A double bill in which the sea plays a starring role

The Ballet Opéra Pantomime company and I Musici de Montréal chamber orchestra are joining forces with the Opéra de Montréal to present a new show, featuring the world premiere of Le Flambeau de la nuit, an opera by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse and Olivier Kemeid. Bringing together over 60 artists on stage, the production will have two performances, on September 25 and 26, 2021, in Théâtre Maisonneuve.

Two works, one show

Opening a dialogue between past and present, Le Flambeau de la nuit has been conceived to mirror the opera Riders to the Sea by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, from which it borrows the dramatic structure of a single setting, the ghostly presence of a female chorus, and the adverse nature of the sea. The two works will be performed without interruption in the same set, thereby creating the impression of a single presentation.

A unifying event

Directed by Édith Patenaude, with musical direction by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, the show features artists of all ages and backgrounds, including the young artists-in-residence of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and a chorus consisting of 25 young female singers, all of whom are from the École Joseph-François-Perrault, in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood. Canadian mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy and soprano Andrea Núñez—a former member of the Atelier lyrique—are also in the cast. The production also shines a spotlight on some special collaborators, such as Styl’Afrique Coop, whose members created part of the set.

Crew and Cast

Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, Musical Director

Édith Patenaude, Stage Director

Patrice Charbonneau-Brunelle, Set Designer

Julie Basse, Lighting Designer

Elen Ewing, Costume Designer

Marie Louise Mumbu, Dramaturgical Support

With : Sarah Dufresne, Mishael Eusebio, Diahounba Fofana, Sydney Frodsham, Matthew Li, Allyson McHardy, Andrea Núñez, Geoffrey Schellenberg, Lucie St-Martin, 25 young chorus singers and the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra.

Synopsis – Riders to the Sea

A house on a weather-beaten island, off the coast of Ireland. One by one, Maurya loses her sons to the sea. While sisters Cathleen and Nora try to hide their brother Michael’s spoils from their mother, Bartley—Maurya’s one remaining son—announces that he is off to the market in Connemara, despite the rough seas. To survive here, you must sometimes put your life on the line and leave the island behind. When his startled horse throws him into the water, Bartley drowns. With the news of his death, Maurya’s view of the landscape is transformed… Now that the sea can take nothing more from her, she can again be at one with her surroundings, finally at rest amid the display of the ever-changing elements.

Synopsis – Le Flambeau de la nuit

On another shore, a crowd has gathered, escaping the flames engulfing the city. A mother convinces the ferrywoman to take her and her child aboard her boat; the future of the world no longer simply involves negotiating with nature, but with men and women as well. Like a talisman, gifted with the power of sight, the child guides the passengers through the darkness of night and over the waves. There is no way off the boat now as it makes its way across the water, with the passengers resting on the hope that solid ground will appear within sight and within reach. A storm rises, one the child does not survive… Alone, the mother sets foot on the promised shore, a shore that does not yet offer the promise of a better life.

About the Co-Producers

Founded by a group of friends in 2013, Ballet Opéra Pantomime produces multidisciplinary shows. The company was the recipient of the Opus Award for Discovery of the Year in 2016 and the Caisse Desjardins de la Culture’s Emerging Artist Award in 2019. Founded by Yuli Turovsky in 1983, I Musici de Montréal chamber orchestra is made up of fifteen exceptional musicians whose varied repertoire includes works from the 17th century to those of the present day. Well-established in Montreal, at the crossroads of North American and European culture, the Opéra de Montréal acts as a catalyst for the city’s artistic creativity and celebrates Quebec and Canada’s rich vocal heritage, showcasing opera at its most diverse and daring. As a top-tier artists’ residency for Canadian opera singers and pianist-vocal coaches, the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal is a training program operating at the heart of the Opéra de Montréal that serves as a true springboard to professional life.

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