Our History

1980   

The company is founded on January 30, an initiative of the Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec. Jean-Paul Jeannotte is named General and Artistic Director. Number of productions: 3

1984      

The Atelier lyrique is founded in order to ensure the development and training of a new generation of Canadian opera singers. Yvonne Goudreau is named Director of the programme.

1988

Bernard Uzan is named General Director of Opéra de Montréal. A bilingual supertitling system is implemented, contributing to audience growth.

1989

Bernard Uzan is named General and Artistic Director of Opéra de Montréal.

Jacqueline Desmarais founds the Montréal Opera Guild in order to provide the financial support through fundraising activities and special events such as the Gala (starting in 1995) and the Signature Event (2001-2004).

Félix Award for the most popular show of the season for the Quebec-composed romantic opera, Nelligan, by André Gagnon, to a libretto by Michel Tremblay.

1990

Chantal Lambert is named Director of the Atelier lyrique programme. 

1997-1998       

Opéra de Montréal’s production of Leos Janácek’s Jenufa receives two Opus Awards from the Conseil québécois de la musique, one for Concert of the Year in Montreal and the other for Large Ensemble Concert of the Year in Quebec.

2004

The company receives two Opus Awards for its March 2004 presentation of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.

2004-2005

The company celebrates its 25th anniversary and presents 5 productions, plus one by the Atelier lyrique at the Monument-National.

2007

Opera Australia-Opéra de Montréal collaboration (Lakmé). Opéra de Montréal ranks as one of the fifteen largest opera companies in North America. Number of productions: 4, plus 1 production by the Atelier lyrique presented at the Monument-National.

2008

Madama Butterfly Under the Stars draws 33,000 spectators to the Place des Arts Esplanade.

Opéra de Montréal presents a co-production with Opéra de Québec, marking the 30th anniversary of the work Starmania Opéra by Plamondon/Berger.

2009-2010

The company celebrates its 30th anniversary and presents 5 productions, along with a production by the Atelier lyrique at the Monument-National.

2010

Opus Award for the production of Pagliacci/Schicchi, directed by Alain Gauthier.

2013

Opus Award for the event of the year, for Dead Man Walking directed by Alain Gauthier.

 

some figures

  • seasons: 35
  • performances: 1003
  • repertoire: 95 operas
  • 2 premieres: Nelligan by André Gagnon (libretto by Michel Tremblay); Thérèse Raquin by Tobias Picker (libretto by Gene Scheer)
  • new productions: 58
  • over 2 million viewers and listeners have watched or listened to Opéra de Montréal productions on Radio-Canada television and radio

artistic directors 

  • Jean-Paul Jeannotte (1980-1989)
  • Bernard Uzan (1989-2001)
  • Bernard Labadie (2002-2006)
  • Michel Beaulac (since April 2007)

general directors

  • Jacques Langevin (1983-1986)
  • Bernard S. Creighton (1986-1988)
  • Bernard Uzan (1988-2000)
  • Kimberley J. Gaynor (2001-2002)
  • David Moss (2003-2006)
  • Pierre Dufour (since August 2006)

COLLABORATIONS

Bellas Artes, Canadian Opera Company, Dallas Opera, Florentine Opera Company, Florida Grand Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Australia, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, Vancouver Opera

A few of the artists who have appeared at Opéra de Montréal

Canadian singers

Phillip Addis, Frédéric Antoun, Theodore Baerg, Kimberly Barber, Antoine Bélanger, Guy Bélanger, Gordon Bintner, Caroline Bleau, Colette Boky, Julie Boulianne, Benoît Boutet, Russell Braun, Victor Braun, Measha Brueggergosman, Michele Capalbo, Pierre Charbonneau, Lara Ciekiewicz, Claude Corbeil, Gianna Corbisiero, Dominique Côté, Alain Coulombe, Gregory Dahl, Tracy Dahl, Etienne Dupuis, John Fanning, Manon Feubel, Antonio Figueroa, Marianne Fiset, Maureen Forrester, Judith Forst, Lyne Fortin, Don Garrard, Karina Gauvin, Gordon Gietz, Robert Gleadow, Hélène Guilmette, Alexander Hajek, Stephen Hegedus, Marc Hervieux, Noëlla Huet, Joseph Kaiser, Philippe Kalmanovitch, Joanne Kolomyjec, Taras Kulish, Aline Kutan, Marianne Lambert, Gaetan Laperrière, Jean-François Lapointe, Mireille Lebel, Danièle LeBlanc, Suzie LeBlanc, Kurt Lehmann, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Nicole Lorange, Marie-Josée Lord, Michèle Losier, John Mac Master, Mariateresa Magisano, Richard Margison, Ermanno Mauro, Allyson McHardy, Allan Monk, Daniel Okulitch, Marie-Danielle Parent, Mariana Paunova, Brett Polegato, Robert Pomakov, David Pomeroy, Annamaria Popescu, Gino Quilico, Louis Quilico, Joseph Rouleau, Robert Savoie, Alexandre Sylvestre, Daniel Taylor, John Tessier, André Turp, James Westman.

 

Singers from abroad

Valery Alexiev, Fabio Armiliato, Elchin Azizov, Emma Bell, Nicola Beller Carbone, Burak Bilgili, Rockwell Blake, Laura Brioli, Nicole Cabell, Renato Capecchi, Kamen Chanev, Vinson Cole, Stephen Costello, Roberto De Biasio, Mark Delavan, Donato di Stefano, Alexey Dolgov, Mary Dunleavy, Rosendo Flores, Paolo Gavanelli, Alberto Gazale, Thomas Gazheli, Vivica Genaux, Luca Grassi, Monica Groop, Eglise Gutiérrez, Reinhard Hagen, Julia Hamari, Robert Hayward, Alan Held, Maida Hundeling, Kelly Kaduce, Veronica Kincses, Sergei Leiferkus, Jonathan Lemalu, Carlo Lepore, Luis Lima, Lester Lynch, Johanna Meier, Tatiana Melnychenko, Anthony Michaels-Moore, Bogdan Mihai, Sherrill Milnes, Hiromi Omura, Ievgen Orlov, Myrto Papatanasiu, Hasmik Papian, Susan Patterson, Paolo Pecchioli, Olesya Petrova, Paul Plishka, Susan Quittmeyer, Bruno Ribeiro, Luciana Serra, Marina Shaguch, Galina Shesterneva, Grigori Soloviov, Diana Soviero, Olivia Stapp, Dimitra Theodossiou, Ilona Tokody, Benita Valente, Endrik Wottrich.

Conductors

Christian Badea, Richard Buckley, Daniele Callegari, Fabrizio Maria Carminati, Frédéric Chaslin, Francesco Maria Colombo, Michael Christie, Franz-Paul Decker, Antonino Fogliani, Fabien Gabel, Anton Guadagno, John Keenan, Bernard Labadie, Jacques Lacombe, Wayne Marshall, Edoardo Müller, Paul Nadler, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jean-Yves Ossonce, Tyrone Paterson, Giuseppe Pietraroia, Emmanuel Plasson, Joseph Rescigno, Stewart Robertson, Alfredo Silipigni, Alain Trudel, Gregory Vajda, Michelangelo Veltri, Timothy Vernon, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

Stage directors

Christopher Alden, Chris Alexander, Bernard Arnould, André Barbe, Marc Béland, Hugo Bélanger, Humbert Camerlo, Michael Cavanagh, Sean Curran, René Richard Cyr, Brian Deedrick, Serge Denoncourt, Tom Diamond, Renaud Doucet, Jean Gascon, David Gately, Alain Gauthier, Claude Girard, Irving Guttman, Bliss Hebert, Vaclav Kaslik, Yannis Kokkos, Robert Lepage, Fabrizio Melano, Elijah Moshinsky, Graeme Murphy, Kevin Newbury, Roberto Oswald, Moffatt Oxenbould, Robert Prévost, François Racine, Olivier Reichenbach, Eric Simonson, Thaddeus Strassberger, Josef Svoboda, Tazewell Thompson, Oriol Tomas, Gilbert Turp, Bernard Uzan, Antoine Vitez.