Presented at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts, May 4, 7, 9, 11, and 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Montreal, April 25, 2019 – The Opéra de Montréal is proud to announce that it is one of eleven organizations and nine professional artists that will receive financial assistance from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for the development of new, large-scale digital projects. The funds will allow for the recording of this unique production of Carmen—whose cast and creative team shine a spotlight on Quebec talent—with a goal of having various multidisciplinary presenters throughout Quebec show it at a later, as yet to be determined date.
“We believe that all Quebecers will take an interest in this production!” says Patrick Corrigan, General Director of the Opéra de Montréal. “Indeed, the famous title, Charles Binamé’s stage direction, and Quebecers’ love for local opera artists make this production a remarkable opportunity to spread our discipline all across Quebec. We are so proud to be able to share it with all Quebecers, no matter where they may live.”
Several parameters of this pilot project are still to be confirmed but it already demonstrates the Opéra de Montréal’s desire to reflect the perspectives of major local artists through opera, and to make them accessible throughout Quebec. Further details will follow in the coming weeks.
Read the CALQ’s announcement.
Charles Binamé’s singular creative process, which involved exploring the characters with the soloists for over a year, required a cast made up of Canadian singers who were open to taking a fresh look at this great classic of the repertoire. Heading up this all-Canadian cast, mezzo-soprano Krista de Silva portrays the famous gypsy, with tenor Antoine Bélanger in the role of the transfixed corporal Don José. Baritone Christopher Dunham appears as the toreador Escamillo and France Bellemare—one year after making her Metropolitan Opera debut—sings the role of Micaëla. Mezzo-soprano Pascale Spinney and soprano Magali Simard-Galdès—two young graduates of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal who today enjoy enviable international careers—complete the trio of bohemians, singing the roles of Mercédès and Frasquita respectively. Bass-baritones César Naassy (Zuniga) and Alexandre Sylvestre (Moralès), tenor Éric Thériault (Remendado), and baritone Dominique Côté (Le Dancaire) complete the cast.
In addition to directing this new production, filmmaker Charles Binamé also adapted some of the work’s dialogue. His colleague and friend, conductor Alain Trudel—a frequent guest of the Opéra de Montréal—leads the Orchestre Métropolitain for this completely unique, “made in Quebec” version of Carmen. In addition to acting as the musical director for this production, Alain Trudel also composed musical interludes to accompany the dialogue in the piece! The Opéra de Montréal Chorus, choristers from Les Petits chanteurs du Mont-Royal, and several dancers and supernumeraries also take part in this large-scale production.
Opéra de Montréal
Well-established in Montreal, at the crossroads of North American and European culture, the Opéra de Montréal acts as a catalyst for the city’s artistic creativity and celebrates Quebec and Canada’s rich vocal heritage, showcasing opera at its most diverse and daring. From great classics of the opera repertoire and innovative new works from home and abroad, to a training program for the finest young Canadian singers and a strong commitment to the community and to education, the Opéra de Montréal offers unforgettable operatic events at which everyone is warmly received and feels welcome.