This week in Montreal: May 20 – 26


Montreal Chamber Music Festival (MCMF/FMCM)
The musical festival season opens with the MCMF. The 18th edition takes place from May 9 to June 1 at St. George’s Anglican Church. True to tradition, artistic director Denis Brott spares us no surprises. Performers include the Emerson and Fine Arts Quartets, the Swingle Singers, and pianists Jean-Philippe Collard and Oliver Jones, to name a few. This year’s four-hour marathon is dedicated to Tchaikovsky.
– Renée Banville

Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Opéra de Montréal
For the final production of the 2012-13 season, the Opéra de Montréal presents Jules Massenet’s Manon. After an acclaimed performance of the role at the Opéra National de Paris last year, Marianne Fiset sings Manon in the Montreal production. The cast also includes Bruno Ribeiro (Des Grieux), Gordon Binter (Lescaut), Alain Coulombe (Le Comte des Grieux), Alexandre Sylvestre (De Brétigny), Guy Bélanger (Guillot), Frédérique Drolet (Pousette), Florie Valiquette (Javotte) and Emma Char (Rosette). The conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Fabien Gabel, conducts the Orchestre Métropolitain and Brian Deedrick provides stage direction. Four performances take place at salle Wilfrid-Pelletier on May 18, 21, 23, and 25 at 7:30 pm.
– Daniel Turp

Evening Harmonies with Ensemble Appassionata
Ensemble Appassionata closes its Haydn cycle on Wednesday, May 22 with an “Evening Harmonies” themed concert. Nathalie Paulin, soprano, Michelle Sutton, mezzo-soprano, David Manzies, tenor, and Cairan Ryan, baritone, will be the soloists. The Commonwealth Singers join the members of Appassionata for this concert, which takes place at Salle Pierre-Mercure at 8 pm.
– Daniel Turp
I Musici’s Choral Celebration
Under the baton of conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni, the I Musici chamber ensemble closes its season with “Fête chorale à la française” on May 24 at 8 pm. On stage are mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne and baritone Phillip Addis with a program of excerpts from works by Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Ernest Chausson, and Joseph Canteloube.
– Daniel Turp
Les Violons Du Roy Present the Oratorio Theodora
Presented by Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie’s Chapelle de Québec, this production of G. F. Handel’s oratorio Theodora will doubtlessly be the biggest event of the lyric season, uniting Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Karina Gauvin on the same stage at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City May 23 and 24, and the Montreal Symphony House on May 25 at 8 pm. Joining the two great artists are countertenor Iestyn Davies, tenor Allan Clayton, and baritone-bass Andrew Foster-Williams.
– Daniel Turp

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