Festival d’opéra de Québec: French opera in the spotlight

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

French opera will be in the spotlight this summer in Quebec City at the 10th Festival d’opéra de Québec, presented from July 27 to Aug. 7.

The festival’s rich and varied program, presented indoors as well as outdoors, includes a major concert bringing together internationally renowned Canadian singers, a play starring Sophie Faucher, a new production of Les Pêcheurs de perles as well as pop-up concerts and the traditional Brigade lyrique. This is the first festival led by its new artistic director, baritone Jean-François Lapointe.

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“The flagship event will be a large concert in tribute to French opera,” he says. “A dozen Canadian singers recognized around the world will meet on the stage of the Grand Théâtre, including the sopranos Hélène Guilmette, Claire de Sévigné, Florie Valiquette, the mezzo-sopranos Mireille Lebel and Carolyn Sproule, the tenor Éric Laporte, the baritone Phillip Addis and Olivier Bergeron as well as bass Alain Coulombe. This is a rare event not to be missed.” Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducts the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and Sarah Villeneuve-Desjardins will be the host.

 The Festival d’opéra de Québec is also continuing its collaboration with Jeunesses Musicales Canada by presenting Georges Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles at the Théâtre La Bordée. The cast consists of Carole-Anne Roussel, Louis-Charles Gagnon, Bruno Roy as well as the author of this article. Staging will be undertaken by Alain Gauthier; Esther Gonthier provides musical direction and Holly Kroeker will be at the piano for this reduced version of the work. 

“We want to be present in different places across Quebec City,” Lapointe explains. “This allows us to take advantage of the possibilities offered by these new spaces and to diversify our programming.” Les leçons de Maria Callas, a French translation by Michel Tremblay of Master Class, the well-known play by Terrence McNally, will be presented through a new partnership with the Théâtre le Diamant. La Divina is portrayed by Sophie Faucher; Dominique Côté, Klara Martel-Laroche and Catherine Saint-Arnaud play the students in these legendary courses and Anne-Marie Bernard will accompany them on the piano. Jacques Leblanc directs. 

A new work by Jean-François Mailloux and Jean-Philippe Lavoie entitled Peau d’âne will be given its premiere in Salle Henri-Gagnon of Université Laval with a cast of young Quebec singers including Hugo Laporte, Jessica Latouche and Éva-Marie Cloutier. 

Starting July 13, more than 90 outdoor events are presented across the city, with sopranos Gabrielle Lapointe, Émilie Baillargeon, Stéphanie Lavoie and tenor Étienne Quirion accompanied by pianist François Couture. The Brigade lyrique will be back this summer with Hugo Laporte, Sarah Bissonnette and Marie-Andrée Mathieu accompanied by Jean-François Mailloux. 

For program details, visit www.festivaloperaquebec.com

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

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