“Les Choristes”: a timely return to the stage

“The Choristers”: a timely return to the stage

UPGRADE DAY

The hit musical piece Les Choristes, which is back on stage for the holiday season, has was warmly received Thursday evening at the Monument-National, where it was presented in preview.

Based on the film of the same name released in 2004 and on La Cage aux rossignolsreleased in 1945, the stage adaptation – which includes many Quebec references – tells the story of Clément Mathieu (nicely portrayed by François L'Écuyer), who, in 1949, accepts a position as supervisor in a boarding school for young boys in difficulty, named “The bottom of the pond” – located somewhere in Beauce. With a humanist approach, the man teaches his class discipline, not with the hard way as recommended by the director of the establishment Mr. Rachin (the very good Henri Chassé), but rather by singing.

Of a gentle and benevolent nature, the new supervisor manages to obtain the support of the teaching staff and the attention of the young people, although the director remains refractory. Despite the pitfalls, the success of the choir ended up transforming the children's daily lives, also allowing the school to avoid bankruptcy. But Mathieu's success only fuels Rachin's hatred, which keeps him in his sights.

Seen for the first time by 70,000 people between 2018 and 2019, Serge Denoncourt's production – who certainly knows how to direct young actors – was once again flawless on Thursday evening. The beautiful songs Vois sur ton chemin or Caresse sur l'océan and the perfectly designed sets, with fast and fluid sequences, gave the impression of seeing the film unfold before our very eyes.

Seen for the first time by 70,000 people between 2018 and 2019, the staging of Serge Denoncourt – who certainly knows how to direct young actors – was once again flawless on Thursday evening. The magnificent songs ur song and comedy. These young singers are all from the choirs of the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal and the Petits Chanteurs de Laval.

The piece, whose action extends over the school year, also highlights starring Gary Boudreault (Father Maxence), Louise Cardinal (Violette Morhange), Sacha Bolduc (Mongeau), Olivier Leduc and Milan Brodeur-Terraza (Pierre Morhange), as well as Michel-Olivier Girard (Professor Langlois) who plays with his son Rafaël Noah-Girard.

Attractive and funny, the play which unquestionably dabbles in nostalgia, also gives rise to touching moments which are good for the soul, and lends itself perfectly during the holidays.

The play Les Choristes will be presented at the Monument-National until January 19.