Ballet-Opéra-Pantomime (BOP) was created by a few friends in 2013 with the aim “to create multidisciplinary performances centered on works of classical and contemporary music, and presented in environments favoring the emotional immersion of the spectator”.
Their chiseled proposals have brought, at the rate of about one show per year, a breath of youth into the Montreal musical universe. The nave, given four evenings two months ago in the unique environment of Usine C, is no exception.
“I didn’t expect us to do a cover of it at all,” immediately admits director Cédric Delorme-Bouchard, who collaborated with BOP in 2019 for the show The ship-heart, at the Bourgie Hall.
“It’s going to be very, very different from the performances at Usine C”, however warns the one who also signs the scenography and the lighting.
It must be said that the only scenic device of the creation, “a large circular arena with the scenography inside surrounded by four grand pianos”, to quote the artist, would alone occupy twice the stage of the hall. Gilles-Lefebvre of Orford Music.
The essence of the show is, as in The ship-heart, the music of Olivier Messiaen, arranged for four pianos by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, one of the kingpins of BOP.
“My raw material is usually the text or the body, and meeting Messiaen was a complete and total crush,” recalls Delorme-Bouchard.
“I continued in the meantime to immerse myself in this universe with his treatises on music, aesthetic approaches and the representation of colors – Messiaen was synaesthetic [he naturally associated certain colors with precise chords] -, but also his speech philosophical about nature, plants and animals. »
The works of the French composer, taken from Vingt regards pour l’Enfant Jésus and Visions de l’Amen (the original versions of which are respectively for one and two pianists), stand alongside two creations by Alexis Raynault (one of the founders of BOP) and Sophie Dupuis.
“It might make some people smile, but I find Messiaen’s music very accessible,” says the master builder.
“The performance starts with series of solos from the dancers and eventually I work with the whole group. In the same way, for Messiaen, we start with the softest pieces, those that leave the most room for silence, and we progress towards complexity,” adds Cédric Delorme-Bouchard.
Messiaen, who was not only a believer, but also intensely mystical, does he still touch, in a world that is said to be disenchanted? “I see far more sacredness in musical performances than in many works or religious practices. There is something universal in his music that is completely beyond us. Ultimately, Messiaen talks about nature, plants, trees, animals… I have no problem talking about pagan ritual,” concludes the director.
The Orchester de la Francophonie, which brings together dozens of young musicians from all over the world here every summer, had to withdraw to a “chamber music” format last year because of numerous visa problems. So it’s off again this summer with 71 musicians from 11 countries who will play under the direction of Jean-Philippe Tremblay, who founded this educational ensemble in 2001. We will hear them on July 12 (7:30 p.m.) at the Palais Montcalm de Québec and on July 14 (7:30 p.m.) at the Maison symphonique in Mendelssohn, Wagner, Sibelius, Boulanger and Bertrand.
Harawi is a nearly hour-long cycle for voice and piano that Messiaen composed in 1945 during a difficult time when his first wife, the musician Claire Delbos, was seeing her mental health decline. Les Concerts Lachine (July 8-22) offers a rare chance to hear this fascinating work incorporating onomatopoeia and words in the Quecha language! See you on July 22 (7:30 p.m.) at Entrepôt 2901 in Lachine with pianist Rachael Kerr and mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh, First Prize (Aria category) at last year’s Montreal International Music Competition.
Fancy a breath of fresh air and music? The Concerts aux Îles du Bic will be held this year from August 5 to 12 in this most picturesque village in Bas-Saint-Laurent. The Festival will culminate with a gala concert on August 12 (8 p.m.) in the venue’s heritage church. Pianist Mathieu Gaudet, originally from Rimouski, will perform with some of the festival artists, including cellist Cameron Crozman and soprano Myriam Leblanc, in a program that gives pride of place to Russian and Germanic repertoires.
Among the many concerts offered by the Classical Spree 2023 (from August 16 to 20), one nugget stands out: a solo recital by Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi. A former student of Alfred Brendel, whom the prestigious Gramophone magazine called “an artist who really puts music first”, the musician will perform one of the peaks of the piano repertoire, the second book of Debussy’s Preludes, which he has already recorded at Naive. Music lovers will join him on the stage in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier on Sunday, August 20, at 11 a.m., before going to listen to the Carmina Burana or the Vespers of the Virgin in the afternoon.