VOLTA: Dreamy, Poetic, and Modern

{Translated via Google Translate from the original French}

When they thought of the music of Volta, the designers of the Cirque du Soleil wanted it dreamlike, poetic and modern. They immediately thought of Anthony Gonzalez, leader of M83, an electronics group of international renown. The French composer, recognized for his epic and grandiloquent pieces, agreed to embark in his very first collaboration with the Cirque. The Montreal Journal Journal met him.


For the past 15 years, Anthony Gonzalez has had a prolific career. With his band M83, the French first lived a critical success, being named to the Grammy for the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming . Then, recently, his song Midnight City earned him a worldwide success, having recorded more than 240 million listening on Spotify.
When Cirque du Soleil contacted him, about a year ago, the musician was slightly drawn. “Basically, I’m not a circus at all,” he admits. It is a universe that is completely foreign to me. I had seen a few shows in the Circus, like Kurios and O, and it did not speak to me so much.”

But the director of creation of Volta, Jean Guibert, found the right words to convince Gonzalez to embark on the adventure. “He wanted something dreamlike, poetic and also something modern,” said the musician. He wanted to try to revolutionize the circus world a little, that Volta is talking to a new generation of people.”

For the creation, Anthony Gonzalez worked with Jean Guibert and the director of Volta, Bastien Alexandre. “We did an artistic exchange,” says the composer.

This “work of command”, Anthony Gonzalez sees it a bit like the creation of a film music. “It’s a team effort,” he said. When I work on an album, I am the master of the game. But here I make proposals that pass and others do not.”

Lovers of M83 should greatly appreciate the music of Volta, according to Anthony Gonzalez. “There’s the M83 sound that’s very close to the albums before Junk, my last record. It is something quite epic and grandiloquent, but quite cool too. There are also very pop songs. This really is a combination of full of styles to me. I’m pretty excited about that. I hope that fans of M83, who are not necessarily fans of Cirque du Soleil, will go to the show and discover a new experience.”

At the time of our meeting, two weeks before Volta’s first performance, Anthony Gonzalez said he still had a lot of work to do. “I am very perfectionist on the sound of the marquee,” he said. I think we can do much better. I know it is a structure that is not obvious to music. This is the first time I work on a marquee. I realize this is more difficult than expected! Basically, it is a structure that is not made for sound. I think that having a full room will really help to make the sound better.”

Once the show is well launched in Montreal, Anthony Gonzalez will work to release an album of M83 with the compositions of Volta . “At first, there will be a live album that will be offered in the marquee to the public,” he said. And in a few months, I will make an M83 version of the disc in my own way. There may also be tracks that have not been taken for the show , maybe new releases and vocal guests.”


Zaldy Goco, the costume designer for Volta, is on his third show at Cirque du Soleil, after working on Michael Jackson – IMMORTAL and Michael Jackson – ONE.

“The challenge is important here, because I had to design the costumes with a tighter budget,” he said. As it is a smaller show (than the other two of the Cirque), I had to see how I could maximize what I wanted to do with the money I had.”

In Las Vegas, with ONE, the designer had almost an unlimited budget for his creations. “I was telling people to cover the crystal costumes! He said, laughing. Each small square inch on a suit had a crystal. For Volta, I did not put a single crystal, because it’s too expensive!”

After his collaboration on Volta, Zaldy will continue his work on the annual Met gala in New York. The designer, who in 2009 designed Michael Jackson’s costumes for the This Is It tour (which never took place) will also return to work on RuPaul’s Drag Race. “I have been doing it for nine years,” he said. All this keeps me very busy. But that’s what I love!”



• The show is the 41st original production of Cirque du Soleil since 1984 and the 18 th presented under the big top
• The bridge that moves up and down on stage weighs 2268 kg
• BMX performers drive at a speed of 30 km / h on stage. When they land on the ramp, they generate a force of 12 g, equivalent to 12 times their weight.
• Approximately 1200 costume items were produced for Volta
• The audience has a view of the stage at 240 degrees
• The electrical components of the Cube are operated with a 200 amp electrical circuit – the equivalent of an average dwelling
• The jacket with the laser beams that carries the character Waz when animating his televised game is equipped with 168 lasers. It contains 90 meters of electrical wires and can emit laser beams in 115 different configurations
• Waz’s distinctive headdress contains about 1500 blue feathers.

{ SOURCE: Montreal Journal | https://goo.gl/Hw0lqe }