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Charpentier, Gabriel

Composer born in Richmond, Quebec, 1925. Gabriel Charpentier studied piano and Gregorian chant before continuing his studies in Paris (1947-53).

Most of his compositions were intended for theatre. Through his work he created an aesthetic that linked drama and music virtually inextricably - his effect on the theatre survives in Quebec houses to this day.

Among his works are scores for the Stratford Festival (Shakespeare's Coriolanus, the Henry plays and Molière's Bourgeois gentilhomme).

He became music director for the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, and wrote the music for its productions of Venise sauvée (Lebesque), Richard II, La Nuit des rois (Shakespeare), Le Soulier de satin (Claudel), Les Choéphores (Aeschylus), Rhinocéros (Ionesco), among others.

For the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto, he composed the music for Galileo Galilei (Brecht), Electra (Euripides); and for the Tarragon Theatre, music for Damnée Manon, sacrée Sandra (Tremblay).

He is also the author of a cycle of musical theatre works that includes Claracello, ou Répertoire, Clara et les Philosophes, An English Lesson, or Clara-Teacher, A Tea Symphony, or the Perils of Clara, and Clarabelle-Clarimage.

In 1965 he wrote the musical Klondyke with Jacques Languirand. In 1975 he composed the music for a production of Riel by John Coulter, at the National Arts Centre.

He has written opera, taught at the National Theatre School of Canada and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Source: Canadian Music Centre

Last updated 2020-03-23