Results of educational and social initiatives

14,494 youths and adults discover opera

The Opéra de Montréal is continuing its educational and social initiatives with activities that aim to raise awareness and foster an appreciation of opera among all audiences. The 2017-2018 season was indeed a splendid one: 14,494 youths and not-so-young people were introduced to opera, its methods, artists, and creators through several entertaining, educational, and democratic activities. Audiences of all ages and from across the island of Montreal and beyond were given the opportunity to experience this most complete art form in all its splendor and in every dimension.

Facts and Figures

Educational projects: 12,406 youth
Outreach projects: 2,088 adults


Our great thanks go out to all of our partners who are an integral part of our democratization and education efforts, and who understand how important the arts are to the development of all human beings. Partners are listed with the specific project they support.
Main Partner: J. Armand Bombardier Foundation


Hansel, Gretel… et les autres!

Our most recent educational project: a video that pulls back the curtain on the backstage goings-on at an opera, while also featuring significant excerpts from the Atelier lyrique’s show Hänsel and Gretel by Humperdinck. Hosted by the show’s Gretel, soprano Frédérique Drolet, the video is available online, free for all elementary schools (3rd cycle) and high schools (1st cycle) in Quebec. Twenty-two workshops showcasing the video were held in various schools in the Commission scolaire de Montréal with soprano Frédérique Drolet and mediator Pierre Vachon, and 177 groups viewed the video.
Partners: CALQ, Molson Foundation, Fogolabs

The visually and hearing impaired, autistic children, youths, teens, newcomers, cultural diversity…

Each year, the Opéra de Montréal makes its way around the island and beyond to hold introduction-to-opera workshops, customized for regular clienteles and those with specific needs. Each workshop is led by singers and a mediator.

This season, we worked with blind students at École Jacques-Ouellette in Longueuil, children at the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf (the workshop will in fact be the subject of a report by La Fabrique culturelle), students at all elementary school levels in Ste-Rosalie, Secondary V students at École internationale Jacques-Hermans in Granby and Mascouche, and students from two cégeps: Collège Ahuntsic and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. In addition, we opened our dress rehearsals to 30 newcomers registered for French classes at Centre Pauline-Julien, 20 people from multicultural groups, and 22 autistic children from the Montérégie region.
Partners: Hélène Bossé, La Fabrique culturelle (Télé-Québec), Ville de Ste-Rosalie, CSDM

Credit: Alain St-Onge

Student Dress Rehearsals: for students of ages 12 to 17

Every year, the Opéra de Montréal opens up three of its dress rehearsals to students of ages 12 to 17, free of charge. This season, 6,900 teens attended La Cenerentola by Rossini, JFK by Little, and the French classic Roméo et Juliette by Gounod. With each rehearsal, the opera venue takes on the atmosphere of a rock concert that would turn Madonna or Lady Gaga green with envy!
Partners: Bernard and Merle Stotland and Family, RBC Private Banking, Énergir

Credit: Yves Renaud

School Matinee

For 3rd cycle elementary school students, we offer the show 400 Years of Opera, with costumes, sets, projections, piano, singers, and a narrator. This matinee is also a highlight of the Une école montréalaise pour tous project, which gives some fifteen schools in underprivileged areas of Montreal the opportunity to take part in vocal workshops and a backstage tour.
Partners: Une école montréalaise pour tous, Ville de Montréal

coOpera – 14th edition

An opera creation project inspired by Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, which 90 Grade 5 and 6 students from four CSDM schools reinvent in their own way. Over the course of the year, they rewrite the story, build sets and props, handle stage management, sing, dance, and more…
Partner: BMO Financial Group

Youth Fusion

As a mentor for the Youth Fusion organization, the Opéra de Montréal facilitated the creation of a mini-opera—by means of its coOpera toolkit—in three schools, inspired by Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
Partners: BMO Financial Group, CSDM, Ville de Montréal, Hydro-Québec, Télé-Québec, Université de Montréal



Let’s Talk Opera

An introductory series covering each of the operas in the company’s season, featuring musicologist Pierre Vachon, singers, and guests, held in various Montreal neighbourhoods: in French at the Grande bibliothèque (BAnQ) and in English at Victoria Hall. The series is so popular that a 2nd presentation was added for Roméo et Juliette.
Partners: BAnQ, Victoria Hall, Ici musique

Interviews, discussions, round tables, concert-talks
  • Festival international de la littérature (FIL): presentation of Humanitudes, a “street opera” created and produced by individuals who have experienced homelessness. This project was a collaboration with Le Sac à Dos, a community organization that promotes social reintegration. Partner: FIL.

  • Mutek, a forum for technological arts: an examination of the relevance of our art form through a round table discussion in which we were invited to participate. 

  • Forum d'histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal: presentation of an overview of the history of opera in Montreal. Partner: UQAM. 

  • Radio-Canada Première – Plus on est de fous, plus on lit program: singers and a host explored writers and opera.

  • Art and Homelessness: conference organized by the London-based organization With One Voice in collaboration with ATSA, examining art and homelessness, bringing together organizations from three countries (United Kingdom, United States, and Canada) to discuss this societal issue and foster an international movement. The Opéra de Montréal hosted part of the conference’s activities, in addition to leading certain sessions. Partners: ATSA, With One Voice. 

  • Opera and Indigenous Art: round table on the creation of Mishaabooz’s Realm, a Cree opera performed by the singers of the Atelier lyrique and indigenous artists. The theme: the fertile and extraordinary dialogue between our two cultures and our means of creation. Partners: Espace DestiNATIONS, Fondation de la Place des Arts, Diversité Artistique Montréal. 

  • ITHQ: an introduction to opera and an examination of the links between gastronomy and opera. 

  • 2,000 Years of Vocal Music Concert-Talk: with the singers of the Atelier lyrique at Cabaret-Théâtre-du-Vieux-St-Jean.

Groupe des onze

Second year of the Inclusive Culture Laboratory project, headed by Exeko, addressing access to the arts. This three-year project will culminate with the drafting of an accessibility charter endorsed by UNESCO.
Partners: Exeko, CAM, CCUNESCO