The Opéra de Montréal has staged more than 800 performances of 86 operas, including 2 world premieres, 46 new productions, and numerous collaborations with companies such as Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, the Dallas Opera, the Florentine Opera Company, Florida Grand Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Over the years the company has overcome its financial difficulties, achieved material and artistic stability, and developed season programs (5 or 6 productions per year including an annual production by the Atelier lyrique) that have won critical acclaim and have combined the talents of great Canadian operatic stars, internationally renowned artists and up-and-coming singers. It also administers the Choeur de l'Opéra de Montréal which, along with either the MONTREAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA or the ORCHESTRE MÉTROPOLITAIN, accompanies the Opéra's productions.
The Opéra performs at Montréal's Place des Arts. Its regular season usually comprises traditional operas, but lesser-known works have been featured, such as Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul, Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw Leos Janácek's Jenufa (the latter won 2 OPUS awards in 1998), as well as works from the operetta repertoire. In 1989 the Opéra's Canadian commission, Nelligan, by André GAGNON with a libretto by Michel TREMBLAY, won a Félix award for "Most Popular Production of the Season." In 2004 l'Opéra de Montréal's production of Bluebeard's Castle, with staging by Robert Lepage, won two OPUS awards.
Over the years, l'Opéra de Montréal made it a priority to hire Canadian singers in their productions. Among these have been Colette BOKY, Victor BRAUN, Benoît Boutet, Leila Chalfoun, Claude Corbeil, Tracy DAHL, Manon Feubel, Maureen FORRESTER, Judith FORST, Lynne Fortin, Don Garrard, Gordon Gietz, Joanne Kolomyjec, Aline Kutan, Gaetan Laperrière, Bruno Laplante, Jean-François Lapointe, Danièle LeBlanc, Suzie LeBlanc, John Mac Master, Richard MARGISON, Ermanno Mauro, Allan MONK, Mariana Paunova, Brett Polegato, Annamaria Popescu, Gino QUILICO, Louis QUILICO, Joseph ROULEAU, Robert Savoie, Daniel Taylor and André Turp.
In 1991, the company founded the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame in recognition of the exceptional individuals who have contributed to the development of opera in Canada. Since its creation, more than 47 Canadian artists have been inducted. They include Emma ALBANI, Pierre Béique, Mario BERNARDI, Napoléon Bisson, Colette Boky, Edmund BURKE, Clarice Carson, Claude Corbeil, Lionel DAUNAIS, Edith Della Pergola, Jacqueline Desmarais, Pauline Donalda, Paul Dufault, Pierre Duval, Louise Edvina, Sara Fisher, Maureen FORRESTER, Judith FORST, Claire Gagnier, Eva GAUTHIER, Herman Geiger-Torel, Jacques Gérard, Jeanne Gordon, Yvonne Goudreau, Irving Guttman, Kathleen Howard, Jean-Paul Jeannotte, Raoul JOBIN, Edward JOHNSON, Roger D. Landry, Béatrice Lapalme, George London, Nicole Lorange, Richard Margison, Ermanno Mauro, Ettore Mazzoleni, Ruby Mercer, François Xavier Mercier, Irene Pavloska, Wilfrid PELLETIER, Rodolphe PLAMONDON, Louis QUILICO, Joseph ROULEAU, Robert Savoie, Huguette Tourangeau, André Turp and Richard Verreau.
Today the Opéra de Montréal is ranked among the 15 most important opera companies in North America, and productions can often be heard on Radio-Canada television and radio broadcasts.
Author CLAIRE VERSAILLES Revised: RACHELLE TAYLOR and ALEXIS LUKO
Links to Other Sites
Opéra de Montréal
This Opéra de Montréal website features notes about members of the company and a current calendar of performances and other activities.
Opera.ca is the voice of opera in Canada. Check their website for news about recent programs, and events of interest to Canada’s opera community. See also Opera.ca's regular e-newsletter “High Notes!” and links to Canada's major professional opera and music theatre companies.