The fall season in all its glory starts now in Montreal with music festival Pop Montreal and a whole new season of theatre, dance, film, opera, art, and more. This week, go from live rock shows to a 19th-century opera, from film screenings to outdoor dance performances in downtown Montreal…
(pop for all) Five days and night of live music, art, film, kids activities and more begin on September 25 as Pop Montreal kicks off its 12th year. On September 25, the festival opens with a free party at Quartiers Pop (3450 St. Urbain) at 5 p.m., while the evening features bands such as DIANA, Saltland, Legendary Pink Dots. On September 26, CBC radio’s Jian Ghomeshi hosts a live broadcast with Patrick Watson and Braids, saxophonist Colin Stetson shares the bill with electronic musician Tim Hecker, artist-composer Cory Arcangel joins musician D’Eon, and dozens of other great bands invite festival goers to hop from venue to venue. Pop Montreal hosts plenty of non-music activities too: horror films and music documentaries; up-close-and-personal discussions with musicians; world-class art by Elizabeth Price and Dan Graham; and the latest in Pop fashion and DIY crafts – there’s pretty much something to see and do every minute of the day and night, even for kids. And, of course, remember to treat those inevitable post-show hunger pangs right with quality late-night food.
(big-time showtime) The Opéra de Montréal begins its autumn season with the romance of Lakmé, a colourful, Bollywood-themed opera co-produced with Opera Australia and starring soprano Audrey Luna and Canadian tenor John Tessier – running September 21, 24, 26 and 28 at Place des Arts. Meanwhile, celebrate Place des Arts’ 50th Anniversary at free lunch-time shows this week, indoors at Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in the centre of the Place des Arts entertainment complex: on Monday, see performances by National Theatre School of Canada students, on Tuesday, the National Circus School shows off, on Wednesday, the École nationale de l’humour makes us laugh, and on Thursday, the École supérieure de ballet du Québec dances the lunch hour away. For something different, on September 20 at 10:30 p.m., Montreal comedian DeAnne Smith and musician Leighland Beckman riff off each other in their show Horrible Things, at the Comedy Nest.
(film & images) See features and short films from Canada, the U.S. and around the world at the Montreal International Black Film Festival, September 18-29, including a tribute to Haitian storyteller, actor and writer, Mimi Barthélémy, a Haitian film and show night on September 21, and a presentation commemorating the 50-year anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Almost 100 very short new films screen at the sixth-annual M60: Montreal 60 Second Film Festival, with four boisterous screenings at Excentris Cinema, September 19-22. World-class photography continues to occupy 14 venues around the city during Mois de la Photo, including galleries in the Belgo building (372 Ste-Catherine W.) and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Cinémathèque Québécoise. And international news of the past years comes in photographic form at the World Press Photo exhibition, at Marché Bonsecours.
(dance moves) The fall dance season literally kicks off with the Danse Danse presentation of Compagnie Maguy Marin’s incredible tableau-like production Salves, September 26-28 at Place des Arts. Find contemporary dance in the streets of Montreal this week as festival Quartiers Danses presents performances, films and exhibitions around town, including free performances outdoors at Place des Festivals on Friday starting at noon, and at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade (by metro station Pie-IX) on September 21 starting at 12:30 p.m. Montreal choreographer Virginie Brunelle brings her new work, Plombe, created for nine dancers, to Agora de la danse on September 21, while Canadian-Swedish dance troup Tentacle Tribe fuses contemporary dance with conceptual hip hop in a free show at the Segal Centre Studio, 8 p.m.
(more live music) On Saturday, September 21, rock out with the return of Myles Goodwyn and April Wine at Théâtre Corona – Scottish singer KT Tunstall also rocks out while charming audiences at Le Gesù. On Sunday afternoon, make your way over to Parc Jean-Drapeau for famed outdoor dance party Piknic Electronik’s final weekend of the year, featuring Vosper, Radio Slave and more, plus a preview of this winter’s Igloofest. On Sunday night, hear legendary jazz pianist Oliver Jones and his trio at the Segal Centre studio. On Tuesday, the UK’s Pet Shop Boys shows us where electronic pop came from and why their style sticks around – at L’Olympia, and Stereophonics stick with the British-rock roots that shot the band to fame in the ‘90s, at Théâtre Corona, while another Brit, singer-songwriter Tom Odell, plays songs from his debut album at Sala Rossa. September 25 brings Trivium, Devildriver and more metal bands to Corona, while Portland, Oregon atmospheric indie-rockers Typhoon and Radiation City play Il Motore and the Netherlands’ Legendary Pink Dots populate Petit Campus as part of Pop Montreal. And on Thursday, another Portland band, Portugal. The Man, raises the temperature with songs from the new album Evil Friends, co-produced with Danger Mouse, at Théâtre Corona.