MONTRÉAL, October 31, 2019 – Twenty-six multidisciplinary venues throughout Quebec will be showing the Opéra de Montréal‘s most recent version of the opera Carmen on their screens on Sunday, February 23, 2020, as part of the Une Carmen pour tout le Québec! event.
The screening, produced by Pierre and François Lamoureux, comes following the recording of this opera, presented by the Opéra de Montréal at Place des Arts in May 2019. Directed by renowned filmmaker Charles Binamé, and performed by an all-Canadian cast, this screening will be the first of its kind for the Opéra de Montréal.
This pilot project stems from the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec’s (MCCQ) reflection on the recording and broadcasting of live performances throughout the province. Opera is the art form that least often gets the opportunity to make its way through Quebec, usually due to technical or budgetary reasons. Yet, opera is very much in demand throughout the province, where Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, among others, enjoy great success, despite the fact that the works presented rarely feature local artists.
It is within this context that the Opéra de Montréal is seeking to underscore its great interest in contributing to the MCCQ’s recording and broadcast efforts, particularly in light of the company’s new strategic guidelines, which will increasingly focus on local stories and creators.
Charles Binamé’s singular creative process, which involved exploring the characters with the soloists for over a year, required a cast made up of Canadian singers who were open to taking a fresh look at this great classic of the repertoire. Heading up this all-Canadian cast, mezzo-soprano Krista de Silva portrays the famous gypsy, with tenor Antoine Bélanger in the role of the transfixed corporal Don José. Baritone Christopher Dunham appears as the toreador Escamillo and France Bellemare—one year after making her Metropolitan Opera debut—sings the role of Micaëla. Mezzo-sopranoPascale Spinney and soprano Magali Simard-Galdès—two young graduates of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal who today enjoy enviable international careers—complete the trio of bohemians, singing the roles of Mercédès and Frasquita respectively. Bass-baritones César Naassy (Zuniga) and Alexandre Sylvestre (Moralès), tenor Éric Thériault (Remendado), and baritone Dominique Côté (Le Dancaire) complete the cast.
In addition to directing this new production, filmmaker Charles Binamé also adapted some of the work’s dialogue. His colleague and friend, conductor Alain Trudel—a frequent guest of the Opéra de Montréal—leads the Orchestre Métropolitain for this completely unique, “made in Quebec” version of Carmen. In addition to acting as the musical director for this production, Alain Trudel also composed musical interludes to accompany the dialogue in the piece! The Opéra de Montréal Chorus, choristers from Les Petits chanteurs du Mont-Royal, and several dancers and supernumeraries also take part in this large-scale production.
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