Festival Classica is back under its original concept of live concert for its 13th edition. From May 25 to June 17, 21 concerts will take place in six cities: Longueuil, Saint-Lambert, Boucherville, Saint-Bruno, Brossard, and for the first time in Montreal, in residence at the Salle-Claude-Champagne of the Université de Montréal. The Festival introduces the first season of the Nouvel Opéra Métropolitain (NOM), its new opera division. These concerts will be performed in immersive reality thanks to Lumifest. Five concerts will be presented in Longueuil, three in Montreal, three in Boucherville, eight in Saint-Lambert, one in Saint-Bruno and one in Brossard.

An engaging and diversified program

True to its mission, Festival Classica unveils a sophisticated program with particular attention paid to bringing in the best artists from Quebec and Canada. Under the theme of From Fauré to Félix, the 13th edition of the Festival highlights the best of French music; symphonic concerts, operas, melodies and chamber music will form the musical bouquet of this long-awaited return to live concerts.

Marc Boucher

Baritone Marc Boucher performs during the festival, in addition to being the Artistic Director and President of the festival

“This 13th edition represents a real breath of fresh air for Festival Classica and our festival goers,” said Marc Boucher, General and Artistic Director of Festival Classica. Our new opera division, Nouvel Opéra Métropolitain, will present its first three productions at Salle Claude-Champagne in Montreal. A grand debut for us and for the opera scene! This is the beginning of a brilliant collaboration between the Festival and the Université de Montréal. We can’t wait to see the public once again this year and to share powerful and innovative musical performances.”

The Festival will begin on May 25 with the benefit concert Lux Aeterna, which will feature a selection of the most outstanding choral works from the 19th to the 21st century. For the occasion, the ArtChoral

Ensemble, under the direction of Matthias Maute, will be made up of 40 choir members and supported by some of this year’s leading performers. This concert marks the beginning of a five-year partnership between Festival Classica and the Ensemble, which thus becomes the Festival’s choral group in residence. A few seats will be available for the public.

The June 17 concert, Fantaisies québécoises, in the Cocathédrale Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue, will mark the end of this 13th edition. On this occasion, soprano Suzanne Taffot will share the stage with tenor Marc Hervieux, supported by the Orchestre de Trois-Rivières under the direction of Alain Trudel. This year, harpist Valérie Milot and cellist Stéphane Tétreault will present the captivating concert Transfiguration on June 13 in Longueuil, marking the creation of a major partnership with the Théâtre de la Ville.

The Nouvel Opéra Métropolitain, the opera division of Festival Classica

For the first time this year, Festival Classica is offering concerts in Montreal as part of the grand premiere of the Nouvel Opéra Métropolitain (NOM), its new opera division. Innovative and modern, NOM’s performances will also offer a truly immersive experience thanks to the integration of digital artworks that will immerse the audience in a spellbinding operatic universe.

On May 31, June 6 and 14, the first three NOM productions will be presented: two world premiere performances; L’homme qui rit by Airat Ichmouratov on a libretto by Bertrand Laverdure and Miguela by Théodore Dubois on a libretto by Jules Barbier, as well as an original rediscovery, L’Adorable Belboul, a salon operetta by Jules Massenet. Most of the cast will be from Quebec, with some French artists also performing.

L’homme qui rit will immerse the audience in the dark and poetic world of Victor Hugo’s novel.

Metaphorical and poetic, this work of evocative poetry is enhanced by a music that revives a neo-romanticism reminiscent of Puccini. Transposed to our time, it invites reflection on the class inequalities of our societies and the unlimited monopolization of wealth by the most affluent.

L’Adorable Belboul is an oriental and satirical comedy in the Italian style, directed by François Racine and conducted by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert. As the lyrical tradition also dictates, the music underlines the sentimental and romantic register of the story in order to shed light on the fragility of the characters, and ultimately to make the most of the composer’s melodic talents and his love of words. It is the triumph of love on the male obscurantism and the apology of the female intelligence and perspicacity.

Finally, Miguela is a French grand opera narrating the story of a Spanish marquise named Miguela who falls in love with a French colonel during the Spanish War of Independence, but here transposed to a conflict that could take place in our own time. At times comic, but definitely romantic, Miguela invites you to discover the great themes of late 19th century action opera: betrayal, death, and the representation of strong female characters. The piece, led by the conductor of the Cannes Orchestra, Benjamin Levy, is offered in the form of a concert enhanced by digital arts, on June 14 in Montreal. Miguela is the great story and drama of all impossible loves in wartime. A show not to be missed!

A new look for the Festival!

For its 13th edition, Festival Classica has also got a makeover by updating its logo. This new, modernized logo underlines the Festival’s determination to continue its mission of making classical music accessible to a wide audience, and to do so for many years to come.

Additional information

The complete programming and ticketing information is available on the festival website: www.festivalclassica.com