Newswire | The Quebec Opera Festival: an 11th Edition That Makes its Mark

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

Quebec City, August 12, 2022 – The 11th edition of the Festival d’opéra de Québec concluded on August 4 with Faust’s final performance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec. This show, along with the other presentations on the program, will have established the mark of Jean-François Lapointe as the new general and artistic director of the event. Its programming offered the high level of quality that one could expect from a singer who has had a remarkable career, especially in French opera. Presented by BMO Financial Group in collaboration with Le Soleil, the Festival featured a flagship production (Faust de Gounod), a mainstream creation (Yourcenar – An Island of Passions), a young audience creation (3 Andersen tales), an operetta adaptation (A happy widow) and a variety of free outdoor activities.

Among the outdoor activities, the brand new Circuit opéra has attracted a great deal of interest, showcasing the history and richness of five cultural venues in the city centre, as well as presenting famous opera tunes, all in French. More than 700 people per day travelled through each of the stations. For its part, the Lyrical Brigade, which has been revamped with its brand new stage with a castelet look, will have offered opera and operetta tunes in 12 parks of the city at a rate of 2 performances per day in front of an average of 150 spectators per day, thanks in particular to the support of the Bureau des grands événements, Première Ovation and the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec.

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With its new look, the stage of the Brigade lyrique could, in the near future, become the place of more complete and elaborate artistic productions. In addition, in keeping with its mission to encourage the next generation of lyrics in Quebec City and to democratize opera, these two activities proposed by the Festival will have allowed young singers to perform during for more than 200 benefits. Jean-François Lapointe would also like to recognize the remarkable contribution of young William Desbiens, who, in addition to his daily participation in the Opera Brigade, has skilfully defended Wagner’s role in the Festival’s flagship production.

The original and entertaining A Merry Widow found its audience and it was in front of nearly 800 people spread over three performances that JM Canada’s young artists were able to showcase their talent. For their part, the creators Jean-Philippe Lavoie and Jean-François Mailloux have once again conquered the hearts of young and old alike with Andersen’s 3 tales – For children and adults who have both brought comfort, softness and humour to more than 500 spectators through texts and music that sublimate the ages. This happy collaboration with the Université Laval and the Relève Musicale de Québec is a unique opportunity to introduce young people to opera and brings a whole new perspective to opera lovers.

The highly anticipated creation Yourcenar – Une île de passions, an opera by Éric Champagne on a libretto by Hélène Dorion and the late Marie-Claire Blais, who were inspired by the life and work of Marguerite Yourcenar, met expectations and confirmed the director of the Opéra de Québec’s vision of including a new works creation component in the Festival d’opéra de Québec’s programming. Both the media and the public responded to the call and showed great interest in this co-production between the Festival d’opéra de Québec, the Opéra de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy.

Fears about COVID in many operaphiles, inflation and the difficulty of bringing audiences back to the theatre after more than two years of the pandemic have unfortunately had a noticeable effect on the number of spectators at the four Faust performances. In spite of everything, this work is the very symbol of the quality and scope that Jean-François Lapointe’s experience and stature can bring to the helm of the Opéra de Québec and the Festival. The criticism is rave (Un Faust d’une rare distinction, Le Soleil; Un Faust incontournable, Le Devoir; De grandes voix et un haut calibre pour Faust, Journal de Québec) and those who were lucky enough to attend were shocked by the show.

Daniel Turp, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Opéra de Québec and its Festival, said he was very proud of the success of this 11th edition:

With the members of his team, Jean-François Lapointe did a tour de force by organizing in 2022 a festival whose programming was rich, diverse and innovative. Faust’s production proved to be world-class and Une Veuve Joyeuse won over the audience. The presentation of Yourcenar and Andersen’s 3 Tales demonstrated the desire of the Opéra de Québec to enrich the lyrical repertoire. The Brigade lyrique tour and the new Circuit opéra show that the Opéra de Québec, with its festival, intends, as foreseen in its 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, to take its place in the heart and imagination of its community.

The Festival d’opéra de Québec was made possible thanks to the considerable support of its public and private partners, including BMO Financial Group, Le Soleil, the City of Québec through the Bureau des grands événements, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canadian Heritage and Ici Québec. Not forgetting the indispensable co-producers and cultural partners La Bordée, the Grand Théâtre de Québec, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Palais Montcalm, Les Violons du Roy, the Opéra de Montréal, JM Canada for a fifth consecutive year, as well as the Relève Musicale de Québec and the indispensable contribution of Laval University.

festivaloperaquebec.com

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

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