A first co-production
concert of the opera Fidelio
Opéra de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain celebrate together the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven
On October 25 and 27, the Opéra de Montréal and the Orchestre Métropolitain are coming together to kick off the festivities celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth by presenting their very first co-production: a concert version of the opera Fidelio. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct the composer’s sole opera for the first time, a rare opportunity to bring together several of the greatest singers of our time on the Maison symphonique stage, including Michael Schade, Luca Pisaroni, and Lise Davidsen. This first co-production highlights the strong connection between the two organizations and confirms their growing collaboration.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct the composer’s sole opera for the first time, a rare opportunity to bring together several of the greatest singers of our time on the Maison symphonique stage.
“We are always proud to work with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain, our principal orchestra, and we are delighted to be bringing these big names on today’s opera scene to Montreal,” states Patrick Corrigan, General Director of the Opéra de Montréal. “Our two organizations have a real desire to continue to develop this strong tie that binds us, so as to take Montrealers to ever-higher musical heights,” says Corrigan. Find out about Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s activities at yannicknezetseguin.com
“After many collaborations with the Opéra de Montréal, we are now joining forces around our very first co-production. It is a reflection of the very close relationship that has developed between our two organizations over time. How proud we are to be giving Montrealers a chance to experience the only opera by Beethoven, whose genius will be celebrated around the world throughout 2020! I am happy to be bringing together these prestigious voices on the Maison symphonique stage and to be working with my musicians of the Orchestre Métropolitain again,” adds Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain.
Fidelio: love, courage, and freedom
What is love without freedom? An imprisoned young revolutionary, the bravery of a wife who stops at nothing to save him, the injustice of a seemingly inevitable death sentence: this is what moved the romantic Beethoven to compose his only opera, here presented as a prelude to the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2020 and with an exceptional international cast assembled by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Both entirely of its time and absolutely inimitable, this dramatic work expresses all the complexity of Beethoven’s personality.
‘How proud we are to be giving Montrealers a chance to experience the only opera by Beethoven.’
Leonore has disguised herself as a man and introduced herself as Fidelio in order to obtain employment as an assistant jailer in the prison where her husband Florestan has been unjustly incarcerated by order of the cruel Don Pizarro. While engaged in this perilous undertaking, Fidelio has aroused the love of Marzelline, the jailer’s daughter, who has now rejected her fiancé. The courageous and persistent wife manages to save her husband from death ordered by Pizarro, his political enemy, whose treachery will be brought to light.
A cast of international stars
… along with a few of our wonderful local talents:
Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Canada
Co-production Opéra de Montréal / Orchestre Métropolitain
Leonore Lise Davidsen, Norway
Florestan Michael Schade, Canada
Rocco Raymond Aceto, United States
Pizarro Luca Pisaroni, Italy
Fernando Alan Held, United States
Marzelline Kimy McLaren, Canada
Jaquino Jean-Michel Richer, Canada
Prisoner 1 Spencer Britten, Canada
Prisoner 2 Jean-Philippe McClish, Canada
With the Opéra de Montréal Chorus
Short bios of the main soloists
Last season, Lise Davidsen made her Bayreuth debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, returning to Opernhaus Zürich and the Bavarian State Opera for the same role. Other highlights included Liza in The Queen of Spades at Oper Stuttgart, her debut at the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden in The Ring Cycle, and her debut as Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Hailed as one of the world’s leading tenors, Michael Schade performs at prestigious opera companies and concert halls. He embraces a wide repertoire in opera, recital, concert, and recording. A favorite artist of the Salzburg Festival for almost two decades, his recent festival highlights include The Creation, The Seasons, and Die Schöne Müllerin. He also frequents the Metropolitan Opera, Munich Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Vienna State Opera, in works ranging from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg to Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda.
Raymond Aceto has established an important presence among the world’s leading opera companies. Appearances in recent seasons include Fafner and Hunding in The Ring Cycle and Ramfis in Aida at the San Francisco Opera, and Méphistophélès in Faust at the New Orleans Opera. He has appeared frequently at the Metropolitan Opera, most recently as Zaccaria in Nabucco, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto.
Luca Pisaroni has established himself as one of the most charismatic and versatile singers performing today. Last season, he returned to Teatro Real as Méphistophélès in Faust, made his house debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu as Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri, returned to the Metropolitan Opera for his debut in the title role of Don Giovanni, created the role of the young Lorenzo da Ponte in the world premiere of The Phoenix at the Houston Grand Opera, and made his role debut as Escamillo in Carmen at the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden.
Alan Held is recognized as “one of the major actors in the current opera world”. He has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, the Bavarian National Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, the Teatre del Liceu, the Hamburg State Opera, the Chicago Opera House, the San Francisco Opera and many others. Among his many roles are Wotan in Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen, Amfortas in Parsifal, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde and Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, to name a few.
FIDELIO, by Ludwig van Beethoven
Maison symphonique de Montréal
October 25, 2019, at 7:30 pm
October 27, 2019, at 3 pm
Place des Arts box office: 514-842-2112 • 1 866 842-2112
Live the opera experience online at operademontreal.com
About the Orchestre Métropolitain
One of Quebec’s leading cultural ambassadors, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal was founded in 1981 on a daring gamble: that the best way to promote symphonic music is by creating strong ties with the public. Building on this special relationship, the ensemble has earned an enviable international reputation. Since his appointment as artistic director and principal conductor in 2000, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has developed and maintained an exceptional relationship with the musicians, undoubtedly contributing to the Orchestre’s success, longevity and growing fame. In September 2019, Orchestre Métropolitain announced the lifetime renewal of its conductor’s contract.
Complete info on the OM’s 2019-2020 season: orchestremetropolitain.com
Read also: Opéra de Montréal 2019-2020 Season
L’Opéra de Montréal acts as a catalyst for the city’s artistic creativity and celebrates Quebec and Canada’s rich vocal heritage, showcasing opera at its most diverse and daring. From great classics of the opera repertoire and innovative new works from home and abroad, to a training program for the finest young Canadian singers and outreach efforts in the community and educational system, the Opéra de Montréal offers unforgettable operatic events at which everyone is warmly received and feels welcome.