Filiatrault, in 2012, during the Quebecor Tribute evening at the chalet du Mont- Royal.

Denise Filiatrault, who played the character of Rose Ouimet in the first version of Belles-sœurs, described him as a genius director.

“Talented, even erudite , he worked in the service of the work and the theater by leading us to give the best of ourselves. And this, with relentlessness, sometimes at the cost of his health, ”she said in a press release issued by the Théâtre du Rideau Vert.

André Brassard and his lifelong accomplice, Michel Tremblay.

Modern Theatre

For director and actor René Richard-Cyr, André Brassard has advanced the work of staging.

“It is often said that he brought the theater into modernity. Not just in relation to his work with Tremblay, but [in] his work in relation to the rereading of certain classics where he brought meaning to the fore. It had a huge impact on several generations,” he said.

The National Arts Center in Ottawa, where he was artistic director of French Theater between 1983 and 1980, on Wednesday morning lowered its flag.

In 2000, a year after being struck down by a stroke, André Brassard received the Denise-Pelletier prize, awarded by the Quebec government to underline his remarkable contribution to the performing arts.

Born on August 28, 1946 in Montreal, André Brassard introduced to the theater at the Collège Sainte-Marie, where he staged, in the seventh year, the first act of Ill imaginary, under the advice of Jean Gascon. 

With Gilles Vigneault and Jean-Louis Roux, at the rehearsals of the play La Passion du Christ, at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, in December 1973. < p>Significant encounter

A chance meeting with Michel Tremblay at Parc La Fontaine marked the beginning of a long collaboration with the author at the start of his career.  

After signing the staging of Black Mass, a collage of fantastic works by Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Jean Rau, and those of Troyennes by Euripides, for the Théâtre des Saltimbanques, he signed that of the play Les Bonnes and Cinq by Michel Tremblay, in 1966, at Le Patriote.

The Tremblay and Brassard tandem shook Quebec theater two years later with The Sisters-in-Law, presented at the Théâtre du Rideau-Vert. The premiere took place on August 28, 1968. Denise Proulx, Denise Filiatrault, Hélène Loiselle, Rita Lafontaine and Luce Guilbeault were in the cast of this play that has become a classic.

On the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Les Belles-Sœurs, August 28, 1988, with René Richard-Cyr.

With Les Belles-Sœurs, André Brassard brought the Joual dialect and the language of the street and kitchens to the stage. A shock that stood out among the productions with a more international French. 

This play, which had the effect of a bomb, changed everything for the young director in his early twenties, for Michel Tremblay and for Quebec theatre.

This direct language that goes straight to the point has influenced many directors of all generations. He imposed a style, a way of doing things and a signature.

André Brassard at the premiere of Sainte Carmen de la Main by Michel Tremblay, in July 1976.

André Brassard signed, for 35 years, all staging by Michel Tremblay. The two names were inseparable. After Fiveand Les Belles-Sœurs, the tandem mounted, during the 1970s, In spare parts, Tomorrow morning, Montreal awaits me, The Duchess of Langeais, Forever yours, your Marie-Lou, Hosanna, Hello there, hello, < em>Saint Carmen de la Main, Damned Manon, sacred Sandra. The Past Anterior and The Imperative Present will be their last collaboration.

André Brassard also worked with Tremblay and the composer André Gagnon, for the creation of the romantic opera Nelligan, in 1990, for the Opéra de Montréal.

Uncompromising

With Andrée Lachapelle at the premiere of Samuel Beckett's play Oh les beaux jours.

The director did not only work with Tremblay's words and texts. He has staged works by Réjean Ducharme, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, Racine, Feydeau, Victor-Lévy Beaulieu, Marcel Dubé, Chekhov, Brecht and Michel Marc Bouchard. The list is impressive: around 120 productions in 40 years.

Brassard did things his own way and without compromise. The man was, in everyday life, an immense being, direct, rebellious and provocative. In 1972, at a time when taboos were immense, he revealed his homosexuality. 

In 1975, he will serve a 90-day sentence, spread over weekends, for gross indecency. Photos of naked boys and young men, aged 14 to 20, had been found at his home.

André Brassard was also an actor and he directed the films Françoise Durocher, waitress (1972), Once Upon a Time in the East (1974) and The Sun Rises Late (1977). He directed the TV series Frédéric, broadcast from 1979 to 1980 on Radio-Canada and in France on TF1.

He was also artistic director of the French section of the National Theater School of Canada from 1991 to 2000. 

Beautiful testimonials

I am one of the privileged people who met André Brassard. I lived with him among his most beautiful theatrical experiences and I am indebted to him for mine. As long as there is theater here below, it will be among us. »

– Denis Bouchard

« André Brassard was an outstanding artist in our Quebec culture and an important player in the coming out of the closet of the gay community in Quebec. »

– Alex Perron

« You will continue to guide me, you always have. You showed me how to play, it's all thanks to you, this theater this love. It's time to play again for me, for you André I will play again and set the stage on fire. Promised. »

– Fanny Weibrenner

« André Brassard was a larger than life theater man. With Tremblay, they overturned conventions and made the columns of the temple tremble. What a legacy! »

– Salome Corbo

< strong>“ André Brassard, his dazzling intelligence of theater and society, his penetrating gaze and his mocking smile. A big. »

– Marie-France Bazzo