Opera McGill’s 24-Hour Festival Featuring 7 Operas!

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Operas by Purcell, Mozart, Massenet, Ravel, Bartók, Malcom Fox, & a North American Premiere by James Garner

Friday, March 10 & Saturday, March 11
Patrick Hansen, Director, Opera McGill 

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Opera McGill’s spectacular 60th anniversary season concludes on March 10 & 11 with a delicious array of operatic delights for all ages and tastes. Offering over 24 hours of unadulterated musical indulgence, the Lisl Wirth Black Box Opera B!NGE Festival presents two evenings and a full day of opera in multiple venues around Montreal. The wide-ranging event, programmed by Patrick Hansen, now in his 10th season as Director of Opera McGill, spans over 325 years of operatic history – from Dido & Æneas, one of the earliest known English operas, to East O’ The Sun, West O’ The Moon, which premiered in 2014.  Part of this year’s Montréal en Lumière Festival, Opera McGill’s B!NGE Festival is sure to satisfy the opera aficionado, neophyte, and opera-curious!


Friday, March 10 at 7:30 pm at Redpath Hall
Dido & Æneas by Henry Purcell

This monumental Baroque opera recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Æneas, and her despair when he abandons her. Composed circa 1688, it is one of the earliest known – and certainly most beloved – English operas. Stephen Hargreaves conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra; stage direction by Jessica Derventzis.

75 minutes, no intermission; $15 / $10

Saturday, March 11 at 11:00 am at Wirth Opera Studio
The Impresario by W. A. Mozart

Mozart’s one-act comedic gem of 1786, performed in English and German, is updated to 2017 by Patrick Hansen, who directs. With a score at once farcical and beautiful, this parody on the vanity of the opera “diva” is irresistible still today. Jack Olszewski is pianist and music director.

45 minutes; $10, includes coffee and a bagel before the opera

Saturday, March 11 at 1:00 pm at Pollack Hall
Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing by Malcolm Fox

British composer Malcolm Fox’s 1977 opera stars Sid, a performing snake in a circus who wants to learn to sing. Accompanied by his circus friends, Sid travels the world, trying a different style of singing wherever he goes — from grand opera in Rome, to music-hall in London, to rock in New York — eventually finding his own unique style. Patrick Hansen is pianist and music and stage director for this colourful, interactive opera for the whole family.

45 minutes; $10 / $5 / $20 Family Pass (4)

Saturday, March 11 at 3:30 pm at Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur
Le portrait de Manon by Jules Massenet & L’heure espagnole by Maurice Ravel

Two one-act comic Romantic French operas comprise a beautiful afternoon. Massenet’s Le portrait de Manon of 1894, seen in gorgeous period costume, celebrates the triumph of young love and fate. The audience moves to the Chapelle’s art gallery for a contemporary take on Ravel’s L’heure espagnole of 1911, which sets a complicated lovers’ rendez-vous in a clock shop. Olivier Godin is music director with stage direction by Jonathan Patterson.

2 hours with one intermission; $25 / $15, includes a glass of wine

Saturday, March 11 at 8:00 pm at Théâtre Paradoxe
A kékszakállú herceg vára (Bluebeard’s Castle) by Béla Bartók & East o’the Sun, West o’the Moon by James Garner

The B!NGE Festival culminates at Théâtre Paradoxe, with a starkly contrasting double bill, presented with cabaret-style seating. Bartók’s gloomily gorgeous one-act opera of 1911 features just two singing roles: Bluebeard and his new wife Judith, who, coming home to her husband’s castle for the first time, opens a foreboding series of seven doors to reveal a series of increasingly horrifying mysteries. Music director Stephen Hargreaves premieres his new orchestral reduction for string quartet, woodwind quintet, and piano, featuring musicians from the McGill Chamber Orchestra. Sung in the original Hungarian; Patrick Hansen directs.

Finally, Opera McGill is proud to present the North American premiere of East O’ The Sun, West O’ The Moon by James Garner (b.1992), who will be in attendance.  A charming and adventurous tale – featuring a singing polar bear – this fast-paced story of love and bravery is inspired by a Norwegian fairytale. Musical direction by Stephen Hargreaves with stage direction by Patrick Hansen.

2 hours with one intermission; $25 / $15, bar service offered throughout

This season, Opera McGill is celebrating 60 incredible years of training, mentoring, and nurturing young artists. The anniversary season opened in November with Handel’s mystical Alcina, in a remount of Patrick Hansen’s striking 2008 production. In January, Opera McGill presented a glittering production of Die Fledermaus at the Monument National, to full houses and rave reviews, and with special appearances by star Opera McGill alumni.


About Opera McGill

As one of the leading opera training programs in North America, Opera McGill’s students come from all over Canada, the United States, and Europe. At least three new productions are created each season: a mainstage opera with orchestra, a baroque opera with period instruments and tuning (in collaboration with the Early Music program), and a “black box” production. Additionally, Opera McGill has inaugurated a series of Community and Educational Engagement and Events that allow students to perform off- campus in the Montreal area as well as in the CEGEPs and elementary schools.


About the Schulich School of Music

Founded in 1904, the Schulich School of Music of McGill University embodies the highest international standards of excellence in professional training and research. The School is renowned for its programs in orchestra, opera, jazz, early music and contemporary music. Its status as a leader in sound recording and music technology provides unique possibilities for collaboration with the larger musical community.  Recognized as one of the major music schools in North America, the Schulich School of Music has more than 850 students, 240 faculty members and top programs in research and technology.  It hosts some 700 concerts and events each year.



555 Sherbrooke Street W | In person or by phone: Monday – Friday, noon to 6:00 p.m.


To buy tickets online and for more information please see: www.mcgill.ca/music

@operamcgill   #operamcgill


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