What I find really cool about OPERA DE MONTREAL’s program is that they always try to mix classical and contemporary, with a plucky approach to the world’s most famous opera creations. I remember seeing L’Étoile, from Emmanuel Chabrier, in a retro-futuristic stage setting that resembled Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. For Bizet’s Carmen, they also introduced a new version that was set in a South American favella rather than Spain, with graffiti art painted all over the walls.
To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the opera presents some of the classics from the opera repertory, but also offers a bunch of lesser-known acts. You will find Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, a tragic love triangle between three vagabond actors, Puccini’s beautiful Gianni Schicchi, and Mozart’s Magic Flute. You shouldn’t miss Puccini’s Tosca, with the famous aria “Casta Diva”, Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, an epic drama set in the Italian court during Renaissance, as well as Massenet’s classic masterpiece Cendrillon, inspired by Charles Perrault’s ageless fairytale. (Check out OPERA DE MONTREAL’S WEBSITE for all dates and ticket info).
For those who wonder if it’s really worth getting a ticket for one of Opera de Montreal’s shows, I would argue that the difference between a live opera and a classical album is the same experiencing a movie on DVD and going out at the movie theatre. You are overwhelmed by different sensations that you won’t ever achieve at home. It’s a visual and musical feast, and you need to immerge yourself into it to understand the beauty of this exceptional form of art, while listening to some of the most beautiful music ever composed. You’ll feel completely transformed.