Season 2020-2021 opening | Press release
Montreal, Thursday October 29, 2020 – The Orchestre Classique de Montréal is proud to present the Quebec premiere of the American opera As One on November 20th, 2020 as a live online broadcast on three platforms: YouTube, Facebook and LiveToune. The online access will remain online until December 5th. The duration of the opera is 75-minute with no intermission and will feature Quebec Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Bissonnette and Canadian Baritone Phillip Addis.
Thanks to the TD Bank Group‘s digital presenter sponsorship, it will be possible to enjoy the performance through a high-definition 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 art form!
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. The universal tale explores themes of identity, authenticity and compassion. We follow Hannah, a trans woman interpreted by two singers, Baritone Phillip Addis (Hannah before) and Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Bissonnette (Hannah after). The opera is written for a string quartet and comprises 15 songs that narrate important moments in the life of the main character, Hannah. OCM’s production will be enhanced by the work of stage director Eda Holmes, lighting designer Anne-Catherine Simard Deraspe, and film projections by Kimberly Reed.
“We are very excited to present the broadcast of 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.
This production allows the OCM to collaborate, for the very first time, with several LGBT organizations: the LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, GRIS Montréal, the Fondation Émergence and Aide aux trans du Québec. The show will be followed by a brief discussion moderated by Tranna Wintour, trans woman and spokesperson for this project, who will be surrounded by a panel of guests.
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.
Baritone Phillip Addis loves performing lead roles such as Figaro, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Billy Budd and Pelléas. These, and dozens of other roles, have brought his daring yet sensitive performances to opera houses worldwide. His acclaimed concert performances include the works of Mahler, Orff and Britten, as well as many contemporary pieces. He has shared masterpieces of song in recital with pianist Emily Hamper, with whom he is also Co-Artistic director of the Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy.
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
Live broadcast: 20 November at 7:30 PM
The broadcast will be available online until December 4th, 2020
Sarah Bissonnette, Mezzo-Soprano
Phillip Addis, 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: $15 + taxes: virtual attendance available at orchestre.ca
About the Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM)
The Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM), previously known as the McGill Chamber Orchestra, was founded in 1939 by violinist, conductor, and composer Alexander Brott and his wife Lotte Brott. The OCM quickly became one of Canada’s most established chamber orchestras, touring to five continents, recording extensively, and appearing regularly on radio and television. Now led by Boris Brott, OC, OQ, the elder son of Alexander and one of Canada’s most internationally renowned conductors, the OCM is a vibrant, innovative, and flexible ensemble consisting of the city’s best professional musicians, which presents concerts throughout the year in the finest halls of Montreal. Fulfilling its mission of celebrating diversity and inclusivity, the OCM has created the program Music for Everyone which enables collaborations with numerous new immigrant communities and Montreal organizations in making OCM’s performances accessible to all. The OCM proudly acknowledges BMO Bank of Montreal as the 2020-21 Season Presenter.
MEDIA RELATIONS: Alain Labonté Communications
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