Rentrée 2021: Opera and vocal art

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A double bill from the Opéra de Montréal

On Sept. 25 and 26 the Ballet Opéra Pantomime company and the I Musici de Montréal chamber orchestra joins the Opéra de Montréal in the Théâtre Maisonneuve to present the premiere of Le Flambeau de la nuit by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse (music) and Olivier Kemeid (words). Bringing together more than 60 artists on stage, this opera is conceived as a mirror of the opera Riders to the Sea by the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, from which it borrows the dramatic process of closed doors, the ghostly presence of a female choir and the hostile presence of nature and the sea. The Opéra de Montréal thus offers us a double bill composed of these two works, old and new. They will be performed without interruption in the same scenography by Patrice Charbonneau-Brunelle, creating a unified spectacle.

Directed by Édith Patenaude and under the musical direction of Tanguay-Labrosse, the composer of Le Flambeau de la nuit, the show calls on artists of all ages and from all backgrounds, including young resident artists from the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and a choir made up of 25 youngsters from the Joseph-François-Perrault school. Canadian mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy and soprano Andrea Núñez, former Atelier lyrique member, are part of the cast, alongside Sarah Dufresne, Mishael Eusebio, Diahounba Fofana, Sydney Frodsham, Matthew Li, Geoffrey Schellenberg and Lucie St-Martin. Note also the special collaboration of Styl’Afrique Coop, whose members created part of the decor. www.operademontreal.com 


Les Violons du Roy : 
the reunion

Jonathan Cohen. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Time for the return of music director Jonathan Cohen to the national capital. Les Violons du Roy have not played under their British conductor since the start of the pandemic. The rendez-vous is at the Palais Montcalm on Sept. 22 – the first concert of the season. “We missed him a lot so it will be a great reunion,” says , Laurent Patenaude, artistic director of the Quebec City chamber orchestra. There will be a reunion also with the French soprano Sandrine Piau, who first appeared with Les Violons in 2003. “This will be our first guest from abroad since the start of the pandemic,” Patenaude points out. On the program: Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony and Haydn’s “La Reine.” As for the vocal repertoire, Piau will perform concert arias by Mozart as well as three arias from The Marriage of Figaro belonging to three different characters. Quite a challenge for this major artist on the world scene. Note that this concert will also be presented in Montreal, at the Maison symphonique, on Sept. 24. www.violonsduroy.com

La Nef welcomes soprano Myriam Leblanc

Myriam Leblanc, soprano

The La Nef company presents its first concert of the season on Oct, 2 at the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. It will draw on vocal repertoire. Entitled Doux rossignol, undoubtedly because of the virtuosity of the singer Myriam Leblanc and the trills she will have to perform, this concert features songs of love through the ages, from Italy in the 17th century to France in the 20th century. For the occasion, the Quebec soprano will be accompanied on the archlute and baroque guitar by Sylvain Bergeron.

La Nef produces vocal concerts, of course, but opera is not the only arrow in its quiver. Founded in Montreal in 1991, this company creates, produces and broadcasts concerts, multidisciplinary and multimedia shows, physical and digital recordings, musical fairy tales and CD-books. Repertoire ranges from early music and oral traditions to contemporary approaches to creative and world music. The scenic approach integrates theatre, movement and dance, visual arts, video and – with the evolution of technology – digital arts. Ticket on sale at www.lepointdevente.com, www.la-nef.com

Awaiting news from the SAVM

At press time we do not yet know the programming of the Société d’art vocal de Montréal. Lovers of the vocal arts can always count on the Café d’art vocal on Atateken St. Activities vary from projections of operas on the big screen, sessions dedicated to the comparison of recordings (L’amicale de la phonothèque), meetings with music personalities (performers, musicologists, columnists) who are invited to discuss their careers as well as share their choice of works and performers and, of course, a series of concerts featuring young artists. www.artvocal.ca

La SMCQ à l’heure de l’opéra

La Société de musique contemporaine du Québec débute sa saison par deux concerts. Le premier d’entre eux inaugure la série de concerts-portraits dédiée à des compositeurs et c’est l’univers musical d’André Hamel qui sera mis à l’honneur, le 26 septembre prochain à la salle Pierre-Mercure.

Le 10 octobre, à la salle Bourgie, place à l’opéra et place aux femmes ! Les lauréates du Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes invitent le public à la découverte de trois nouveaux mini-opéras au cours d’une soirée lyrique inédite. Une belle occasion d’entendre des compositrices et librettistes canadiennes dont les notes et les mots font écho à notre époque tourmentée : Sonia Paço-Rocchia/Meb (Marie-Ève Bouchard), Parisa Sabet/Nika Khanjani, et Anna Pidgorna/Maria Reva. www.smcq.qc.ca

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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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