The layers and colours of an important Canadian painter's life

NAC French Theatre ends 2023 in style with Le projet Riopelle


Decembre 14, 2023 – OTTAWA (Canada) – Hailed by critics in Montreal and Quebec City, Le projet Riopelle, a biography in living canvases by Robert Lepage / Ex Machina, hits the stage tonight in Ottawa for four performances. Sold-out for months in advance, the show is part of a series of activities in the capital, including the National Gallery of Canada’s exhibition “Riopelle: Crossroads in Time”, that highlight the centenary of the birth of one of Canada’s most important painters, Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002).

With his incomparable theatrical genius, Robert  Lepage revives the light-and-shadow existence of the master of lyrical abstraction. The anchor point: Riopelle’s fresco L’hommage à Rosa Luxemburg, which he began the day after the announcement of the death of his soulmate, painter Joan  Mitchell. Thirty paintings like thirty sequences of a torrid love story and an extraordinary life woven into the fabric of a sociocultural revolution.

This spectacular creation, for which NAC French Theatre acts as co-producer with the Fondation Jean-Paul Riopelle, Duceppe, and Le Diamant, marks the return of Robert Lepage, NAC French Theatre’s former artistic director (1989-1993), whose last production at the NAC was 887, in 2016. Seven years later, Le projet Riopelle closes the first half Mani Soleymanlou’s actual season with a bang, and sets the tone for 2024, a new year which is filled with projects and collaborations that are as beautiful as they are varied.



Babs Asper Theatre

December 14 (Thursday) and 15 (Friday) at 7pm, December 16 (Saturday) at 3pm, and December 17 (Sunday / added performance) at 1:30pm.

Although the show is sold out, it is always advisable to check the event page as tickets sometimes become available at the last minute; to do so, visit or call 1-844-985-2787 (ARTS). To find out what you need to know before accessing the building and facilities, click:

Visit the NAC website to learn more about the 2023-2024 NAC French Theatre season.



The National Arts Centre Foundation would like to thank Lead Donor, the Slaight Family Foundation, Supporting Partner of French Theatre, Québecor, and Official Hotel Partner, Embassy Hotel & Suites.



The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation.






Sylvain Lavoie

Communications Strategist, French Theatre

National Arts Centre


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