From August 8th to 19th 2009 Caraquet’s Old Convent will host Le Violon fantastique, a grandiose multimedia presentation. Inspired by an Acadian legend from the Catherine Jolicoeur Collection, the storyline depicts a bewitched community, a blacksmith who plays music, his eldest daughter, and a stranger with one goal: corrupting them. The Violon fantastique scenario is by Jules Boudreau and Jac Gautreau. The show is part of the “L’Acadie et ses humeurs” section of the official program of the 2009 World Acadian Congress.
“The show matches captivating sound design and songs, incredible lighting and special effects, interactive and innovative projections, but it’s primarily a touching story filled with love, corruption and sacrifice,” explains the artistic and theatre director, Jac Gautreau.
Nicolas Basque will play the horseman and Elisabeth Milo will play the blacksmith’s daughter. Gaétan Robichaud completes the team of comedian-singers. He will play the blacksmith.
Le Violon fantastique is produced by Les Productions Tintamarre and the Comité de promotion de la Place du Vieux couvent. Normand Thériault is the executive producer. Other members of the production team include Jean-François Mallet (music and sound design), Marjolaine Albert (production management), Philippe Cormier (technical direction), Steban Sanfaçon (scenography), Normand Chassé and Vincent Fournier (lighting design), Cyr Sonorisation (sound) and Bernard Frigault of Feux d’artifices Boréal (fireworks). Jac Gautreau, Stéban Sanfaçon and the Corbo Conseil team will do the video design. Altogether, with electricians, carpenters, costume makers, wigmakers, machinists and graphic designers, the Violon fantastique team is 30 people strong.
The show will take place, free of charge, every night at 10 pm (or shortly after 10 pm, depending on the darkness), August 8th-19th (except for the 15th of August). The opening show is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5th, or the next day in case of rain. Caraquet’s Old Convent ruins will host the show. A fire destroyed the Convent in 1992, and the stone walls of that magnificent building, located near the church, have been preserved ever since.
If the show can be presented free of charge to the public, it’s because the Caraquet Co-op and the Caisse populaire Acadie committed to contribute financially by providing $100,000 to the project. “This contribution is set within our approach which consists in contributing to the development of our community. We believe that this show, with the new technology used to produce it, will give the population of the Acadian Peninsula and visitors the chance to appreciate the numerous talents of the comedians, singers, designers, technicians and specialists that work in that field in the region,” say the president of the administrative council of the Caraquet Cooperative, Gabriel Léger, and the president of the Caisse populaire Acadie, Jean-Yves Thériault.
The 2009 World Acadian Congress, the Province of New Brunswick and the City of Caraquet, with its Cultural Capital program, financially back the project.
Members of the “Comité de promotion de la Place du Vieux couvent” represent the “Maison de la culture chrétienne”, Downtown Caraquet, the Greater Caraquet Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Caraquet and the “Festival des arts visuels en atlantique”. The Committee’s goal is to make sure that the Old Convent is animated. “Les Productions Tintamarre” is an organisation affiliated to Caraquet’s Festival acadien. Its mission is to design, direct and produce cultural and artistic products and events in order to complement the ones produced by the Festival.