The Festival Classica is pleased to announce the presentation of 22 concerts offered at low prices as part of its 12th edition. Under the theme From Monteverdi to Morricone, the Festival will take place from May 27 to June 19 in Saint-Lambert and concerts will also be presented in the cities of Varennes, Mirabel, Boucherville and Longueuil.

Marie-Nicole Lemieux - Festival Classica

Internationally renowned contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux will perform at Festival Classica for the first time
Photo: Genevieve Lesieur

This 12th edition of Festival Classica is yet another illustration of the resurgence of live concerts. It will be defined under the theme of The Renaissance with an all-Italian program that will plunge festival-goers into the heart of sensuality and lyricism. Claudio Monteverdi is often identified with the passage between Renaissance music and Baroque music. For his part, Ennio Morricone made an enormous impact on the history of film music.

Marc Boucher the Founder and Artistic Director of Festival Classica, and he is delighted to host live concerts with audiences. Marc is a celebrated opera singer, and usually spends the fall and winter performing throughout Europe. However, the pandemic changed all that and his focus for the past two years has been to solidify and expand the Classica organization.

“We did a tour of The Messiah in December, just before the lockdown, and we received an excellent response to our sold-out performances, including our date at Maison Symphonique. We’ll continue to have Festival Classica performances outside of our usual springtime festival. We continue to make progress on the development of a concert hall on the South Shore that will have a capacity of one thousand seats, making it economically viable to stage larger productions of opera, operetta and even Broadway-style musicals. We are currently working with composer Nico Jaap Hamburger to write an operetta. There’ll be more to come on this!”

Florence K

Florence K will perform with the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil on June 17
Photo: Julien Faugère

“Like many arts organizations, we used live streaming to produce Festival Classic in 2020 and 2021. We developed some excellent techniques, and competitive with those sophisticated streaming services in Europe. We have been awarded a significant contract from the Quebec Government to develop a live-streaming platform to showcase the classical music industry in Quebec.” Continuing, Marc adds; “We had already established a reputation for high quality performances that attracted top-rated musicians and ensembles to perform at Classica, and this contract further enhances our reputation in the world of classical music.”

Five Stabat Mater by different composers, from Pergolesi to Vivaldi via Scarlatti, will invite audiences to a meditation of circumstance while The Vespers of the Virgin and the motets of Monteverdi will encourage introspection. Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle will be overflowing with exuberance and joy. During our recent conversation, Artistic Director Marc Boucher said; “Stabat Mater is a hymn written in the 13th century addressed to Jesus’ mother Mary. And while its subject is the crucifixion, there has been a lot of absolutely beautiful music written to accompany that hymn by leading composers like Vivaldi and Rossini. It’s genuinely uplifting.”

When asked about specific concerts he would recommend, Marc replies with a chuckle; “I knew that ‘dreaded’ question was coming. It’s like asking me which of my sons is my favourite.” We have twenty-two outstanding concerts scheduled, and I can assure your readers that any one of them with give them a most enjoyable concert experience. However, to answer your question, the Festival Classica is very proud to welcome for the first time the internationally renowned contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux.”

Stéphane Tétreault

Acclaimed violinist Stéphane Tétreault will perform with
Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Photo: Frederik Robitaille

Among the many other artists and orchestras who will perform as part of this edition, featured performers include: Marie Nadeau-Tremblay, Myriam Leblanc, Antonio Figueroa, Hugo Laporte, Valérie Milot, Gino Quilico, the Orchester de l’Agora, Arion Orchester Baroque, the ‘Ensemble Caprice, Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec, Ensemble Mirabilia, Chamber Orchestra of Montérégie, Antoine Bélanger, Magali Simard-Galdès, Florence Bourget, Edna Stern, Matthias Maute, Sophie Larivière, Vincent Lauzer, Tristan Best, Antoine Malette-Chénier, Hank Knox, Marianne Lambert, Dominic Boulianne, Marc Djokic, Caroline Gélinas, Nils Brown, Elvira Misbakhova, Chloé Dominguez, Antoine Bareil, Florence Malgoire, Elinor Frey, Luc Beauséjour, Agnès Langlois, Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, Happy Ideas and Choreographic Gardens.

To close this edition in style, two concerts will be held in the magnificent Saint-Antoine de Padoue Co-Cathedral in Longueuil. On Friday, June 17, the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil and Florence K, under the direction of Alexandre Da Costa, the audience will relive the magic of the soundtracks of films by the great composer Ennio Morricone, including Once Upon A Time In The West, Cinema Paradisoa, and The Mission.

In the closing concert on June 19, Marie-Nicole Lemieux will perform Rossini’s cantata Joan of Arc while Élisabeth Pion and Stéphane Tétreault will perform the music of Alfredo Casella. They will be accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Laval under the direction of Alain Trudel. 

The Festival has a new Privilege Card for classical music aficionados. Purchase the Privilege Card for $25 and get 25% off the purchase of your tickets. (This does not include children who are already at a reduced rate.)

For more detailed information about concert dates, programming and tickets, please visit the Festival Classica bilingual website: Enjoy!

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