SAF 2005 - Robert Lepage and Ex Machina


Singapore Arts Festival 2005


~ The Season of Brilliance ~


26 May – 26 June






Robert Lepage and Ex Machina (Canada)


 Date : 1 -3 June
 Time : 8.00pm
 Venue : Kallang Theatre
 Tickets : $62, $52, $42, $32, $21
 Duration : 120 minutes (no intermission)


Co-produced by Festival Montréal en Lumière; La Filature, Scène Nationale de Mulhouse; Maison des Arts, Créteil; Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for Performing Arts, UCI; spielzeiteuropa I Berliner Festspiele Berlin; Théâtre de Caen; Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Bruxelles


“A happy mixture of talent, substance and entertainment.” – VoirCanada


“Exhilrating.”– La PresseCanada


Festival Talk with Ex Machina


(Free Admission)
 3 June, 4pm – 5pm at the Kallang Theatre


Internationally acclaimed playwright, director, designer and performer Robert LePage and his mulit-talented production company Ex Machina returns to the Singapore Arts Festival with their latest musical and theatrical tour de forceThe Busker’s Opera.  A rich tale full of animated characters from the underworld of the music industry – the musicians, aspiring celebrities, groupies, agents and entertainment lawyers, foundation representatives and prostitutes – The Busker’s Opera is a new musical work for the theatre, perhaps more aptly called a songspiel as it is performed almost entirely in song.


Freely adapted from John Gay’s 18th century masterpiece The Beggar’s Opera, which also inspired Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weil’s renowned play The Threepenny OperaThe Busker’s Opera joins its predecessors in satiric humour, yet reinvents Gay’s classic story for today’s audience.  First created in 2003 at Ex Machina in Quebec City by Lepage and a group of 10 performing artists comprised of actors, musicians, singers and a DJ, the team have composed more than 30 new songs of The Busker’s Opera, practically covering the entire musical landscape of ska, reggae, jazz, Broadway/West End show tunes, rock, blues, country, tango, rap and more, as the story embarks on a trans-Atlantic journey through New York, Atlantic City and New Orleans.   Irreverent and eclectic, the show also includes some of the classical melodies arranged by Dr. John Christopher Pepusch for the 1728 production of The Beggar’s Opera.


Performed by a stellar cast, The Busker’s Opera made its premiere at the Montreal High Lights Festival in February 2004 to favourable responses.  Somewhere between the road trip and rock show, classical concert and the zydeco of the bayou, the street musicians and the sharks that hold the keys to power and between fame and fortune, the production reveals the artistic freedom that remains after the steamroller of the music industry has driven by.  Fans of the original story by Gay will recognize the characters of Macheath and his jealous lovers, Polly and Lucy; the prostitute, Jenny; as well as the ruthless Mr. and Mrs. Peachum and the corrupt Mr. Lockit


Dynamic and original, LePage’s works include critically acclaimed Seven Streams of the River Ota (1994), Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Tour (1993)Geometry of Miracles (1998) which was presented by the Singapore Arts Festival in 1999, and more recent productions such as Growing Up Live (2002). Recipient of various prestigious awards including the Prix Denise-Pelletier (2003), Lepage founded his multi-disciplinary, non-profit company Ex Machina in Quebec in 1994, comprising of an informal grouping of creators, performers and technicians from various artistic backgrounds.


The technical team of Ex Machina will hold a talk regarding the technical implications on the creative process of The Busker’s Opera on the 3 June, 4pm – 5pm, at Kallang Theatre. Although catered to directors, choreographers, designers and technicians, the talk is free to anyone interested to attend.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:

 Annexes - Synopsis of The Busker's Opera
  - Credits and Cast List
  - Profiles of Robert Lepage and Ex Machina
  - Profile of Performers