In what has become a hallmark of his dazzling solo projects, Lepage weaves the story of a Québécois artist whose travels and chance encounters take him on a voyage of understanding and self-discovery. In this new work, Lepage assumes the role of a distracted young writer, in Paris at the invitation of the Opera Garnier, commissioned to create the libretto for a children’s opera based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
The Andersen Project is freely inspired by two of Andersen’s timeless fables (The Dryad and The Shadow) and draws from the Danish author’s visit to France during the Paris World’s Fair. The production questions sexual identity, unfulfilled fantasies and the thirst for recognition and fame that are taken from Andersen’s own life and writings. Formed in 1994, Ex Machina is an informal grouping of creators, performing artists and technicians under the artistic direction of one of the most celebrated international directors, Robert Lepage. The Andersen Project was created at Ex Machina’s studio in Quebec City in early 2005, where Lepage worked closely with many of his long standing collaborators, including Peder Bjurman (The Far Side Of The Moon, BITE:03), and Marie Gignac (The Dragons’ Trilogy, BITE:05).