Convicted murderer Bertrand Cantat has been hired by a major Montreal theatre company. The French rock star flew into a rage in 2003 and beat his girlfriend, French actress Marie Trintignant (pictured at left), a mother of four and daughter of film icon Jean-Louis Trintignant, to death with his bare hands, punching her 19 times, breaking facial bones and causing brain damage. Cantat was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in Lithuania where the murder occurred, but was set free in 2007 after serving half his sentence. The convicted killer has been hired to compose the score and sing in the chorus of a production by his friend, playwright/director Wajdi Mouawad, whose play Incendies was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Théâtre du Nouveau Monde director Lorraine Pintal has approved the decision to have Cantat in the production, which will play at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. However, groups working with abused women have denounced the casting, and some theatre-goers have threatened to boycott the show. The theatre is defending its choice, saying Cantat has paid his debt to society and deserves a second chance.