Aleksi Barrière is a French-Finnish writer, director and translator. Along with conductor Clément Mao-Takacs, he is co-artistic director of the company La Chambre aux échos, working at the intersection of theatre and music.
After studying philosophy in Paris and theatre in Prague, he worked as an assistant to directors Peter Sellars and Sarah Méadeb, and as a dramaturge and stage designer with the independent groups T&M and Image Auditive on music theatre projects. In 2012 he founded with conductor Clément Mao-Takacs the music theatre group La Chambre aux échos as an interdisciplinary collective to explore new narratives within innovative musical and visual forms. Their creations have been performed in theatres, festivals and opera houses all over Europe, in the US and in Japan, featuring forgotten 20th-century classics and multiple world premieres by living composers, including Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone (chamber version), Juha T. Koskinen’s Ophelia/Tiefsee, and Diana Syrse’s Connected Identities.
Barrière also works within other artistic constellations and has been a guest director, among others, at the Paris Conservatoire, the Grimeborn Festival in London, the READ and Silence Festivals in Finland, the Trap Door Theatre in Chicago, the Hamburgische Staatsoper, or the Autunnale in Bergen where he directed the world-premiere production of Djuro Zivkovic’s Bogoluchie, conducted by Christian Karlsen.
As an author too, Aleksi Barrière favors collaborative approaches. Working with composers as a librettist, with a taste for interdisciplinarity, interculturality and multilingualism within text, he is in that capacity a regular collaborator of Juha T. Koskinen, Diana Syrse, Outi Tarkiainen, and Kaija Saariaho, with whom he created the opera Innocence and the madrigal Reconnaissance. His texts on art are also used in a variety of media, for academic purposes, exhibition catalogs, venue programs (e.g. the Opéra national de Paris) and musical recordings.
Selected productions w/o La Chambre aux échos
- Curlew River, new production of the opera by Benjamin Britten and William Plomer (Urkuyö & Aaria Festival, 2023)
- Bogoluchie, oratorio by Djuro Zivkovic (conducted by Christian Karlsen, partial premiere 2018 in Bergen, full world premiere in 2024)
- Only the Sound Remains, new production of Kaija Saariaho’s opera (conducted by Clément Mao-Takacs, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, 2021)
- Metsän hiljaisuuteen, devised piece on Outi Tarkiainen’s cantata (Hiljaisuus Festival, Finland, 2018)
- Letter of Love (The Fundamentals of Judo), devised piece for four actors on texts by Fernando Arrabal and Yves Klein (Trap Door Theatre, 2018)
- Projects in development with composers Juha T. Koskinen, Outi Tarkiainen and Tomás Bordalejo.
- Innocence, opera by Kaija Saariaho (2021), in collaboration with Sofi Oksanen (original script)
- Reconnaissance, science-fiction madrigal by Kaija Saariaho (2021)
- CIRCE (bird of prey), musical monodrama by Diana Syrse (2021)
- Connected Identities /The Invention of Sex, chamber opera in two parts by Diana Syrse (2021)
- Ophelia/Tiefsee, melologue by Juha T. Koskinen (2017)
Selected translations into French
- Writings by Heiner Goebbels (with Isabelle Kranabetter), TBA
- Monter un feu (To Build a Fire) by Jack London, L’extrême contemporain, 2022
- Mademoiselle Else (Fräulein Else) by Arthur Schnitzler, 2015
- Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner (with Laurent Prost), 2012
- Hugo Simbergin siivet by Ville Kurki, 2011
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, 2006
More on Aleksi Barrière’s website: