Words matter. These are the best Robert Lepage Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
There’s not a system better than another. There are some people better than others. I’m not anti-democracy, but there’s no real system yet that has proven itself to be the right one.
Often, particularly towards the end of the process, I think of myself less as a theatre director and more as someone who just directs the traffic. My job is to move the ideas and bits of the show into the places where they work best. Sometimes my job is also to say, ‘No.’
When I went into the conservatory at 17, then I was able to open up and accept everything about myself and show my feminine side as well as my masculine.
The great advantage of the circus, and the reason it is so popular, is really the ideal combination of art and sport. It’s the ideal art form, in a certain way, if you want to be accessible.
If you’re going to do a show about somebody who dumped you, it’s much richer if you have three characters dealing with different aspects of that theme. There is more space for people to identify with it.
I admire people who can spend every aspect of their life in one discipline and really go all the way. I feel the only way I could achieve some type of excellence is if I connect to other people, other disciplines.
The same critics who destroyed ‘Seven Streams’ when we opened in Edinburgh – and yes, it was horrible – called it one of the most important shows of the 21st century six years later in London.
I am interested in suffering and, in particular, the Buddhist idea that in pain, you can find beauty.
Vegas is a testing ground for the human soul. What are our values, especially in a time of crisis? Work with Cirque du Soleil, and you learn that quickly. The former socialist street performers who now throw parties by the pool with Brazilian models, oh yes!
If you decide to work with the opera world, chances are there are going to be people who resist that.
Opera should be a place for art forms to meet. I’ve worked a lot with Peter Gabriel; his music isn’t operatic, but he creates big, popular gatherings to which architecture, dance, and music are all invited.
In everything I’ve done, I’ve always tried to make room for indigenous people, to include them.
My naivety is to assume people will think there’s compassion and solidarity in wanting to play someone even though we are not them.
Theater originated with technology. People forget that.
Making art in big cities is often frustrating and difficult. It’s why artists are drawn to smaller places.
Of course theater will always be associated intimately to literature, but the themes or whatever have to penetrate you by the senses. Theater is a sensuous experience, and that’s its main difference from film or any other dramatic art.
I like doing very small, intimate things in the morning and then, in the afternoon, to be working on something in a big stadium.
Cirque du Soleil distinguished itself by being a circus with no animals. Before then, circus was partly about showing how man can tame other species.
The first ‘Ring’ in Bayreuth was about the poetical world, the mythological world.
I’ve always had a passion for geography. Even at a very young age.
Opera is a very stimulating place to work, and I believe it offers the most intense theatrical experience possible.
There’s nothing sadder than when things happen the way you’ve planned them, because we don’t have a lot of imagination, you know.
When I directed the ‘Ring’ cycle at the Metropolitan Opera in New York recently, there were people texting all through the show. But theatre isn’t a communication device: it’s a communion.
When we work on a new theatre piece, we improvise a lot. But it’s the opposite in opera, where everything is fixed.
My taste comes from when I was 12 years old and saw Genesis or Laurie Anderson or some performance artist who had put paint on himself. I’ve seen a lot of theater, but that’s not what woke up my taste to become a director; nontheatrical things were much more theatrical than the theater I was seeing.
I never thought of my father when I was growing up. Truly. He was a strong, silent man who worked hard to support his family.
There is a way to grow old and still have dignity.
Usually, on Broadway or in Hollywood, you come up with a project, and you have to convince the producers that it’s safe.
Why do we remember stuff from when we were 5 years old but not important facts that are more recent?
If Darwin’s theories are true, then we have within us the physical memory of when we were fish or apes.
The first time someone stood up in front of the fire and told the story while illustrating it with shadows on the walls of the quarry, that was the birth of theater.
Theatre comes alive when someone cross-dresses onstage.
Without meaning to sound crass, I’ve never had any psychological… help. It’s because I feel my work is so revealing about who I am and what I am trying to understand about myself. It’s a therapeutic process.
I don’t think there is any kind of magic about what I do. All of the connections are there, somewhere in the subconscious or in the collective unconscious. If I let the elements speak to each other, then these coincidences will happen. And they do happen. They happen all the time.
My father had barely any education. He could hardly write or count. But his great pride was that he was perfectly bilingual. In the household, he entertained this idea that we had to speak both languages.
A lot of people hated every moment of my ‘Ring.’ And a lot of people who had never been to an opera bought subscriptions to the next season.
Everybody loves Vegas, and everybody puts it down, especially intellectuals and artists. We have to rub our feet on it, but we’re all secretly thrilled to be there.
Theatre is different. We can spend two weeks around a table talking about subtext. In opera, there is a score, and people already know their parts. And they move differently. I find all this liberating.
Of course I had friends, but it was very limiting because there was always a chance that at every corner, someone would be laughing at me or waiting to beat me up. I had a very lonely childhood because of that.
The thing that’s interesting about Trump is that when you read ‘Coriolanus,’ you’d be tempted to draw parallels. But I don’t do that.
For me, theater will always be very, very much alive, but not necessarily in the theatrical tradition.
Artists always try to make something that is going to be relevant and up-to-the-minute.
Every time we make a new invention, we think we’re going to save the world, but eventually, we understand that the real virtues of that new invention have mostly to do with commerce. Then we feel a huge emptiness, and we want to fill it with beauty.
When we did ‘The Dragons’ Trilogy,’ China was a big, mysterious piece of rock that we never thought would even move. It was impenetrable, impossible to deal with.
Writing is very much perceived as something distinct from performance. I don’t see it like that.
I’m a follower of people not necessarily connected with the theater.
Sylvie Guillem is the best dancer in the world.
I had been warned by other directors that opera is hell. The singers don’t want to do what you want.
Theatre’s still expensive compared to downloading on Netflix; that has to be addressed. It doesn’t mean it has to be over-subsidised by the state, but it’s something we’re trying to figure out.
I studied as an actor at the theatre conservatoire in Quebec, but by the time I got to my third year, I was more interested in directing. There’s more to it than helping actors get round a stage: it’s a wonderful way of telling stories.
I’m not good at entertainment. I don’t give myself to all the interviews, game shows, or talk shows.
I never questioned if I was effeminate or not. That didn’t matter in the theatre.
When we were working on ‘River Ota’ in the ’90s, I learnt to read Japanese, which was how I discovered that it incorporates elements of Chinese calligraphy.
The real writing of a piece comes only when you are performing it. It is why I like theatre. In film and TV, the image is locked forever, but in theatre, there is constant change; each performance is part of the writing process.
‘The Blue Dragon’ uses very filmic language and involves a lot of technology. It is more cinematic than theatrical and was inspired by comic strips and graphic novels.