1760: The end of New France, the colony passes into the hands of the British. Thus this small French colony in America begins a new course, along a path that it will have to discover for itself.
1793: The beheading of Louis XVI. The high clergy of Lower Canada (Québec), under British authority, profits from the tremendous impact of this news on the population, and persists in its attachment to the image of a monarchist France in order to solidify its undertakings.
1837: Inspired by the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), a group of patriots from Lower Canada attempt to provoke civil disobedience with the aim of breaking ties with England and creating the Republic of Canada.
1839: The Durham report, advocating the union of the Canadas as well as the assimilation of French Canadians.
1976: Sovereignist forces, lead by René Lévesque, come to power in Quebec and attempt, by democratic means, to obtain independence. Failure of the first referendum, in which the “yes” side is defeated by more than 20% of the vote. Fifteen years later, separatists loose a second referendum in which there is only a 1% difference between the two sides. History continues…
Recorded voices: Philippe Lavalette (Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, father); Simon Finn (Lord Durham); Pierre Mollet (Mgr Plessis); Louis Verdy (Robert Nelson).
Ouverture was realized at the composer’s studio in Montréal in 1989 and premiered in June 1989 during Synthèse, the Festival international de musique expérimentale de Bourges (France, 1989). This work was commissioned by GMEB for the Bicentenaire de la Révolution française.