March 9, 2011

Chants Libres Is Celebrating 20 Years Of New Opera


20 singers,
The Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and the Bradyworks Ensemble,
Conducted by Lorraine Vaillancourt.
Pauline Vaillancourt, Stage Direction
Jean Bard, Set Design
François Roupinian, Lighting Design
Marianne Thériault and Jacques-Lee Pelletier, adaptation of costumes and make-up

Saturday May 14th, 2011, 8:00 PM
Ludger-Duvernay Theatre at the Monument-National
1182, Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montreal (Quebec, Canada)

45 $ [adults] — 30 $ [students, seniors]
Box Office: Monument-National: 514-871-2224 / 1-866-844-2172

Montréal, Wednesday, March 9, 2011 — To celebrate 20 years of new opera, Chants Libres, the lyric creation company, presents Arias, for one night only, Saturday May 14th 2011 at 8:00 PM, at the Ludger-Duvernay Theatre of the Monument-National in Montreal.

Directed by Pauline Vaillancourt, Arias brings together excerpts of the 13 new operas created and produced by the company over the past 20 years as an homage to the designers, creators and performing artists who share a passion for contemporary vocal works. Jean Bard has designed the set, François Roupinian has designed the lighting, Marianne Thériault and Jacques-Lee Pelletier have adapted the costume and make-up designs. During the event, Chants Libres will also unveil a book which is a retrospective of all the operas created over its 20 year history.

13 operas… from techno to virtual to chamber operas

Chamber opera, electr’opera, virtuel’opera, oper’installation, techn’opera, enchanted opera, which reflect the new music lyrical aesthetic of Chants Libres, will be brought back to life to highlight the specific colour and the wide variety of music, stories and staging of each opera.

On the program are the 13 opéras (chosen excerpts) from composers Claude Ballif (Il suffit d’un peu d’air, 1992), Bruce Mather (La Princesse blanche, 1994), Louis Dufort (L’archange, 2005), José Evangelista (Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse, 2001), John Oliver (Alternate Visions, 2007), Jean Piché (Yo soy la desintegracion, 1997), Serge Provost (Le Vampire et la nymphomane, 1996), Giacinto Scelsi (Chants du Capricorne, 1995), Zack Settel (L’Enfant des glaces, 2000 et Pacamambo, 2002), Alain Thibault (Ne blâmez jamais les bédouins, 1991 et Lulu, le chant souterrain, 2000), and Gilles Tremblay (L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité, 2009).

The NEM and Bradyworks conducted by Lorraine Vaillancourt

In the orchestra pit, Lorraine Vaillancourt will take on the musical direction of the pieces with orchestra, made up of members of the Bradyworks Ensemble and the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. The NEM has collaborated with Chants Libres in four of its productions with Il suffit d’un peu d’air, La Princesse blanche, Le Vampire et la Nymphomane and L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité.

20 singers, in the original costumes

Wearing the original costumes, 20 singers on stage: Marie-Annick Béliveau, mezzo-soprano; Scott Belluz, counter-tenor; Pierre-Etienne Bergeron, baritone; Ethel Guéret, soprano; Jean-François Daignault, tenor; Ghislaine Deschambault, mezzo-soprano; Simon Fournier, baritonw; Dorothea Hayley, soprano; Kristin Hoff, mezzo-soprano; Fidès Krucker, mezzo-soprano; Stéphanie Lessard, soprano; Claudine Ledoux, mezzo-soprano; Jean Maheux, actor/baritone; Suzanne Rigden, soprano; Paul Savoie, actor; Michiel Schrey, tenor; Christina Tannous, soprano; Jacinthe Thibault, mezzo-soprano; Jessica Wise, soprano; Rebecca Woodmass, coloratura.

Chants Libres… a brief history

13 operas, including 12 commissions | Training workshops | 4 DVDs | 5 CDs

«At the beginning of the 90’s, we could see that this total art form, which was considered in a certain era as the perfect tool to communicate lyrics, had become stilted and fossilized over time, which caused composers, writers and the new generation of creative artists to lose interest in it. And yet, our young century infatuated as it is with new discoveries, open to planetary communication, should be interested in this total art form as a place to come together.» — Pauline Vaillancourt

After returning from Europe and noticing the blatant lack of contemporary platforms other than the popular music encouraged by large Quebecois institutions, singer Pauline Vaillancourt, director Joseph Saint- Gelais and writer Renald Tremblay, decided to combine their talents. In 1990 they founded Chants Libres in Montreal in response to the urgent need to give new music composers a platform for their works for voice, and principally for new forms of opera.

Over 20 years, Chants Libres has created an operatic repertoire that reflects the colours of modernity, while constantly exploring new techniques and approaches to the vocal arts, and has worked with creative artists and researchers in all the disciplines. The company has commissioned 12 original pieces by composers from Québec and has created 13 new operas that are now part of the repertoire. Chants Libres also offers training workshops and has recorded 5 CDs and 4 DVDs.

Chants Libres and its 13 new operas

L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité (2009, opéra féerie, winner of two Prix Opus, Best new work of the year and Musical event of the year), music by Gilles Tremblay, based on a libretto Pierre Morency; Alternate Visions (2007, virtuel’opera), music by John Oliver, based on a libretto by 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, électr’opéra) by Zack Settel and Pauline Vaillancourt; Lulu, le chant souterrain (2000, techn’opéra) by Alain Thibault and Yan Muckle; Yo soy la desintegracion (1997) by Jean Piché and Yan Muckle [Prix Opus 1999, Live recording of the year]; Le Vampire et la nymphomane (1996) by Serge Provost and Claude Gauvreau [Prix Opus 1996, Creation of the year]; Chants du Capricorne (1995) by Giacinto Scelsi and Pauline Vaillancourt [Prize for Contemporary Music Quebec-Flanders, Belgium 1996]; La Princesse blanche (1994) by Bruce Mather and Renald Tremblay; Il suffit d’un peu d’air (1992) by Claude Ballif and Renald Tremblay; Ne blâmez jamais les bédouins (1991) by Alain Thibault and René-Daniel Dubois.

Originally created in Montréal, most of the operas have also been performed both nationally and internationally and have been recorded by Radio-Canada for broadcast on radio.

Thank you

ARIAS, produced by Chants Libres, is presented with the support by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council of the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and, with the collaboration of Hexagram, the NEM, Bradyworks, the Monument-National and the SAQ.

The Enchanted Opera L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité composed by Gilles Tremblay with a libretto by Pierre Morency and produced by Chants Libres in the fall of 2009, won two Prix Opus awards during the 14th annual gala and ceremony organized by the Conseil Québecois de la musique: Best new work of the year and Musical event of the year: Gilles Tremblay also won the award for composer of the year.

Media Contact: Marie Marais — 514-845-2821 —

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