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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 18, No. 7


by Renée Banville & Daniel Turp / June 1, 2013

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Discovery and Exploration at the Montréal Baroque Festival

In addition to their Grand concerts series, the Montréal Baroque Festival will offer festival-goers more intimate programming, including a recital by this year’s artist-in-residence, Brazilian born Cléa Galhano, and a concert of sacred cantatas by Manuel de Zumaya performed by Mexican ensemble La Fontegara. This festival is a place of exploration and discovery; Soirée sans frontières will push the limits of baroque experience by combining early music with the digital arts. This year’s closing event is Élémens, a divine ballet by Jean-Ferry Rebel depicting the Creation, featuring dancers and acrobats. www.montrealbaroque.com  RB

Festival de Lanaudière – July 13 - August 11

Festival de Lanaudière opens on July 13 with a concert by the Festival Orchestra and Alain Lefèvre performing Ravel’s Concerto en sol, and closes on August 11 with the Orchestre Métropolitain under Yannick Nézet-Séguin performing Wagner’s Lohengrin, featuring soprano Deborah Voigt and other soloists. OM makes another appearance on the first Sunday of the festival, with Mathieu Lussier at the helm. The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal performs two concerts, conducted by Kent Nagano: Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello featuring James Ehnes and Jan Vogler, and the following day, with Emmanuel Ax performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 27. The Symphony will also perform Beethoven’s Symphony no 3 (August 9) and Mahler’s Symphony no 1 (August 10.) The Orchestre symphonique de Québec and its new conductor Fabien Gabel appear on August 2 with violist Antoine Tamestit. Just one recital at the amphitheatre this season: Marc-André Hamelin playing Haydn, Scriabine and Medtner.

Young stars Stéphane Tétreault and Jan Lisiecki, darlings of the festival circuit, will both perform at Lanaudière. Tétreault will join the Orchestre du Festival for Britten’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, while Lisiecki will perform Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Orchestre de l’Académie Orford.

Piano and pianoforte take center stage at the festival’s church venues. On July 31 Alexandre Tharaud will perform the North American premiere of a piece for choir and piano by Thierry Pérou. Two concerts at the end of July are dedicated to Poulenc: the first featuring works for two pianos with the Fung-Chiu Duo, the second featuring cello and piano with Yegor Dyachkov and Jean Saulnier.

This year the Festival celebrates choral music with a Grand fête on July 19. Tous en chœur is a concert that invites amateur choristers to take the stage to perform Martin Palmeri Misa a Buenos Aires, a mass based on Argentinian Tango music, and Karl Jenkins’ Te Deum. lanaudiere.org  RB

Domaine Forget International Festival: The Great Beethoven Cycle

The Festival, which runs from June 15 to August 25, kicks off with a grand event: Beethoven’s complete piano concertos starring Marc-André Hamelin, Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie. Piano plays an important role in this edition of Domaine Forget. Highlights include Wonny Song with violinist Alexandre Da Costa (July 6), Menahem Pressler and the Quatuor Pacifica (July 13), André Laplante (August 4) and Alain Lefèvre in benefit concert to close the festival. On August 17 will be entirely dedicated to the piano, beginning with a master class at 1pm and continuing with seminars and concerts by Benedetto Lupo, Jean-Philippe Collard and more.

Two special concerts will pay hommage to musical giants; on June 22 an evening dedicated to the memory of Yuli Turovsky brings together the Quatuor Turovsky, cellist Stéphane Tétreault and pianist Olivier Hébert-Bouchard. On August 3 the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Fabien Gabel and violist Antoine Tamestit will remember Françoys Bernier, founder of Domaine Forget who died 20 years ago. Tamestit will team up with four other musicians on August 7 for the concert Cordes virtuoses. The first concert in this series, on August 2, will feature Régis Pasquier, Jean Sulem, Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianists Brigitte Poulin and Nancy Pelletier.

Three of Québec’s star singers will take part in this year’s Festival. On June 29 Hélène Guilmette sings Les illuminations, op. 18 by Britten with I Musici and Jean-Marie Zeitouni. On August 10 Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Benedetto Lupo and the Quatuor Arthur-Leblanc present a program of Schubert, Respighi, Debussy and Chausson. On August 16 soprano Pascale Beaudin performs Chausson’s Urbania with the Orchestre de la Francophonie. Andréa Tyniec, winner of the 2012 Canada Musical Instrument Bank, will also participate in the concert.  www.domaineforget.com  RB

Festival de Musique de Lachine: Verdi, Wagner And Poulenc

With programming inspired by composers’ birthdays, this year’s festival will heavily feature the voice. The opening concert on June 29 stars Étienne Dupuis and conductor Jordan de Souza, performing works by Verdi and Wagner. Poulenc takes the spotlight on July 6 in a performance by soprano Pascale Beaudin, accompanied by Olivier Godin and François Zeitouni. Two rising stars and competition winners, bass-baritone Gordon Bintner and soprano Florie Valiquette, will participate in the Discovery Concert on July 4. Artistic Director Richard Turp is thrilled to offer a program with Canadian oboist Louise Pellerin, currently living in Switzerland. Her concert focuses on operatic repertoire and includes an adaptation of the famous Queen of the Night aria from the Magic Flute. Olivier Godin will join Pelletier on organ and piano (July 10). The festival also boasts the premiere Canadian appearance of the remarkable Profeti della Quinta vocal ensemble. Originally from Israel but now living in Switzerland, the ensemble of six singers specializes in Baroque repertoire, favouring lesser known and neglected works (July 11.) Two Brahms concerts are also on the schedule: violonist Alexandre Da Costa and pianist Wonny Song perform three Brahms sonatas (July 9) and the New Orford String Quartet interpret two Brahms quartets (July 14.) All concerts begin at 8:00pm and will be preceded by a pre-concert talk with Richard Turp at 7:30pm. The festival runs from June 29-July 14 in three venues: www.concertslachine.ca  RB

Festival d’Opéra de Québec: La Damnation de Faust and Powder Her Face

This year’s edition includes a major production; Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust in a production by Robert Lepage. The all-Canadian cast includes mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne (Marguerite), tenor Gordon Gietz (Faust), bass-baritone Alexandre Sylvestre (Brander) and bass John Relyea (Méphistophélès). The Chœur de l’Opéra de Québec and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec will be led by conductor Giuseppe Grazioli. There will be four performances in all: July 25 (8:00pm), 27 (2:00pm), 29 and 31 (8:00pm) at the salle Louis-Fréchette in the Grand Théâtre de Québec. The festival’s second production is Powder Her Face, a work by The Tempest composer Thomas Adès. This New York City Opera production stars mezzo-soprano Allison Cook in the lead role, as well as soprano Nili Riemer, tenor William Ferguson and bass Matt Boehler. There will be three performances starting at 8:00pm at Capitole de Québec on August 1, 3 and 5, 2013. Randolyriques with French artist Vincent Karche is a new addition to the festival, offered from 9am-12pm and from 3pm-6pm on the Plains of Abraham on July 24, 25, 27 and 28 and at the Huron site Tsonontwan on July 30-31 and August 2-3. Apéro-concert: Paris en scène features soprano Sylvie Malenfant and tenor Marc Duguay in arias from Paris during “la Belle Époque”, at the Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique francophone on July 28, 29 and 30 at 4:00pm. Two spectacular events will close out the third edition of the festival with a bang. On Saturday, August 3 at 10:30pm in the Old Port District the Festival is teaming up with the Grands Feux Loto-Québec to present a fusion of excerpts from the most well-known operas combined with a spectacular fireworks display visible on both sides of the Saint Lawrence River. This extravaganza will take place at the Vieux-Port de Québec on Saturday, August 3 at 10:30pm. To close the Festival, Ensemble Quartango, soprano Marie-Josée Lord and Argentinian dancers Roxana and Fabian Belmonte will come together in a show that marries the heat of the tango with the depth of opera (The Capitole, Sunday, August 4 at 8:00pm.) www.operadequebec.qc.ca    DT

Opera in Saint-Eustache

The fourth edition of Le Festival d’Opéra de Saint-Eustache runs from July 12-14 2013. A Gala Concert opens the festival on Friday, July 12, and stars baritone Gino Quilico, mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah and soprano Sahara Sloan accompanied by pianist Dominique Boulianne. On Saturday, July 13, maestro Colin Doroschuk conducts Voix de chez nous, a concert featuring opera arias as well as the conductor’s own compositions performed by mezzo-soprano Arminè Kassabian, sopranos Sophie de Cruz and Chantal Parent, tenor Éric Thériault and baritones Marc-Antoine d’Aragon and Martin-Michel Boucher. Soprano Leila Chalfoun will narrate and Jérémie Pelletier accompanies the singers. The final concert of the festival is Wagner en plein air on Sunday, July 14, with staging by the Festival’s director-in-residence Dorian Fourny. Soprano Angèle Plourde, mezzo-soprano Geneviève Després-Couillard, tenor Guy Lessard, baritone Eugene Voicu and Marcel Beaulieu will perform excerpts from Tannhäuser and Die Walküre. www.festivaloperasteustache.com.    DT

The Tchaikovsky Experience at Orford

The Orford Festival, which runs from July 13 to August 18 2013, presents the Tchaikovsky Experience. Several of the great Russian composer’s works will be performed at Orford this summer, including his symphonies no 4, 5 and 6. Conductor Jean-François Rivest, the Festival’s Artistic Director, will conduct two of the symphonies and guest conductor Yoav Talmi will interpret Symphony no 5. Three young artists will be featured in these concerts; pianist Jan Lisiecki, violinist Timothy Chooi and cellist Stéphane Tétrault. On July 13 the opening concert takes up the theme of La danse dans tous ses états (dance in all its forms), with Les Violons du Roy under Jean-François Rivest. The festival’s “Chamber Music” and “Piano” concert series features such artists as Wiener Klaviertrio, the New Orford String Quartet, Xiaoyu Liu, Orford Six Pianos, Marika Bournaki, Benedetto Lupo and André Laplante. www.arts-orford.org   DT

Mondial de Laval: Sylvain Cooke’s Évangéline

Évangéline, the first opera by Québec composer Sylvain Cooke on a libretto by Thérèse Tousignant, will be performed as a part of the Mondial de Laval festival at Salle André-Mathieu on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22. The cast includes soprano Brigitte O’Halloran in the title role and tenor Andrezj Stec as Gabriel. Staging is by Frédéric-Antoine Guimond and Sylvain Cooke conducts the Orchestre symphonique de Laval. This opera is a co-production by the Théâtre d’Art Lyrique de Laval and the Orchestre symphonique de Laval. www.mlql.ca; www.theatreall.com/html/evangeline.htm  DT

Translation: Dayna Lamothe

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