Montreal, Tuesday, August 4, 2020 – Having not slowed down in the slightest since the beginning of the pandemic, the OCM moves forward and continues its activities by opening its new season with the Quebec premiere of the American opera As One on November 20th and 21st, 2020 at the Cirque Éloize. The duration of the work is 75-minute with no intermission.
There will be two options available to enjoy this performance. Only 100 tickets per performance will be on sale for those who wish to attend the concert in person while respecting social distancing requirements. This will truly be a VIP experience, complete with safety measures and sufficient distancing between members of the audience. It will also be possible to enjoy the performance through our high-quality virtual broadcast comfortably seated in your own living room, whether it be in Montreal, Val-d’Or or overseas. It’s the perfect occasion to discover or to be reunited with this form of art!
Created in September 2014 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this operatic work by Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell (libretto) and Laura Kaminsky(composition & concept) tells the story of a trans woman discovering her identity and learning how to love herself in a world that makes her feel like an outcast. This universal tale explores themes of identity, authenticity and compassion. We follow Hannah, a trans woman interpreted by two singers, Baritone Dominique Côté (Hannah before) and Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Bissonnette (Hannah after). This opera is written for a string quartet and comprises 15 songs that narrate important moments in the life of the main character, Hannah. This production will be enhanced by the work of stage director Eda Holmes, lighting designer Anne-Catherine Simard Deraspe, and projections by Kimberly Reed.
Presented by TD Bank, this production allows the OCM to collaborate, for the very first time, with the LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. Each representation will be followed by a brief discussion with the audience, moderated by Tranna Wintour, spokesperson for this project, who will be surrounded by a panel of guests including members of GRIS Montréal, an organisation that aims to demystify sexual orientation and gender identity through the telling of individual stories.
Born in Boucherville, Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Bissonnette recently performed the role of the Exorcist in the world premiere of Ghost Opera (Krausas). A versatile performer, she also lent her voice to the title role of Ariodante and has interpreted Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Mercedes (Carmen) and Giunone (La Calisto). She also appeared as a soloist in works by Bach, Buxtehude and Debussy. After winning first prize and the people’s choice award at Vancouver Opera’s VOX competition, Sarah was featured in the 2019 CBC article 30 hot classical musicians under 30. She completed the Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists Program and is a graduate of McGill, University of Toronto and Cégep de Saint-Laurent.
A proud member of the LGBT+ community, Quebecois Baritone Dominique Côté recently interpreted Lélio by Berlioz with the OSM, conducted by Maestro Nagano. He was also a soloist for Carmina Burana with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, directed by Dina Gilbert, in a whole new choreography by Edward Clug. Earlier this year, he received tremendous acclaim for his title role in Nelligan at Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, directed by Normand Chouinard. In concert, he has sung under the direction of conductors such as Jacques Lacombe, Kent Nagano, Theodor Guschlbauer, Christophe Rousset, Dina Gilbert, Martin Dagenais, Timothy Vernon and John Keenan.
Stage Director Eda Holmes is the Artistic and General Director of the Centaur Theater. She has directed performances across the country, namely for the Shaw Festival where she was associate director from 2010 to 2016. Since she took the lead at the Centaur Theater, she has directed several critically acclaimed performances. Before becoming a stage director, she was a professional dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and the William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet.
Canadian conductor, Geneviève Leclair was named Music Director of the Parkway Concert Orchestra in 2013 and was hired as an Associate Professor of conducting by the Berklee College of Music in 2016. She is also a guest Conductor for The National Ballet of Canada and a member of the Conductor Guild’s Board of Directors. 2020-2021 season highlights for Geneviève include engagements with Symphony New Brunswick and l’Orchestre Classique de Montréal.
As One – English-language chamber opera presented with subtitles
20 and 21 November at 7:30 PM
Cirque Éloize – 417 Berri St., Montreal (Québec) H2Y 3E1
Sarah Bissonnette, Mezzo-Soprano
Dominique Côté, Baritone
OCM string quartet
Geneviève Leclair, Conductor
Eda Holmes, Stage Director
Anne-Catherine Simard Deraspe, Lighting Designer
Laura Kaminsky, Music and Concept
Mark Campbell et Kimberly Reed, Libretto
Kimberly Reed, Film-Projections
Tickets: $75 + taxes: live attendance (only 100 VIP tickets available)
$15 + taxes: virtual attendance
“We are very excited to present this opera which has garnered great success in the United States and deals with themes that perfectly fit in with the spirit of our times. As a member of the LGBT+ community, I am especially proud to offer our audience this opera which illustrates the realities of the trans community”, says OCM’s Executive Director Taras Kulish.