Montreal puts its own in the spotlight this week: musicians, filmmakers, actors, dancers, all kinds of the assorted amazing talent this town seems to inspire on a daily basis. At the same time, locals merge with international stars at two film festivals, a new Opera Montreal production of Rusalka, a music and arts festival focused on the Arab world, and more. With this wide a scope, there’s no shortage of entertainment…
(operatic love and loss) The Opéra de Montréal brings out the big guns, international cast and all, for Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka (pictured above) November 12–19 at Place des Arts. Its first time on stage in Montreal, Rusalka takes us through the anguished tale of a sea-dwelling woman who falls in love with a prince, becomes human with the help of a witch’s spell, capturing the prince’s heart only to be betrayed by him – the stuff opera was meant for. Meanwhile, over at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal, conductor and director Kent Nagano’s Montreal Symphony Orchestra takes on Bach’s St-John Passion, November 10–11.
(made in Montreal) Not as massive as Pop Montreal, but just as full of local flavour and fun, the M for Montreal music festival (November 16–19) puts the spotlight on Montreal bands and DJs. This week, see power pop band Creature on November 16 and Edmonton’s poet laureate (who loves Montreal so much he spends a ton of his time here) Cadence Weapon on November 17. But there’s more! See the M for Montreal site for the full schedule. Montreal’s francophone culture is in full effect this week too with Coup de Coeur Francophone, November 3–13, featuring music ranging from folk to metal and a tribute to Montreal musician Lhasa, who passed away last year – musicians and dancers join talents in the serene Danse Lhasa Danse, November 12 at Cinquième Salle in Place des Arts. And for lovers of French literature, check out Salon du Livre de Montreal, starting November 16 at Place Bonaventure.
(film life) This week’s focus on Francophone culture also extends to the film world: Cinemania brings talents from Quebec, Canada and around the world to downtown’s Imperial Cinema (1430 Bleury), to November 13 – see Gilles Legrand’s Tu Seras Mon Fils, Olivier Marchal’s crime story Les Lyonnais, Pierre Schöller’s award-winning L’Exercice de l’état, and many more. Go from fiction to fact with international documentary film festival RIDM, to November 20, with films like Canadian-made documentary The Future Is Now!, starring Quebec actor Paul Ahmarani. And on November 14, Montreal-based short-film festival Prends Ça Court! celebrates 12 years of building a community for film creators from around the world with screenings of 10 recent short films, including 2011 Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival selections, screening at Monument-National (1182 St-Laurent), 7 p.m.
(theatre and more theatre) The theatre calls this week to those looking to get cozy indoors but not necessarily too comfortable… Travel to debauched 1920s vaudeville in tragi-comedy The Wild Party (pictured above), at MainLine Theatre, to November 12. Ferenc Molnár’s dark comedy The Play’s the Thing, wherein love and theatrics combine, bounds into the Segal Centre, to November 20. Tony Award-winning comedy God of Carnage pits yuppie parent against yuppie parent, at Centaur Theatre, November 8 to December 4. Bilingual Broadway song-and-dance show Simplement Broadway, November 12 at the Rialto Theatre. And Montreal actor and writer Johanna Nutter’s award-winning play My Pregnant Brother, questions sex, gender and identity, at Petite Licorne, with English-language shows November 11, 18 and 25 at 8 p.m.
(dance traditions and experiments) In her first visit to Montreal, brilliant Indian dancer and choreographer Shantala Shivalingappa, who has danced for Pina Bausch, Maurice Béjart and Peter Brook, presents two different programs: Gamaka, a suite of five pieces in the Kuchipudi tradition, with four musicians on stage, November 16–20, and Namasya, featuring contemporary works by by Pina Bausch, Ushio Amagatsu and more, November 22–26, both at Cinquième Salle. Experimental dance and performance festival Artdanthé, continues with Bulgarian choreographer and dancer Ivo Dimchey, November 11–12, and November 15–17, challenging Montreal performance artist Julie Andrée T, at Theatre LaChapelle to November 20. And November 16–18, Lucie Grégoire, who has studied butoh and worked with Merce Cunningham, pairs up for the third time with choreographer Yoshito Ohno for new work In Between, at L’Agora de la Danse.
(wide arab world) The diversity of music, dance, art and cinema that the 12th Festival du Monde Arabe highlights, from artists here in Montreal and from much further away, is truly something to witness. While entertainment is a priority for the festival, so is fostering an open dialogue between differing views, realities and creative pursuits. On November 11, see French-Algerian musician Baâziz, known as a subversive rebel and an engaging singer-songwriter. Les Trois Magnifiques, a captivating trio of citar, flamenco guitar and percussion, stop in on their Canadian tour on November 12. And on November 13, traditional and modern meet in the festival’s music, dance and multi-media closing show Charabia. All shows at Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts.
(360-degree travels) Because it’s so cool and high-tech and arty, experimental film Six mil Antennas sees its run extended this week. Made specifically for the Satosphere, a dome-like 360-degree immersive surround-sound-and-screen theatre at the Society for Arts and Technology. The film, one of the first public events at the brand new Satosphere, is a creation that integrates coding, design and photography. At the SAT (1201 St-Laurent), November 9–12, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., $15.
(sounds of music) The live music week starts strong with popular Quebecois rock n’ roller Jean Leloup, playing with his band The Last Assassins at Metropolis, November 12. The same night, one of Montreal’s best singer-songwriters, Katie Moore, warms hearts and spirits at Théâtre Outremont, and Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, members of legendary prog group Yes, play new songs and old, at St-Denis Theatre. And, one more for that night: underground electronic band Emeralds member Steve Hauschildt plays his solo imaginings at Casa del Popolo. The next night, for all those who revere Fugazi, bass player Joe Lally makes a rare appearance in town at Casa del Popolo, November 13. On November 14, the silly antics of electro-pop rock stars LMFAO rile the crowd up at the Bell Centre. On November 15, Brooklyn indie-rockers High Places are joined by locals d’Eon and Solar Year, at Il Motore (179 Jean Talon W.). And on Thursday, November 17, Montreal singer-songwriter Jason Bajada plays lovely songs at the lovely Corona Theatre.