Newswire | Marie-Annick Béliveau Takes Over for Pauline Vaillancourt as Artistic Director of Chants Libres

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Montreal, June 9, 2022 – The Chants Libres board of directors announces today the nomination of Marie-Annick Béliveau to the post of artistic director. The mezzo-soprano will take over for Pauline Vaillancourt, the major figure of contemporary opera who founded this lyric creation company 31 years ago.

This nomination is a natural choice for the company as Ms. Béliveau had already participated in numerous creations with Chants Libres before becoming assistant artistic director in 2013. She has thus been entrusted the mission to carry on the company’s mandate dedicated to creating operatic works and to exploring new vocal writing.

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A leading performer on Montreal stages, the mezzo-soprano has gained attention, having ensured the creation of about 30 contemporary operas and vocal works. These collaborations, often touched by her passion for experimentation, have allowed her to weave strong connections with artists and composers from here and elsewhere, while also developing her appetite for artistic programming.

Vocal exploration and all of its forms: a well-met challenge

“It is with great humility and enthusiasm that I take up this torch. To take over from such a symbolic figure as Pauline Vaillancourt is a privilege and I want Chants Libres to continue to be this indispensable tool that gives composers the opportunity to create operas with the greatest of liberties. More than ever, opera, this coming together of all the arts, lends itself to the mixing of genres and a vision that breaks down the walls of disciplines”, cites the new artistic director.

At the crossroads of creation

One of the particularities of Chants Libres, being a lyric company which is directed by a performer, will therefore endure, just as will the development of its own repertoire. “It is with serenity that I hand over the reins to Marie-Annick. She will know how to trace her own path while continuing to defend with conviction the missions of Chants Libres”, explains Ms. Vaillancourt, the company’s founder. “I, of course, will continue to follow all of this closely!”, she adds with a smile; she is already working on a series of video clips that revisit the 17 creations of the company’s repertoire.

Our next rendezvous will incidentally take place this summer: Chants Libres will present excerpts of five operas that are being written as part of the 7th edition of its event OPER’ACTUEL | Works in progress, presented in co-production with Ensemble Paramirabo on August 27 & 28, 2022.

All of the Chants Libres team greets this appointment with joy and warmly welcomes the new artistic director who takes up her post officially on July 1st.

About Chants Libres

Founded in 1990 by soprano Pauline Vaillancourt, in association with Joseph St-Gelais and Renald Tremblay, Chants Libres offers an operatic repertoire adapted to the colours of modernity, constantly exploring new techniques and approaches to vocal art, and working in close collaboration with creators and researchers of all disciplines.

For 31 years Chants Libres has played an essential role in the production and the diffusion of new operatic works. Through the originality and the diversity of its approach, Chants Libres takes the risk of creation. After having seen international premieres in Montreal, the company’s 17 creations have toured the world. Noted by 8 large-scale festivals, its works have been performed in Venezuela, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium and Holland. A trailblazing organization, Chants Libres seeks to raise awareness of the richness of new operatic forms among creators, performers and the public. The company was host of the international conference New-OP 8 (now Opera21) and has so far produced 6 editions of the biannual event Oper’Actuel works in progress.

The impact of Chants Libres’ mission and its creations on the whole of the international operatic scene has been recognized through numerous prizes.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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