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Éric Champagne is a tall, approachable fellow. Behind a gentle and jovial manner lurks a composer with an astonishing faculty of assimilation. This is made clear by listening to just a few scattered samplings of his composition catalogue (see the Canadian Music Center website). For example, the opera Miss Julie (based on Strindberg’s play) comes to mind, with its syllabic treatment consistently connected to the drama, the balance of sound effects and the wide instrumental palette. Thirty years ago, some said the “synthesis of styles” would be left to future generations. Mission accomplished: Champagne draws extensively from the repertoire, from…

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Leonard Cohen in Five Seasons From December 5 to 9, Leonard Cohen’s voice, music and poetry will fill the Place des Arts, ­accompanying the agile ­interpreters of the Montreal Jazz Ballets through the ­seasons that make up a ­lifetime. Drawing on the man and his work, this hour and twenty minutes of spectacle is by the same stroke an ode to Montreal. It’s a considerable adventure punctuated by challenges for one of the most internationally-renowned local dance companies. Montreal in the International Spotlight While it’s currently a work in progress, this long program will be part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary…

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Promenade littéraire with the BAnQ Saturdays at 1:30 PM, Various neighbourhoods In collaboration with Tours Kaléidoscope, the Bibliothèque et Archives national du Québec ­offers guided walking tours of the neighbourhoods that inspired some of Montreal’s most iconic literature. May 27, the BAnQ’s own environs and Carré Saint-Louis take the spotlight, while June 3 is dedicated to Saint-Henri, the backdrop to Gabrielle Roy’s The Tin Flute, and June 10 explores the setting of Michel Tremblay’s Plateau Mont-Royal Chronicles. While the tours are free, reservations are ­required, as places are limited. www.banq.qc.ca Blue Metropolis Festival April 24 to 30 Is reading a…

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