Diana’s Domain

Rating: NNNNNWith stage, film and TV work that spans several decades, director/actor Diana Leblanc has put a memorable stamp on.

Rating: NNNNN

With stage, film and TV work that spans several decades, director/actor Diana Leblanc has put a memorable stamp on classical and contemporary roles. Here are some career highlights.

THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA (1999, director, Canadian Opera Company and Amsterdam) Despite the potential for dull stand-and-sing in Benjamin Britten’s philosophical opera, Leblanc inspired her young COC cast to mine the stark power at its core.

FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY (1998, actor) In the TV adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s tale, Leblanc glowed as the upper-class, well-bred Frannie, a mother who comes to terms with having a lesbian daughter and allows herself a sexual fling.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1998, director, Stratford) Al Waxman surprised audiences with his moving Willy Loman in the Arthur Miller classic, and Leblanc gave him the room and provided the supportive environment for a stellar Stratford production.

THE LITTLE FOXES (1996, actor, Stratford) As the insecure, shy Birdie — one of the tragic figures in Lillian Hellman’s melodramatic slice of Southern Gothic — Leblanc added extra emotional nuances.

DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES (1996, director, Canadian Opera Company) Leblanc’s first crack at opera, Francis Poulenc’s spare, riveting work about religious faith during the French Revolution, has never seemed more immediate or gripping.

LA VOIX HUMAINE (1994, actor, Théâtre Français de Toronto) Leblanc moved even non-francophone viewers as the woman who tries desperately to save her relationship in Jean Cocteau’s two-hander for actor and telephone.

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (1993, director, Stratford) Leblanc helmed this jewel in the Stratford crown, a direct, wrenching treatment of the autobiographical Eugene O’Neill classic, later made into a film.

LA MAISON SUSPENDUE (1990, actor, Théâtre Français/Canadian Stage) Playing Albertine first in French and then in English, Leblanc took on yet another Michel Tremblay role in a time-shifting tale about three generations of a family whose dreams offer them both heartache and solace.

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