On the job officially since November, Renaud Loranger, the Festival’s new artistic director, has worked hard to develop a varied and interesting program featuring great classical talents.
Voice and the piano are in the spotlight this year. In the opening concert, under the direction of French conductor Alain Altinoglu, the OSM will perform works of literary inspiration by Mendelssohn, Wagner and Strauss. Yannick Nézet-Séguin returns with his Orchestre Métropolitain and the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in a concert featuring music by Berlioz and another 19th-century French composer, Louise Farrenc.
Fans also have the opportunity to hear the Quebec maestro and his OM with the young virtuoso pianist Seong-Jin Cho, who is making his festival debut. Another virtuoso, the lyric tenor Michael Spyres, will sing Rossini, a composer for whom he has a special affinity. The schedule also includes Les Violons du Roy in a Mozart program on July 12, with Jonathan Cohen at the helm and pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin as soloist.
Soon to start his last season in Montreal, Kent Nagano conducts the OSM in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill. The Lanaudière lineup concludes with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens dancing to the rhythm of the Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.
A native of Joliette, Renaud Loranger discovered classical music thanks to the concerts organized at the Amphitheatre: “My professional life has its roots in the Lanaudière Festival. This is where I met artists for the first time. So, considering my attachment to the festival, I could not refuse the mission that was proposed to me.”
This vocal music enthusiast began his career at the OSM alongside Kent Nagano, and worked as executive producer of the vocal division, then of the French division, of the German label Deutsche Grammophon, in close collaboration with Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
“It’s surprising to see how career paths bring people together. By chance we see each other again in Lanaudière. I think it’s extraordinary.”
Loranger is not only facing the future. He belongs to the tradition of Father Lindsay, whose memory he cherishes. In his view, the beauty of the festival lies in its ability to bring together different generations and different approaches to classical music. This, among other things, allows the artistic director to foresee new projects for the institution.
Translation by Arthur Kaptainis
The 42nd edition of the Lanaudière International Festival will be held from July 5 to Aug. 4, at the Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre in Joliette and in regional churches.