Born in Montreal, François Barbeau (1935-2016) gained worldwide recognition for his talent in costume design for theatre, film, television and dance. He received the Order of Canada, the country’s highest distinction, as well as the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. Among dance companies, Les Grands Ballets has made the most frequent use of his talents. He has designed costumes for John Butler’s Catulli Carmina (1968 and 1986); Fernand Nault’s Carmina Burana (1966 and 1998), Les Sept Péchés Capitaux (1978) and Tommy (1970). In 1987, for the 30th anniversary of Les Grands Ballets, François Barbeau created the marvellous costumes of The Nutcracker, which will dazzle audiences again this year.
“For 14 years, I had the privilege of working very closely with François Barbeau. He managed to share with us, the people working in Les Grands Ballets’ Wardrobe, a way of creating that allows dancers to inhabit their characters and their costumes in a way that is more authentic. Mr. Barbeau left us, but The Nutcracker and his legacy will live on and continue to shine, like he would have wanted.”
— Melanie Ferrero, Head of Wardrobe