Montreal’s Alternative Classical Music Scene

Posted on November 5th, 2009 by .

Who said classical music is not accessible? In Montreal, you can take in some great concerts at very affordable prices that won’t cost as much as a major symphony orchestra ticket. Although I’m not an expert, I do like to discover some precious gems in the classical repertoire, especially when performed in smaller, lesser-known venues.

Read the full story to find out how you can hear something a little different than Beethoven or Mozart while you’re in town.

I think it makes the whole experience even more personal and certainly more memorable. If you want to find out more about Montreal’s marginal classical music scene —– and listen to something a little different than Beethoven or Mozart — here are my three finds for this fall.

OPERA MCGILL is the renowned university’s division dedicated to the opera and orchestra program. Named one of the 25 best universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education-QS, McGill opens its doors a few times a year to all opera lovers for some rare, but incomparable performances. For Benjamin Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, a disturbing mythological tale about fidelity and love, the performance was streamed live on Opera McGill’s website. This year, the 2009-2010 season highlights some masterpieces from the opera repertoire. From November 20 to 22, Opera McGill presents Handel’s, Agrippina, followed by Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; Peter Brook’s, La Tragédie de Carmen; and Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. This program features excellent productions at a fraction of the cost of a normal opera ticket and it’s a great chance for the general public to hear up-and-coming voices in an intimate space.

CHANTS LIBRES is a lyrical company that was founded in 1990. Since then, they’ve been bringing creative people together to celebrate the human voice. Artists from all different backgrounds and disciplines, including music, theatre, visual and electronic arts, come up with an original creation to be shown at the Monument National, on St. Laurent Blvd. From November 19-21, you can catch the world premiere of a new masterpiece by two celebrated Quebec artists, Gilles Tremblay and Pierre Morency; L’eau qui danse, la pomme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité is a celebration of nature, and an epic fairytale about love.

Finally, you can also see Purcell’s Fantasias with Margaret Little and Suzie Napier at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, on November 19 at 8 p.m. The chapel is a stunning historical monument on Sherbrooke East, and is a gorgeously renovated concert hall with exceptional acoustics — the piano was custom-built for the room. Every month, multidisciplinary artists and emerging new talent perform their compositions in this building dedicated to recitals and chamber music. You can check out the CITY OF MONTREAL’S WEBSITE for full details and updated info on the Chapelle historique du Bon Pasteur’s and their fall schedule.

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