Academy of Music/Académie de musique. Name given to several 19th-century theatres. The best-known were those in Montreal
, Quebec City
. Several theatres of the same name existed in other cities, including Sherbrooke
Opened in 1875, the 2100-seat Academy of Music in Montreal was located on the east side of Victoria St, north of Ste-Catherine St. It was demolished in 1910 to allow the expansion of the Goodwin department store (which later became Eaton's). Calixa Lavallée
directed performances of Gounod's Jeanne d'Arc
there in 1877. Emma Albani
and her troupe presented the operas La Traviata
and Lucia di Lammermoor
in 1890 and Lohengrin
and Les Huguenots
in 1892. The premiere of Victor Herbert's Cyrano de Bergerac
was presented there 11 Sep 1899. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra
under J.-J. Goulet
performed at the Academy 1903-10.
The Académie de musique de Québec was constructed in 1852 and opened the following year. Built according to Charles Baillargé's plans, the theatre was located on St-Louis St and was considered one of the most beautiful halls in North America. All the major musical events of the old capital were held there until 1900, when the theatre was destroyed by fire. Emma Albani appeared there before capacity audiences 1 and 5 Feb 1889.
The Academy of Music in Halifax opened in 1877 and served as the centre of Nova Scotia's theatre and concert life for over 50 years. Built with the financial support of prominent citizens, it had a capacity of 1250. The opening concert was given by the Philharmonic Union under C.H. Porter, with soloists from Boston. Local and visiting artists (eg, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Westminster Choir, Emma Albani) appeared at the Academy in concerts and in light operas - The Mikado
in 1887, Martha
in 1896, and others. In the days following the great harbour explosion of 1917 the Academy functioned as a centre for relief organization, meal distribution, and morale boosting. The theatre was renamed the Majestic in 1918 and in 1929 was demolished to make way for the Capitol movie theatre.
Revised: Sarah Church
Links to Other Sites
A profile of Dame Emma Albani, Canadian Opera star of the 19th century. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
The Virtual Gramophone
An extensive multimedia database that covers the history of recorded music in Canada. Search the site for musician biographies and notes about the early years of sound recording, online audio clips of recordings, podcasts on specific themes, videos, and more. From Library and Archives Canada.
Recorded memory of theatre life in Nova Scotia
This extensive site offers a mosaic of interviews, profiles, digitized archival material, and other items that relate to the history of theatre in Halifax and other Nova Scotia communities. Requires a flash plugin to be properly viewed. From the Dalhousie University Archives.