Chants Libres: A New Generation

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

The seventh Oper’Actuel project by Chants Libres will be the first project under the artistic direction of mezzo-soprano and musician Marie-Annick Béliveau, who will take over from Pauline Vaillancourt, Chants Libres founder and historic figure in the creation of vocal works.

Béliveau would like to create an artistic community of her own, though she is cognizant of the requirements and principles Chants Libres has held for more than 30 years. “Leading a company as a musician is a unique opportunity,” Béliveau said. “This, of course, means that I will ask people to collaborate with me and I will create teams. In addition, as artistic director, I will bring the right people to the table and let their inspiration flow.”

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Speaking of the right people, Béliveau will have the opportunity to work alongside Ensemble Paramirabo, directed by Jeffrey Stonehouse. “A collaboration with Ensemble Paramirabo is exciting, for it plays an active role in premières on the local and international contemporary music scene. The Paramirabo musicians have great sensitivity to—and a lot of experience in—voice training, as they have often collaborated with singers and premièred operas by composers such as Gabriel Dharmoo. Paramirabo will enter the second stage of the Oper’Actuel project with us. Chants Libres and Paramirabo will now provide composers with expertise in vocal premières, which is a positive development for both ensembles. This will enable us to bring our audiences, specialties, and means of dissemination together and encourage composers interested in our work to join us. It’s really exciting.”

The growing community of composers has eagerly awaited this event. Béliveau worked behind the scenes for Oper’Actuel in 2019; she remembered hearing that some composers were looking forward to submitting a project they had in mind for the next event. This resulted in an annual performance produced three times with five excerpts from works in the composition process and an accessible ticket box office. Béliveau said that this performance was highly popular with young people and the contemporary music community.

Béliveau would like to bring the collegial atmosphere with community professionals to a new level. “This is of particular interest to me,” she said. “My role of artistic director is to interact with my teammates, experiment with combinations, exchange ideas with artists, and facilitate collaborations as a mediator. It’s really fascinating!”

Translation by Dwain Richardson

Five excerpts of works are expected to be performed during the Oper’Actuel project on Aug. 27 and 28 at Théâtre Rouge in the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. www.chantslibres.org

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

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About Author

Justin Bernard est détenteur d’un doctorat en musique de l’Université de Montréal. Ses recherches portent sur la médiation musicale, notamment par le biais des nouveaux outils numériques, ainsi que sur la relation entre opéra et cinéma. Membre de l’Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM), il a réalisé une série de capsules vidéo éducatives pour l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Justin Bernard est également l’auteur de notes de programme pour le compte de la salle Bourgie du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal et chargé de cours à l’Université de Sherbrooke. Par ailleurs, il anime une émission d’opéra et une chronique musicale à Radio VM (91,3 FM).

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