December 1, 2008

Oper’Actuel 08 Works In Progress

A backstage look at new opera

For Immediate Release

Oper’Actuel 08 Works In Progress

A backstage look at new opera
Tuesday the 16th and Wednesday the 17th of December 2008, 8:00 PM
Usine C
1345 Lalonde Avenue, Beaudry Metro, Montreal
Tickets: 514-521-4493 — $10 — Adults $5 — Students/Seniors

Montréal, Monday, December 1, 2008 — The core of Chants Libres’ mandate, led by the Soprano and Director Pauline Vaillancourt, is the creation of new opera, new approaches to the vocal arts and the exploration of the most recent artistic and technological developments.

For its third edition of Oper’Actuel 08 Work In Progress, Chants Libres is giving lovers of opera the opportunity to experience a unique and stimulating event: the chance to get the first glimpse of 5 new operas currently being created by composers and librettists.

5 new works (out of 30 submitted) were selected following a call for submissions in 2007 by Chants Libres, meant to encourage the emergence of new opera scores, to help young singers cultivate an interest in new opera forms and to allow audiences to experience a multiplicity of styles created in this era.

Over two nights, (the same program both nights) audiences will hear excerpts from 5 works in progress, written by the composers Silvio Palmieri, Simon-Pierre Gourd (Quebec), Elma Miller (Ontario), Justine Chen (New York) and Lyubomir Denev (Bulgaria), and performed by young singers and musicians from various contemporary music programs.

The composers (except for Lyubomir Denev) will be present at Oper’Actuel 08 and will, along with the audience, be discovering their scores for the first time. The boomerang effect created by this “live” experimentation will in turn inspire future writing. The two evenings will be recorded to be used as a working tool by the composers.

The event is produced with the participation of the Atelier de musique contemporaine de l’Université de Montréal, conducted by Cristian Gort, the Atelier de musique de chambre de l’Université de Montréal, conducted by Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt, and by the Ensemble de Musique Avenir du Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal, conducted by Véronique Lacroix, and the participation of the Ateliers de l’École des medias de l’UQAM, directed by Simon-Pierre Gourd.

You are invited to experience opera that is a product of our time, created by artists, young singers, musicians and conductors who are exploring new works in a spirit of freedom. Take your seat for the 3rd edition of Oper’Actuel 08 Works In Progress.

On the Program

Die Rettung

Musical theatre-Opera dedicated to the memory of the Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War.
Composer: Lyubomir Denev — Libretto: Vladimir Danovsky (Bulgaria)
Excerpts: Scenes 1-2-3-6-9
15 musicians, chorus of 8 male voices, one narrator, Vincent Ranallo and one soloist, Anick St-Louis, Soprano
Atelier de musique contemporaine de l’Université de Montréal, conducted by Cristian Gort.
The opera will premiere at the Munich Opera and at the Bamberg Opera in 2009.

Torquato Tasso

A dramatic and musical poem with baroque imagery that retraces the life of an exceptional artist.
Excerpt: Overture and first scene
Composer: Silvio Palmieri (Quebec) — Libretto: Daniele Pieroni (Italy)
Piano, Philippe Prud’homme and Baritone, Vincent Ranallo
Atelier de musique de chambre de l’Université de Montréal, conducted by Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt

L’Art d’aimer

An allegory of the male-female relationship: who is the hunter and who is the hunted?
Composer: Elma Miller (Ontario) — Libretto: Ovid (Italy)
Excerpt: Overture
15 musicians and 4 soloists: Sophie Martin, Soprano — Anne Julien, Mezzo-Soprano — Mathieu Grégoire, Tenor — François Dubé Bass
Atelier de Musique Avenir du Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, conducted by Véronique Lacroix

The Maiden Tower

A chamber opera based on an Azerbaijani legend.
Composer and libretto: Justine Chen (New York)
Excerpts: Epilogue & scenes 1-2-3
11 musicians and 4 soloists: Maude Paradis, Anick St-Louis, Sopranos — Sylvain Paré, Tenor — Simon Charette, Baritone — Live computer enhancement: Justine Chen
Atelier de musique contemporaine de l’Université de Montréal, conducted by Cristian Gort

Opéra_lité — Operality

Composer: Simon-Pierre Gourd (Quebec) Libretto: based on the literary work Cahier d’un retour au pays natal by Aimé Césaire
3 excerpts will be heard over the course of the evening, including the recording of three voices from the audience.
Voice, Pauline Vaillancourt, 2 storytellers, Dany Laferrière et Jerry Alexandre, live electronics, computers and sonic spheres (Groupe de recherche-création en média expérimental).

Chants Libres

Founded in 1990 by the Soprano Pauline Vaillancourt, the company continues to pursue its mission to create new opera forms. Offering a repertoire of operas stemming from the colours of modernity, Chants Libres is constantly exploring new techniques and new approaches to the vocal arts, and works closely with collaborators, creators and researchers from all disciplines. The company has created twelve new operas: Alternate Visions (2007, augmented opera) by John Oliver and Genni Gunn; L’Archange (2005, Oper’installation) by Louis Dufort and Alexis Nouss; Pacamambo l’opéra (2002) by Zack Settel and Wajdi Mouawad; Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse (2001) by José Evangelista and Alexis Nouss; L’Enfant des glaces (2000, electr’opera) by Zack Settel and Pauline Vaillancourt; Lulu,le chant souterrain (2000, techn’opera) by Alain Thibault et Yan Muckle; Yo soy la desintegracion (1997) by Jean Piché and Yan Muckle; Le Vampire et la nymphomane (1996) by Serge Provost and Claude Gauvreau; Chants du Capricorne (1995) by Giacinto Scelsi and Pauline Vaillancourt; La Princesse blanche (1994) by Bruce Mather and Rilke/Raynald Tremblay; Il suffit d’un peu d’air (1992) by Claude Ballif and Raynald Tremblay; Ne blâmez jamais les bédouins (1991) by Alain Thibault and René-Daniel Dubois. NEXT NEW OPERA: November 19 to 22, 2009: L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la véritébyGilles Tremblay and Pierre Morency, directed by Robert Bellefeuille.

Media Contact: Henry Gauthier, Chants Libres

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