Opéra de Trois-Rivières : Making the most of tradition

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

For a time, the soprano Valérie Poisson planned to pursue her singing career in Europe, but the pandemic imposed another ­reality. Taking advantage of these moments of relative calm, she seized the opportunity to make her recurring dream a reality: ­creating an opera house in Trois-Rivières. “I have often had the same dream,” explains the soprano. “Several singers and I sing with orchestras in the region, and that these same singers participate in the whole creative process.” After a year of hard work, Valérie gave serious impetus to her dream, which took shape thanks to the advice and action of the members of the board of directors, collaborators and passionate artists. Among them are Jocelyn Drolet, Odette Beaupré, Marius Tremblay, Alejandro Cervantes, Noémie Veillette and Francesco Verrecchia.

The main mission of the Opéra de Trois-Rivières is to present ­lyrical works annually to the public in the region and to offer career development opportunities to the most deserving emerging Quebec artists. A single watchword: mobilize. “Communities have specific needs that we would like to address as an organization through our artistic ­productions,” Poisson says. “In addition, we want to promote the ­region we love so much. Finally, believe that we will do everything to make lyrical art as open and accessible as possible, for the benefit of artists, whether singers or musicians, and for the public itself.”

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The Opéra de Trois-Rivières will first provide professional training for singers who have already been trained but wish to take part in a unique professional springboard: performing an opera role under the most favourable conditions. “In 2021, a large part of the training will be done online and will prepare singers for our vision of the work ­presented and our approach,” Poisson says. “We will offer online courses, singing, diction, but also performing-arts courses in which the directors ­involved will present and discuss their vision of the work.” According to Valérie, this stage of the training is essential for opera to be the fruit of a true collaboration.

The first production, Carmen en Mauricie, will be presented this summer. On the program: a presentation of the famous opera, ­appending the Quebec realities of the time depicted in the original, that is to say the 1820s. This crossing of cultures and influences will make it possible in particular to address the difficult theme of equity, without judgment or bias. In collaboration with a chamber orchestra conducted by conductor Michel Kozlovsky and the Petits chanteurs de Trois-Rivières, this journey through time will be presented as a world premiere in Trois-Rivières.

After that, Carmen en Mauricie will then be presented from ­multiple angles: an opera-storytelling version with a storyteller, an opera-dance version, during which the public will be able to take part in tango ­lessons, as well as other surprises, which will soon be unveiled.

Above all, the Opéra de Trois-Rivières aims to be an important tool for mobilization and inclusion. “We are going to ask communities to come and share their needs and their reality,” Poisson says. “We are ­already working with Aboriginal organizations, diversity organizations, organizations working for the disabled, environmental organizations, etc. The current concerns are multiple, and opera must constitute a true place of meeting and synergy. This is why we want to invite and place this diversity at the heart of creativity.

“Creativity, there will certainly be. The company wishes to ­create through the traditional lyrical repertoire. By keeping the music and adapting the texts only, we want to convey innovative and impactful messages.”

The website will be launched soon. For more information, please contact the general manager, Valérie Poisson. www.valeriepoisson.ca

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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