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THE 39TH L'OPERA DE MONTREAL SEASON at Place Des Arts 2018-2019

THE 39TH L'OPERA DE MONTREAL SEASON at Place Des Arts 2018-2019

The Opéra de Montréal has an exciting 39th season planned for the 2018-2019 production year. The Place des Arts lineup includes classics like Rigoletto, Das Rheingold, Carmen and the anticipated Canadian premiere of the jazz-opera Champion. In addition to these four operas, a chamber opera called Twenty-Seven will be presented at the Centaur Theatre and a concert with soprano Joyce El-Khoury and Pianist Laurent Philippe will be held at the Festival du Monde Arabe.

Two standout artists will be partnering with The Opéra de Montréal this coming year. The first includes Charles Binamé a well-known Quebec filmmaker with an extensive and wide-reaching background in film and television. He will be directing Carmen in the upcoming season, solidifying his first attempt at directing an opera.

The second artist is Terence Blanchard, a well-established jazz trumpeter. Blanchard will be presenting the Canadian premiere of his opera Champion, depicting the story of Emile Griffith, who, despite his talent as a world class boxer, was mainly known for unintentionally killing his boxing opponent Benny Paret as well his bisexuality. Griffith was known to have said "I kill a man and most people forgive me. However, I love a man and many say this makes me an evil person". This show proves intriguing due to its jazz-opera musical combination, subject matter, and highly relevant themes.

The complete Opéra de Montréal 2018-2019 season calendar is as follows:

1. Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

A classic Italian three-act opera inspired by Victor Hugo's play Le roi s'amuse (The King Is Having Fun), well-known for its arias and choruses. The opera will be presented in Italian with English and French subtitles.

Presented in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, September 15-18-20-22, 2018- 7:30 pm

Conductor: Carlo Montanaro

Stage Director: Michael Cavanagh

Sets: Robert Dahlstrom

Orchestre Métropolitain

Opéra De Montréal Chorus


Rigoletto: James Westman

Gilda: Myriam Leblanc

Duke: Rame Lahaj

Sparafucile: Vartan Gabrielian

Madalena: Carolyn Sproule

2. Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner

Das Rheingold is Wagner's first of four operas within a series called Der Ring Des Niebelungen. Prior to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, there was Wagner's epic tetralogy. This production demands strong vocal performances and includes a fantasy-rich environment filled with haunting melodies, mythical beings, gods and incredible costumes and sets. The opera is performed in German with English and French subtitles.

Presented in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, November 10-13-15-17, 2018-7: 30 pm

Conductor: Michael Christie

Stage Director and Sets: Brian Staufenbiel

Costumes: Mathew J. LeFebvre

Lighting: Nicole Pearce

Projections: David Murakami

Orchestre Métropolitain

Production: Minnesota Opera


Wotan: Ryan McKinny

Alberich: Nathan Berg

Fricka: Aidan Ferguson

Fasolt: Julian Close

Fafner: Soloman Howard

Freia: Caroline Bleau

Loge: Roger Honeywell

Mime: David Cagelosi

Donner: Gregory Dahl

Froh: Steeve Michaud

Erda: Meredith Arwady

3. Champion by Terence Blanchard & Michael Cristofer

This is the Canadian premiere of the jazz-opera production Champion. The opera's plot centers on the life of welterweight prizefighting champion Emile Griffith. Griffith is a loved and famous boxer whose life rapidly changes after accidentally killing his opponent in the ring. Griffith is also a bisexual at a time when it was socially unacceptable to love freely. Champion is a moving story of a man trying to cope with contradicting expectations of 20th-Century American Society. The opera will be presented in English with English and French subtitles.

Presented at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, January 26-29-31 and February 2, 2019 - 7:30 pm

Conductor: George Manahan

Stage Director: James Robinson

Sets: Allen Moyer (Washington National Opera)

Costumes: James Schuette (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)

Lighting: Christopher Akerlind

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal/Opéra de Montréal Chorus

Production: Washington Opera


Emile Griffith: Arthur Woodley

Young Emile Griffith: Aubrey Allicock

Emelda Griffith: Catherine Anne Daniel

Benny "The Kid" Paret: Victor Ryan Robertson

Howie Albert: Brett Polegato

Luis Griffith: Asitha Tennekoon

Blanche/Sadie: Chantale Nurse

4. Carmen by Georges Bizet

A classic French opera in four-acts, Carmen is based on the novella of the same name written by Prosper Mérimée. Carmen's debut in late 19th-century France caused a significant stir, breaking social rules and portraying life and themes considered improper for the time. Carmen depicts working-class characters who live vicariously, lawlessly and, some say, immorally. The plot unfolds with Corporal Don José falling for the free-spirited Carmen. When he realizes that her free-spirit and love for another cannot be tamed, he commits a heinous act in a fit of jealous rage. The opera will be performed in French with English and French subtitles.

Presented in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, May 4-7-9-11, 2019 - 7:30 pm

Conductor: Alain Trudel

Stage Director: Charles Binamé

Sets: Olivier Landreville

Lighting: Alain Lortie

Orchestre Métropolitain

Opéra de Montréal Chorus

Costumes: Dominique Guidon

Production: Opéra de Montréal


Carmen: Krista de Silva

Don José: Antoine Bélanger

Escamillo: Christopher Dunham

Micaëla: France Bellemare

Zuniga: Cesar Naassy

Remendado: Éric Thériault

Dancaïre: Dominique Côté

Frasquita: Magali Simard-Galdés

Mercédès: Pasquale Spinney

5. Twenty-Seven by Ricky Ian Gordon & Royce Vavrek

This chamber opera shares the goings-on of salon hosts Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in their Parisian apartment on 27 rue de Fleurus. Their famous guests include some of the most accomplished writers and artists of their day, including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Matisse, and Picasso.

Presented at the Centaur Theatre March 23-24-26-28-30-31, 2019

Artists of the Atelier Lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal

Piano: Marie-Éve Scarfone

Cello: Stéphane Tétreault

Stage Director: Oriol Tomas

Production: Washington Opera

6. L'Opéra au Festival du Monde Arabe

This concert will feature soloist Joyce El-Khoury along with pianist Laurent Phillipe at the Arab World Festival. It is a combination of Middle Eastern music and opera.

Presented in Pollack Hall at McGill University November 1, 2018

Tickets for the 39th Opéra de Montréal 2018-19 Season can be purchased by calling (514)-985-2258 or 1-877-358-2222 or by visiting

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From This Author Maggie Owen