A beautiful mother-son bond in Les Feluettes (Lilies)

Edmonton Opera Blog

A beautiful mother-son bond in Les Feluettes (Lilies)

Our season opening production Les Feluettes (Lilies) tells the story of two young men in love in early 1900s Quebec. As they struggle to find acceptance in a world where being openly gay is not even within the realm of possibility, Simon and Vallier have only each other to rely on. When Simon’s father suspects his son is getting too close to his male classmates, he beats Simon ruthlessly and drives him to find a woman to marry.

Vallier, on the other hand, has a special bond with his mother, Countess Marie-Laure de Tilly. The two of them were abandoned by Vallier’s father and had to move to Quebec from Paris and start a new life on their own. As a result, Vallier and his mother are very close. Marie-Laure accepts her son for who he is and doesn’t bat an eye when he tells her he’s in love with Simon. She even convinces Vallier to crash Simon’s engagement party and profess his love!

The relationship between Vallier and his mother doesn’t have the happiest ending, however. As the opera progresses, Marie-Laure’s grief at being abandoned by her husband grows to an unbearable level. In the ultimate moment of understanding between mother and son, Vallier knows he must end his mother’s suffering. He kills her.

Now because Les Feluettes (Lilies) is presented as a play within a play, the role of Marie-Laure is actually performed by a male prisoner in women’s clothing. This creates a very interesting, but no less loving, dynamic on stage.

On behalf of the mother-son duo in Les Feluettes, we wish you a Happy Mother's Day!!! Bring your mom to Les Feluettes (Lilies) at the Jubilee Auditorium October 21, 24 and 27. Season tickets to all three operas are now available starting from $99. 

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Photos by David Cooper from Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Les Feluettes in April 2017 starring Jean-Michel Richer (Vallier) and Aaron St. Clair Nicholson (Countess Marie-Laure de Tilly). 


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