The Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal has a mandate to offer professional internships—combining training and on-stage experience—for young Canadian artists who have completed their studies and intend to pursue a career in the field of opera. The Atelier’s activities are carried out in both official languages, thus allowing members to refine their skills in English or French as a second language.
Yvonne Goudreau founded the Atelier in 1984, and its director since 1990 has been Chantal Lambert. In its 29-year history, one hundred and sixty-seven young Canadians have trained at the Atelier, and several of them now lead careers on national and international stages.
The Atelier benefits from the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage (National Arts Training Fund), the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation. Its presenting partner is Hydro-Québec, and its financial partner is the National Bank.
Integration into the daily operations of an opera company allows the young artists to acquire invaluable experience, giving them a glimpse of the profession and access to a network of helpful resources to help them embark on their careers with confidence. The artists of the Atelier have the opportunity to take part in Opéra de Montréal productions, in one or more roles suitable to their abilities. Whether as soloists or covers, they learn to perform on stage while mastering major operatic works. Each season, their repertoire is enriched by several complete roles, along with many excerpts. Auditions are organized with directors of opera companies and other resource people, helping the young artists gain some recognition and providing them with advice on their opera careers.
The Atelier cultivates fruitful partnerships. For the tenth year in a row—and presented in Salle-Wilfrid-Pelletier for the first time this year—, the Atelier is staging its very own program in collaboration with the National Theatre School of Canada: Hänsel and Gretel by Humperdinck, directed by Hugo Bélanger. This production sees the Atelier join forces with a new partner: Montreal’s National Circus School. Maestro Alain Trudel will conduct the cast and 33 musicians from the Orchestre Métropolitain. The Atelier also organizes a series of concerts presented on tour or in the more intimate surroundings of the City of Montreal’s Maisons de la culture network; these notably include performances of its show Les amoureux célébres, scripted and directed by Marie-Lou Dion. The Atelier’s young artists are also regularly called upon to participate in concerts by various orchestras, and in the majority of Opéra de Montréal outreach initiatives intended to increase accessibility to opera and to significantly further its reach throughout the Montreal community and among young audiences.
The Atelier is hosting 10 young artists for the 2013-2014 season:
France Bellemare, soprano (1st year), Emma Char, mezzo-soprano (2nd year), Frédérique Drolet, soprano (3rd year), Jean-Michel Richer, tenor (3rd year), Cairan Ryan, baritone (2nd year), Aaron Sheppard, tenor (1st year), Jennifer Szeto, pianist (2nd year), Rachèle Tremblay, mezzo-soprano (2nd year), Florie Valiquette, soprano (2nd year), Josh Whelan, baritone (1st year).
Canadian or Landed Immigrant candidates* who have completed their studies, and are pursuing a career in opera are selected through auditions held in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. The final selection takes place in Montreal. The standards are high, as the artists will be called on to take part in Opéra de Montréal productions as of the first year of their internship. When selecting candidates of comparable quality, the administration favours candidates who are age 28 or under. In-depth training in vocal technique and solfeggio is essential for singers. The young artists are remunerated over the course of their internship and benefit from the training free of charge. Occasional financial aid is available to help them in their efforts to begin their careers. Information on national auditions and a registration form can be downloaded from the website.
* Candidates must be Canadians Citizens or have Landed Immigrant status at the time of application.
The Atelier lyrique benefits from the financial support of Canadian Heritage (Canada Arts Training Fund), the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation. Its presentation partner is Hydro-Québec, and its financial partner, National Bank.
2012-2013 : The Old Maid and the Thief / Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti)
2011-2012 : Rossini et ses muses
2010-2011 : The Consul (Menotti)
2009-2010 : Nelligan (Gagnon)
2008-2009 : Cosi fan tutte (Mozart)
2007-2008 : L’heure espagnole (Ravel) / Le secret de Suzanne (Wolf-Ferrari)
2006-2007 : Il mondo della luna (Haydn)
2005-2006 : The Turn of the Screw (Britten)
2004-2005 : Didon et Énée (Purcell)
2004-2005 : L'Arche (Isabelle Panneton)
2003-2004 : Elia (Silvio Palmieri)
2003-2004 : La bohème (Puccini)
2002-2003 : The Magic Flute (Mozart)
2001-2002 : Amelia Goes to the Ball (Menotti)
2000-2001 : Il segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari)
1999-2002 : Opera (excerpts)
1998-1999 : Soirée à l'opérette
1997-1998 : Soirée à l'opérette
1996-1997 : Un amour fou pour l'opéra
1995-1996 : Operafollia
1994-1995 : Opera (excerpts)
1993-1994 : Resurrezione (Handel), The Telephone (Menotti), The Old Maid and the Thief (Menotti)
1992-1993 : La cantate du café (Bach), Il segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari)
Marie Maous, program coordinator
514.985.2222, extension 2271