La Rentrée Musicale: Vocal & Opera

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Kamen Chanev

Kamen Chanev

Montreal’s opera season begins with the Opéra de Montréal’s Aida on September 17. Running until the 24, the show features Kamen Chanev (Radames), Olesya Petrova (Amneris), Gregory Dahl (Amonasro), Phillipe Ens (Ramfis), Anatoli Sivko (The King of Egypt), with Russian soprano Anna Markarova in the title role. Paul Nadler conducts. The November production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni features the return of Canadian bass-baritone Gordon Bintner to the Opéra de Montréal stage as the philandering anti-hero. Includes an all-Canadian cast of Daniel Okulitch (Leporello), Emily Dorn (Donna Anna), Jean-Michel Richer (Don Ottavio), Layla Claire (Donna Elvira), as well as up-and-coming conductor Jordan de Souza. Nov. 12, 15, 17, and 19. Stage Director David Lefkowich makes his company debut.

In October, Opéra de Québec presents a double-feature of Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. The former features soprano Gianna Corbisiero as the title character and mezzo-soprano Sonia Racine as the Princess. Gianni Schicchi is played by baritone Gregory Dahl, with soprano Audrey Larose Zicat as Lauretta and tenor Steeve Michaud as Rinuccio. October 22, 25, 27, and 29.

The McGill Schulich School of Music is offering up a vibrant season in celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary. Opera McGill is also celebrating a milestone with its 60th anniversary this year. To satisfy your Baroque opera cravings, see Handel’s Alcina this November. Directed by Patrick Hansen and conducted by Hank Knox, the show runs from November 5 to 7.

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On November 9 and 12, La Compagnie baroque Mont-Royal presents Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio. Sung in German, the case includes Carol Léger (Konstanze), Barbara Heath Lopez (Blondchen), David Menzies (Belmonte), Jan van der Hooft (Pedrillo), and Philippe Bolduc (Osmin). Directed by Geneviève Jalbert from the piano.

For some lighter fare, operetta fans will have to go to Laval for Opéra Bouffe du Québec’s Véronique by André Messager. Directed by Yvon Bilodeau and conducted by Simon Fournier, the cast includes soprano Frédérique Drolet (Hélène/Véronique), Pierre Rancourt (Florestan), Martin Fortier (Coquenard), and Jessica Lessard (Mme Agathe Coquenard). October 29 matinee, 29, 30m, October 4, 5, and 6m.

For more opera on the North Shore, the Théâtre d’art lyrique de Laval presents a classic story of star-crossed lovers with Lakmé on November 18 and 20. Directed by Émile Beaudry with musical direction by Sylvain Cooke.


From September 7 to 10, catch the Orchestre Symphonique de Monréal’s season opener, Orff’s magnum opus, Carmina Burana. Soloists include soprano Aline Kutan, tenor Frédéric Antoun, and baritone Russell Braun, who masterfully filled in for Thomas Hampson in Britten’s War Requiem, last season’s closing concert.

The Choeur d’été de Montréal celebrates its 5th anniversary with a concert on September 10, conducted by founder Dany Wiseman. The Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal joins the choir in a program of Mendelssoh’s Second Symphony, “Lobgesang,” and opera arias.

Recitals and Concerts

On September 23, in collaboration with Pop Montreal, Opéra de Montréal presents Sorrow, a reimagining of Polish composer Henryk Górecki’s 1977 3rd Symphony by rock and jazz multi-instrumentalist Colin Stetson. Starring mezzo-soprano Megan Stetson, backed by a small chamber group with rock elements.

Presented as part of the Journées de la culture, the McGill Schulich School of music is giving a recital entitled The Keening Muse of Russia: The Music of Shostakovich and Poetry of the Russian Silver Age. Narrated by Anna Berman with Axel Strauss (violin), Yegor Dyachkov (cello), and Ilya Poletaev (piano), the program includes Shostakovich’s Trio in E minor Op. 67 and his Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok, featuring soprano Dominique Labelle. ­October 1.

The Société d’art vocal de Montréal’s 19th season features two recitals this fall: soprano Andréanne Brisson Paquin accompanied by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert in a program of Haydn, Gougeon, Grieg, and Quilter (Oct. 16), and baritone Jean-François Lapointe with Italian arias by Donizetti, Rossini, and Verdi as well as French mélodie by Duparc and Gounod, accompanied by pianist Michael McMahon (Nov. 6).

­Isabel Bayrakdarian

­Isabel Bayrakdarian

The Orchestre symphonique de Laval’s season opens on October 19 with a concert entitled Arabian Nights, Scheherazade. Armenian-Canadian soprano ­Isabel Bayrakdarian stars in this evening of Middle-Eastern-inspired glamour and beauty, lending her voice to Ravel’s Sheherazade as well as Three Armenian Folksongs arranged by maestro Alain Trudel.

Soprano Nicola Beller Carbone, tenor Dimitri Pittas, and baritone Hugh Russell join Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and the Chœur Métropolitain for Rachmaninoff’s The Bells on November 27. The program is rounded out with Borodine’s lyrical Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor and Stravinsky’s 1947 orchestral version of Petrushka.


The SAVM continues its series of opera video projections at its Café each Saturday at 12:30PM (repeated on Thursdays at 6:30PM) beginning September 10 with Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. You can enjoy more historic opera stagings with commentary by musicologist Michel Veilleux at the Université de Montréal’s Opéramania series every Friday evening.

The eleventh season of the MET Live in HD Series begins with Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (Oct. 8), followed by Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Oct. 22), and Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin (Dec. 10) in cinemas across Canada. Check for encores.


About Author

Kiersten van Vliet was the Web Editor and an Editorial Assistant for La Scena Musicale from 2015–17.

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