Denoncourt, Serge

Serge Denoncourt, director, actor (b at Shawinigan, Que, 16 Apr 1962). Among the most talented directors of his generation, Denoncourt quickly made his mark through his lavishly attractive productions, meticulously coached actors, and choice of strong, bold, unsettling works. Serge Denoncourt, who was the cofounder and artistic director of the Théâtre de l'Opsis, demonstrated his mastery in staging both classical and contemporary repertoire from Québec and abroad. He also distinguished himself at the helm of Québec City's Théâtre du Trident.

Serge Denoncourt trained in performance in the theatre option at Collège Lionel-Groulx, class of 1983. He appeared as an actor in about 10 shows between 1983 and 2002, including Harold et Maude, in which he co-starred with Janine Sutto (Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale, 1984); Molière's Les Fourberies de Scapin (Théâtre du Trident, 1993); and Juste la fin du monde by Jean-Luc Lagarce (ESPACE GO, 2002), co-directed with Pierre Bernard. However, his work as stage director got the upper hand in the mid 1980s, particularly with the founding of the Théâtre de l'Opsis in 1984. Among works he staged there were Botho Strauss's Grand et petit (1987); Il Campiello, based on Goldoni (1988); Howard Barker's Possibilités (1989); and several plays or adaptations by Pierre-Yves Lemieux: À propos de Roméo et Juliette (1989), L'Honneur perdu de Katharina Blum (1990), and Comédie russe (1993).

Major successes among Denoncourt's nearly 100 productions included Molière's Dom Juan (Trident, 1994) - Masque for best production, Québec City; Botho Strauss's Le Temps et la Chambre (THÉÂTRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE, 1995) - prix Gascon-Roux for best direction; the epic Les Estivants, by Maxime Gorki (Trident/TNM coproduction, 1997) - a Masque and the prix Gascon-Roux for best direction; and Je suis une mouette (non ce n'est pas ça) based on Tchekhov (L'Opsis/Théâtre de Quat'Sous, 1998) - Masque for best production from the Académie québécoise du théâtre. Other notable productions included Steven Berkoff's Décadence (QUAT'SOUS, 1997), and a repeat of Michel Marc BOUCHARD's hit Les Feluettes (Espace GO, 2002) that won audience and best production in Montréal Masques. This play was also presented in English at the American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco (2005). Barker's Gertrude (Le cri) (Espace GO, 2005) won the prix de la Critique for best production in Montréal.

Living part time in Italy, Serge Denoncourt designed and directed the shows for quick-change artist Arturo Brachetti (prix Molière, best show, 2001) and illusionist Gaetano Triggiano, and he developed the visual and artistic concepts for popular European singing star Eros Ramazzotti. He had a hand in opera (Le Nozze de Figaro, 1998; La Tosca, 2001) and musical comedy (Pied de poule, 2003), and recently co-wrote and directed CIRQUE DU SOLEIL's Criss Angel Believe in Las Vegas (2008). Denoncourt had previously been the acting coach for 3 episodes of Cirque du Soleil's television series Solström (2003). Denoncourt's short film Via Crucis was the official choice at the Venice Film Festival (2000), and won the Centaur prize for best first film at the International Film Festival in St-Petersburg, Russia (2001).

Serge Denoncourt cofounded the Théâtre de l'Opsis and was its artistic director for 10 years (1984 -1994), a position he later held at the Théâtre du Trident (1994-1997). He recently staged Michel TREMBLAY's latest work, Fragments de mensonges inutiles, with the Compagnie Jean DUCEPPE (2009). In the spring of 2010, he directed Blues d'la métropole, a musical comedy based on songs by the rock group BEAU DOMMAGE.