Music, Tradition, Elegance and a touch of Magic graces Montreal!

For the Love of Opera …

Last October 25th at the Sainte-Rose-de-Lima parish, Soprano Marie-Josée Lord and the Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, led by conductor Alain Trudel, enchanted listeners in a spectacular concert that highlighted the beauty and power of the female voice and featured excerpts from some of the world’s most beloved operatic arias: La Bohème, La Forza del Destino, La Traviata, Aida, Suor Angelica and Madame Butterfly!

Soprano Marie-Josée Lord with Orchestre Symphonique de Laval under the direction of Alain Trudel – Photo by André Chevrier

The winner of several international prizes and competitions, Lord was captivating with her usual charismatic performance, imbued with the required technical prowess required to deliver all the nuances of these memorable arias, while whisking her audience away to a musical universe filled with heartfelt cries and triumphant declarations of love.

Soprano Marie-Josée Lord explores the world of operatic heroines in Femmes

The concert, part of the OSL’s Grand Concert series was recorded live by ATMA Classic. The CD entitled Femmes will be launched in February 2018 along with a second rendition of the concert that will take place on Tuesday February 27th, as part of the program of Montréal en Lumières.

For more information on up-coming productions of the Orchestre Symphonique de Laval please visit their webpage:

For the Love of Magic:

Opéra de Montréal proudly presents La Cenerentola

Based on the beloved fairytale ‘Cendrillon’ by Charles Perrault, La Cenerentola is a joyful dramatic opera in two acts by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, sung in Italian, with a libretto written by Jacopo Feretti.

The fairy-tale “Cinderella” has been adapted for the stage numerous times and as the second opera of the OdM’s 2017 -18th season, it’s an attempt that will surely delight all those who dare to dream the impossible.

Cenerentola – Photo by Brett Coomer

With elaborate decors and stunning costumes that bring the classic fairy-tale to life, we follow the misfortunes of the beautiful Angelina (Canadian mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne as Cinderella) who is bound to serve her two very unsatisfied stepsisters (Lauren Margison & Rose Naggar-Tremblay) and a greedy stepfather (Pietro Spagnoli) . When she encounters Prince Ramiro, her destiny changes forever and she soon gets to trade her broom for a regal scepter!

Beware of the jealous step-sisters !

Unlike the Perrault tale, the opera does not feature, glass slippers, pumpkins that turn into carriages or a good-willed fairy God mother. The true magic happens in the music:  the production boasts Rossini’s richly orchestrated score with spectacular vocal acrobatics for ensembles, in which phrases jostle for space and also feature emotion infused songs, like Prince Ramiro’s aria in act 1 by tenor Juan José de León, who portrays a man desperately seeking true love.

I enjoy the fact that L’Opéra de Montréal’s productions are accessible to all, despite the language differences, due to the bilingual, overhead subtitles that bring clarity to the arias and libretto.

A short ‘behind the scenes’ video is shown during intermission on two screens to the right and left of the stage between acts, that reveals scene shifts and short clips of the performers getting ready for the stage in real time, which also helps create a convivial atmosphere for all attendees.

Pre operas with musicologist Pierre Vachon

Another offered gem are the pre-operas: a friendly 30 min introduction to each opera that precede each performance. Hosted with gusto by musicologist Pierre Vachon, this convivial get-together is a dynamic and “user-friendly” introduction to the performance, a bit like a journey into the heart of the opera’s music and history. Attendees get a better understanding of the libretto, the opera’s symbols and the production in general.

Opéra de Montréal will be presenting Rossini’s Cenerentola on November 2017

For tickets and more information on up-coming productions

Please consult:


For the Love of Music:

Talent 2017 Gala for L’Atelier Lyrique.

Next Wednesday, November 15th at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at La Place des Arts, L’Opéra de Montréal will be proud to present its inaugural gala for the national auditions of L’Atelier Lyrique.

This prestigious event, entitled Talent 2017, will bring together more than three hundred top executives from the philanthropic, corporate and cultural sectors and will celebrate the next generation of Canadian operatic talent in an unforgettable cocktail – concert – dinner evening in support of the Opéra de Montréal and L’Atelier Lyrique.

The finalists for the national auditions for the Atelier lyrique have been selected from over 120 artists across the country, who will compete for a place in their prestigious residency program.

Sarah Bisonnette (Montreal), Florence Bourget (Montreal), Georgia Burashko (Toronto), Spencer Britten (Vancouver), Marcel d’Entremont (Montreal), Brenden Friesen (Toronto), Olivier Gagnon (Lévis), Anna- Sophie Neher (Montreal), Andrea Nunez (Toronto), Elizabeth Polese (Toronto) and Daniel Thielmann (Toronto).

A residence for opera singers, Canadian pianists and directors, l’Atelier Lyrique is a professional springboard that offers training and scenic experience at L’Opéra de Montréal.  The goal of the program is to adequately equip young artists in all aspects of the career: vocal technique, musical and dramatic performance, lyric diction, languages, health, mental preparation for performances, finances and professional image, etc.

Several internationally renowned artists have been graduates including Julie Boulianne, Etienne Dupuis, Marianne Fiset, Marc Hervieux, Marie-Josée Lord and Michèle Losier.

A festive and enchanting evening awaits attendees:  champagne reception with hors d’oeuvres, a recital of some of the most beautiful opera arias, followed by a sumptuous dinner on the stage among the sets of Cinderella, a cabaret show and other special guests.

For more information on Individual tickets as well as Prestige and Corporate tables, please visit:

For the Love of Tradition:

A night of Regal Enchantment at the Viennese Ball of Montreal!

For those who love music and dance, a ball is the epitome of elegance, glamour and Cinderella magic.

Wearing a navy Frank Lyman Design floor length mermaid ball gown to descend the grand staircase at the Vienna Ball of Montreal.

The flame of old romanticism is kept burning bright right here in the heart of the city by the Montreal Austrian Society that annually celebrates the Viennese Ball tradition by hosting its “Viennese Ball of Montreal”:  a glorious evening at which elegant ladies in floor-length gowns and fine gentlemen in black tie (tuxedo) or tails (white tie) or gala uniform, assemble to waltz, dine, see, and be seen in one of Montreal’s finest venues: the sumptuous Marriot Chateau Champlain.

The annual Viennese Ball of Montreal brings generations and cultures together to celebrate Austrian music, culinary delights, tradition, and custom.

Maria Theresia of Austria’s 300th birthday

For their 2017 edition, held on November 18th 2017, the Viennese ball will be themed to celebrate the 300th birthday of Maria Theresia of Austria – one of the world’s most famous regents and the only female head of the Habsburg Dynasty.

From 7:00 PM. Guests can expect an evening of refined elegance as they are first serenaded by live musicians on the grand staircase, admire the gorgeous attire of others, sip champagne, have their picture taken and get a glimpse of the numerous enticing items on display for the silent auction with funds going towards the charities that the Ball supports:  S.O.S Children’s Villages, McGill’s Schulich School of Music, Leave Out Violence, and the German Schools of Montreal.

Around 8:00 pm, guests will be called into the main ballroom for the opening ceremonies, speeches by dignitaries, live entertainment and an elaborate 5 course gourmet dinner prepared by chefs of the Marriott Chateau Champlain.

Introduction of the 16 elegant debutantes and their dashing escorts.

The crowning highlight of the evening is definitely the introduction of the 16 elegant, young debutantes and their dashing escorts. With grace and beauty, the young couples will perform a choreographed quadrille under the direction of supervisors of the Arthur Murray Dance School.

Alles Walzer!

Everyone comes to a Viennese Ball to dance and socialize… Once the speeches and ceremonies are completed, the announcement of “Alles Walzer!” or “Everyone waltz!” opens the dance floor to everyone. The Marriott Chateau Champlain has one of Montreal’s best dance floors which quickly fills with all the exuberant attendees! In previous editions, The Harold Birkens Orchestra kept guests dancing throughout the evening right into the early hours.

For those who wish to rest their feet, evening activities include trying your luck and skill at the roulette or poker tables of the Charity Casino or enjoying a traditional Goulash soup / Würstl and drink “G’spritzten” at the adjoining Heurigen  (Viennese wine tavern) while singing along to traditional Wienerlieder music.

The Viennese Ball of Montreal is accessible to the public and attendance is as simple as purchasing a ticket. There are preferential rates for guests under the age of 30.


For their 2017 edition, the Viennese Ball is also delighted to offer an after 11:00 p.m. Glass Slipper admission at the reduced cost of $75.00 which includes a drink of your choice in the Heurigen, casino tokens, a gift bag and the chance to dance to the music of  Sophistoccasion and The Furino Orchestra.

I would highly encourage anyone to attend at least one ball in their lifetime as the experience will let you experience the magic of tradition and make you travel back in time.

For out of town visitors, the adjoining Hotel Marriott Chateau Champlain is offering reduced room rates for Ball guests.

For more information on the 2017 Viennese Ball please consult the main site: