Quebec’s digital cultural relaunch plan grants $700,000 to Opéra de Montréal

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The Minister of Culture and Communications, Nathalie Roy, today unveiled three projects that will receive $2 million in support from the Government of Quebec through the Ambition numérique program under its Economic Recovery Plan for the Cultural Sector.

Through the Ambition numérique call for projects, the Minister hopes to equip cultural workers in times of pandemic and enable them to increase their revenues from online cultural content or products.

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A digital incubator for Quebec opera

Piloted by the Opéra de Montréal, the digital incubator will support its webcasting projects and those of 5 other companies. It will allow their productions not only to be accessible to their usual public, but also to reach a wider audience. Data collected during the webcasts will be used to better understand consumption behaviour and to measure the effectiveness of the actions. This will enable each opera company to adopt a sustainable and effective digital strategy. For this project, the Opéra de Montréal will receive $700,000 from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications.

“Digital technology is a promising tool for the economic recovery of Quebec’s cultural community, and we encourage businesses and organizations to take advantage of these new practices by integrating them into their business models. The Government of Québec is therefore pleased to support three projects that stand out for their innovative approach under the Ambition numérique program. I congratulate the Opéra de Montréal, the Société des arts technologiques and KOScène for their boldness. Preserving and increasing the vitality of our culture depends in particular on its online outreach, both here and abroad, and we are pleased to encourage projects that move in this direction. »

– Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications

To read the full press release (in French), please click here.

Press release from the Opéra de Montréal:

Montreal, October 8, 2020 – The Opéra de Montréal is delighted to announce that it will be able to count on $700,000 in financial support from the Government of Quebec, received as part of the Ministère de la culture et des communications’ Ambition numérique initiative. This subsidy will allow the company to establish a digital incubator serving the Quebec opera sector. For the Opéra de Montréal, this represents no less than 7 recording and webcast projects and over 900 fees paid out to artists and artisans over the next three years.

The digital incubator will allow for an in-depth exploration of various forms of webcasting, methods of monetization, the discoverability of opera online, and potential local and international partnerships that can further the reach of operas staged by Quebec’s various opera companies. Partner companies in this project are: Opéra de Québec, Société d’art lyrique du Royaume, Chants libres, Musique 3 femmes, and Ballet Opéra Pantomime. Each of these companies will have at least one webcasting project developed through the incubator—that is, in addition to the seven (7) Opéra de Montréal projects.

“Now more than ever, the cultural sector is in need of renewal to meet the many challenges posed by the variety of cultural offerings and the proliferation of various platforms. We should emphasize that, throughout North America, performance halls have been closed down and productions have been put on hold,” explained Patrick Corrigan, General Director of the Opéra de Montréal. “It is obvious that financial support is an essential requirement in allowing us to move forward and progress during this very unusual period. The financial assistance offered today by the Government of Quebec and the Minister of Culture and Communications, Ms. Nathalie Roy, is most welcome. It will allow us to rally the driving forces of the opera sector in Quebec and to pool our expertise in order to build a clear and sustainable digital strategy,” he was pleased to add.


Hence, the Opéra de Montréal’s next two performances will take place online. La bohème, by Giacomo Puccini, presented in 2017 on the occasion of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, is one of the most well-known operas in the repertoire. This memorable recording will be made available as a webcast starting on October 22 at 7:30 pm, for free upon registration, to the delight of one and all.

The in-person performances of La voix humaine, by Francis Poulenc, and L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi, by Laurence Jobidon and Pascale St-Onge—initially scheduled to run from October 29 to November 3—will instead be replaced with an online world premiere on November 5 at 7:30 pm. Note that the stage direction for this double-bill has been entrusted to Solène Paré, a rising star on the Montreal theatre scene. It is truly rewarding to see both former and current artists-in-residence from the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal take part in this production. Passes for this webcast go on sale today at the single cost of $20, taxes and fees included.

“While 2020 has been synonymous with great upheavals for the world as a whole—and notably for the cultural milieu—it has also been synonymous with resilience and opportunity. At the Opéra de Montréal, we are able to count on a dynamic and open community with many talents,” continued Patrick Corrigan. “I am extremely proud to see the members of this community take up the challenges brought on by the post-pandemic new normal,” he stated. The webcasting of Opéra de Montréal productions is in keeping with the company’s values of accessibility and the democratization of opera. The Opéra de Montréal hopes to raise awareness of this art form among a younger and more diverse audience, notably through its cultural partners, its interactive Let’s Talk Opera series, and its informative Pre-Opera talks, hosted by musicologist Pierre Vachon.

For further details, please see

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


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