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The Festival d'opéra de Québec

The Festival d'opéra de Québec

A summer filled with lyrical events in Quebec City

Eager to trumpet the unique appeal of the regions they represent, tourist boards and travel agencies are sometimes tempted to stretch the truth. There’s no danger of that happening in Quebec City

The Canadian city stands out from the crowd when it comes to distinctive qualities, from the charming accents of Québécois French to an equally rich mix of Old and New World culture. Quebec City’s vibrant arts scene is every bit as appealing as its language, cuisine and history, a point boldly underlined by the Festival d'opéra de Québec.

Quebec City’s lyrical highlight of the summer, the Festival d'opéra de Québec marks its 10th edition with a compelling programme of French opera performed by some of the finest singers from Quebec and Canada. From July 27 to August 7, a diversity of events throughout the city, both indoors and outdoors, is sure to delight passionate opera lovers as well as those new to this art form.

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La Brigade lyrique at the Place Royale (Québec City) – Festival d’opéra de Québec 2019

La Brigade lyrique at the Place Royale (Québec City) – Festival d’opéra de Québec 2019.
left to right: Jean-François Mailloux (piano), Julien Horbatuk (baritone), Émilie Baillargeon (soprano), Stéphanie Lavoie (soprano), Jonathan Gagné (tenor). Credit: Louise Leblanc

Worth the wait

Quebec’s capital has now firmly established its place as a key player on the international classical music stage thanks to the Opéra de Québec and its Festival, which has made a name for itself due to co-productions with New York’s Metropolitan Opera and collaborations with acclaimed stage directors Robert Lepage and François Girard. Postponed last summer by the coronavirus pandemic, the Festival is now back in full swing with a glorious celebration of French lyric art. The annual event’s 10th edition aims to showcase the strength and depth of operatic singing across Quebec with productions running the gamut from exceptional young, up-and-coming talent to world-renowned artists.

This year’s edition of the Festival d'opéra de Québec will present its main production, L’opéra français en fête, on 30 July in the magnificent Grand Théâtre de Québec. The concert’s delectable menu of French opera arias, conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, trains the spotlight on outstanding local artists, from such established performers as Karina Gauvin, Éric Laporte and Jean-François Lapointe, Alain Coulombe and Hélène Guilmette to fast-rising stars Claire de Sévigné and Florie Valiquette among them. Opera lovers worldwide will have the chance to savour the evening’s proceedings, which will be streamed online on the Festival d’opéra de Québec’s website and YouTube channel at a later date.

The Flying Dutchman (Wagner) – Festival d’opéra de Québec 2019

The Flying Dutchman (Wagner) – Festival d’opéra de Québec 2019
On the boat: Eric Thériault, tenor (Der Steuerman) and Andreas Bauer Kanabas (Daland). On stage: Gregory Dahl (Der Holländer) with the Festival d’opéra de Québec chorus. Staging by François Girard. Credit: Louise Leblanc

The highlights

Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles receives a fresh Festival staging at La Bordée theatre in collaboration with Jeunesses Musicales Canada (3 July, 2 & 4 August). The production features a cast of young singers in the early stages of their careers. Other highlights include renowned playwright Michel Tremblay’s translation of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class, known as Les leçons de Maria Callas at Quebec City’s new hall Le Diamant (1, 3, 5 & 6 August), and the world premiere of Peau d’âne, a fairy-tale featuring thirteen young singers from Quebec, composed by Jean-François Mailloux with a libretto by Jean-Philippe Lavoie.

Since Jean-François Lapointe’s arrival as artistic director in September 2020, the Festival d'opéra de Québec has fully embraced the French repertoire while redoubling its commitment to nurturing opera’s future talents. Its outreach mission is set to unfold this year with help from La Brigade lyrique, three young singers on a mission to take arias from opera and operetta to various venues beyond the city centre, and from July 13 to August 7, with duos of singers and instrumentalists primed to deliver short ambulatory performances in Quebec City’s many parks.

The Festival d'opéra de Québec

To browse the full program and book your tickets

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