Digital Art

Québécité

Québécité is a three-act, multicultural romance set in modern-day Québec, inspired by the memoirs of composer D.D. Jackson’s parents and influenced by the exquisite sensibility of the French film masterpiece Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

The opera tells the story of two inter-racial couples whose respective and developing romances expose the inherent minefield of establishing relationships that cross racial and cultural boundaries.

The principal characters are Laxmi (Kiran Ahluwalia, classical Indian singer), a student architect of East Indian descent who was born in Bombay, India; Ovide (Haydain Neale, lead vocalist for Jacksoul), an architect originally from Haiti; Collette Chan (Yoon Choi, experimental jazz vocalist), a law student whose parents, avid jazz fans, fled the Tian Anmien massacre to find refuge in Canada; and jazz musician Malcolm States (Dean Bowman, jazz and gospel singer) a black Nova Scotian currently playing at the jazz club owned by Collette’s parents.

George Elliot Clarke, libretto, and DD Jackson, composer. Directed by Colin Taylor
Peggy Lee - cello, Brad Turner - trumpet, Jean Martin - drums, John Geggie - bass, D.D. Jackson - piano



Click image to get larger file.
Title screen.  
Opening.  
Dusk, rain.
Ovide woos the reluctant Laxmi; they plan to hear Malcolm play jazz.
 
Dusk, rain.
Malcolm and Colette meet
 
Night, rain.
Ovide and Laxmi joust, take shelter under Basilica - then make a rainy run for the bar.
 
Night.
Malcolm sings the blues
 
Night.
Everyone meets, congratulates Malcolm, drinks.
 
Night.
Scene drowns out in champagne as Ovide and Laxmi leave.
 
Night.
Malcolm and Colette sing Clementines as a duet.
 

 
Late night, rain.
Laxmi and Ovide continue to argue in the rain.
 
Night, rain.
Colette spends a rainy night with Malcolm in his room at the Chateau Frontenac.
 
Early morning, clear.
The sunny morning after.
 
Late afternoon, clear.
Ovide gets drunk with Malcolm.
 
Dusk, clear.
Ovide mournful (and drunk) on the bridge.
 

Ovide rips up photo of past love..
 
Dusk, clear.
Laxmi and Colette argue about love, Laxmi pushes Colette on the issue of her parents and Malcolm's race.
 
Night, stopped raining.
The usual between Laxmi and Ovide has reached a peak: arguing, arm grabbing, kissing, slapping, ...
 
Malcolm rages at Colette and her racist parents; Colette states their ultimatum.
Motion: people and cars passing by, reflect the turbulent emotions.
 
NIght, stopped raining.
Malcolm crying his heart out, leaving, waving down a taxi.
Lights as if indifferent cars passing by.
 
Late night.
Colette crying her heart out, drinking absinthe.
Absinthe green drowns the bar in grief.
 
Late night, raining.
Ovide indiferrent to life yet suffering towards Laxmi; hope of her love is the only thing that tempers suicidal notions.
Ovide must be soaked, wet, cold, stony fingers and the sharpness of hot tears -- also the pangs of hope.
 
Late night, fog.
Laxmi attempts to rationalize her feelings, decisions; desperately she clings to personal propriety.
Angry at the loss, sharpness of turmoil, acuteness of reason swallowed in fog, stomping.
 
Late night, fog.
Ovide and Colette wander the foggy dock; regret their individual approaches to events past; call on Laxmi and Malcolm to melt, open up.
Blotchy, intermingling, lump in throat roundness and heaviness.
 
Late night, fog.
Laxmi and Malcolm mournful drink while waiting for the ferry; Laxmi into fog as Colette approaches; Colette and Malcolm re-unite.
Much hope, not for naught as spirits rise with spirits imbibed: the mood lifts a little, relief from fuschia with blues, bit of green.
 
Late night, fog lifting.
Laxmi out of shadows and Ovide out of drunkenness; also reunite.
Back to red and yellow happiness.
 
Noon, sunny.
Happy, happy ending.