Orchestre Classique de Montréal Announces 2022/23 Season

by | Jun 17, 2022 | Featured, News

The Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM) has announced the lineup for its 83rd season, and highlights include two new guest conductors Geneviève Leclair and Alain Trudel, four world premieres, debut performances, and youth concerts featuring the OCM Orchestra and Jeunesses Musicales.

Titled Lyrical and Eclectic, the season spotlights the vocal arts and offers a diverse program of both classic and new works. OCM’s 2022/23 program features new works by composers David Bontemps and Maxime Goulet, and Anishinaabe composer Barbara Assiginaak and Cree composer Tomson Highway. Featured voices this season include Suzanne TaffotMagali Simard Galdès, Marc Hervieux, Aline Kutan, Hélène Brunet, Dominique Labelle and Julie Boulianne, among others.

“The late Maestro Boris Brott and I planned a season that truly reflects the orchestra’s DNA: eclectic repertoire and our shared love of the vocal arts,” said OCM Executive Director Taras Kulish in a statement. “Following the tragic loss of our beloved Boris, the OCM is proud to continue his legacy of excellence with two guest conductors who had strong ties to him: Geneviève Leclair and Alain Trudel. They will allow us to maintain the high standards that our orchestra and our audiences are accustomed to.”

The season opens on October 18 with BORIS: His Life in Music, a tribute to late artistic director Boris Brott. The concert, hosted by Sylvia L’Écuyer, will celebrate key milestones in the maestro’s life and feature performances of Bruch’s evocative Kol NidreManuel Ponce’s Concierto del Sur, and selections from Bernstein’s West Side Story. The tribute will also feature an excerpt from Astral Visions by Alexander Brott, as well as three songs arranged for string orchestra from Tomson Highway‘s The (Post) Mistress, which Maestro Brott recorded for Radio Canada in 2021.

Other season highlights include four world premieres, beginning with Unruly Sun on Dec 1 (World Aids Day). Written by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts and Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning American librettist Mark Campbell, the work was co-commissioned by Brott Opera and the 21C Festival. Inspired by the life of queer activist and director Derek Jarman and his celebrated memoir, Modern Nature, the production is a song cycle written for solo tenor and sextet. Through a series of 18 songs, the work pays tribute to Jarman’s life as both an artist and person living with aids. Directed by MichelMaxime Legault, the production features tenor Karim Sulayman, the OCM string quartet and piano.

Premieres that follow include Haitian-born Québec composer David Bontemps’s chamber opera La Flambeau in February 2023; Kaleidoscope, a concerto for Anishinaabe flute (pipigwan) by Barbara Assiginaak in April 2023; and the world premiere of Maxime Goulet’s first symphonic work, the Ice Storm Symphony, in June 2023 marking the 25th anniversary of the 1998 North American ice storm. The concert features soprano Aline Kutan, tenor Spencer Britten, and baritone Hugo Laporte, alongside Choeur de Laval and Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal. Alain Trudel will conduct at the podium. The performance will end with Carl Orff’s monumental Carmina Burana, the famous cantata inspired by satirical medieval poems about love, lust and the fickle hand of fortune.

View OCM’s full 2022/23 season line-up below.

BORIS: His Life in Music

October 18, 2022 – Salle PierreMercure 

The OCM will pay tribute to its late artistic director, the beloved Boris Brott, with an evening of music celebrating significant milestones in the maestro’s life. Hosted by Sylvia L’Écuyer, the concert will include performances of Bruch’s evocative Kol Nidre, Manuel Ponce’s guitar concerto Concierto del Sur, and well-known selections from Bernstein’s masterpiece, West Side Story. The OCM will also present an excerpt from Astral Visions by Alexander Brott, as well as three songs arranged for string orchestra from Tomson Highway‘s musical The (Post) Mistress, which Maestro Brott recorded for Radio Canada in 2021.

Tariq Harb, guitar

Stéphane Tétreault, cello

Antonio Figueroa, tenor

Elizabeth Polese, soprano

Geneviève Leclair, conductor


BACH: Violin & Voice

November 15, 2022 – Salle PierreMercure

This concert will feature some of Bach’s most virtuosic works for violin and voice. Audience members will be treated to exhilarating performances by one of Canada’s most renowned young violinists, Kerson Leong, whose playing has been described by Le Monde as “a mixture of spontaneity and mastery, elegance, fantasy, and intensity,” and internationally acclaimed soprano Dominique Labelle, who will charm listeners with the delightful “Wedding Cantata,” Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, an ode to marriage and love.

Kerson Leong, violon

Dominique Labelle, soprano

Geneviève Leclair, conductor


Unruly Sun (world premiere)

December 1, 2022 – Cirque Éloize

World AIDS Day

Presented in its world premiere, Unruly Sun is a song cycle for solo tenor and sextet, inspired by the life of queer activist and director Derek Jarman and his celebrated memoir, Modern Nature. Over the course of 18 songs, the work pays tribute to Jarman’s life as an artist and a person living with AIDS, exploring the creation of his famous garden at Prospect Cottage, a fisherman’s hut located on the windswept coast of South East England. Jointly commissioned by Brott Opera (Hamilton) and the 21C Festival (Toronto), Unruly Sun is a new piece by Canadian composer Matthew Ricketts and renowned American librettist Mark Campbell, whose operas have received both the Pulitzer Prize for Music and a GRAMMY Award.

Karim Sulayman, tenor
OCM string quintet and piano
MichelMaxime Legault, director

Music: Matthew Ricketts / Text: Mark Campbell


Handel’s Messiah

December 13, 2022 – Crypt of Saint Joseph’s Oratory

A time-honoured holiday tradition, this must-see concert will take place in the crypt of Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Up-and-coming conductor Simon Rivard will lead a magnificent quartet of distinguished soloists, along with the Montréal choirs Filles de l’île and Chantres musiciens.

Hélène Brunet, soprano

Julie Boulianne, mezzo-soprano

Zach Rioux, tenor

Phillip Addis, baritone

Simon Rivard, conductor

Filles de l’île and Chantres musiciens, choirs


La Flambeau (world premiere)

February 7, 2023 – Salle PierreMercure

Presented as part of Montréal’s Black History Month
In collaboration with Brott Opera 

For the world premiere of this opera for four voices and chamber orchestra, Haitian-born Québec composer David Bontemps has conjured a universe of mystical melodies, whose AfroHaitian motifs blend perfectly with the libretto by Haitian playwright Faubert Bolivar. Inspired by traditional West African mythology and Haitian Vodou culture, the opera tells a compelling story of corruption, misogyny and abuse of power.

Suzanne Taffot, soprano

Catherine Daniel, mezzo-soprano

Paul Williamson, tenor

Mariah Inger, director

Alain Trudel, conductor



March 5, 2023 – Salle PierreMercure

As part of the Montreal / New Musics Festival

The crystalline voice of soprano Magali SimardGaldès will bring Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry to vivid life in Britten’s celebrated Les Illuminations. Canadian composer Brian Cherney‘s own Illuminations is inspired by elements of Jewish mysticism. This evocative work for string instruments explores meditation’s transformative effects on the mind. The program will also feature Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. Considered one of the English composer’s greatest works, it was written as a tribute to his composition teacher. Each movement reflects an aspect of Bridge’s personality and includes clever imitations of several other great composers.

Magali SimardGaldès, soprano

Alain Trudel, conductor



April 11, 2023 – Salle PierreMercure

This evening will mark the world premiere of Anishinaabe composer Barbara Assiginaak’s Gwekaanmat (Wind Changes Direction) for orchestra and pipigwan (Anishinaabe flute), as well as the Québec premiere of Robert Rival’s violin concerto All’ombra de’ cipressi  (Under The Shadow of the Cypresses), featuring OCM concertmaster Marc Djokic. Soprano Sharon Azrieli will also delight audience members with her expressive renditions of beloved songs by the legendary Michel Legrand.

Marc Djokic, violin

Sharon Azrieli, soprano

Barbara Assiginaak, pipigwan


Festa Italiana with Marc Hervieux

May 9, 2023 – Salle PierreMercure

Known as much for his charismatic stage presence as for his beautiful voice, tenor Marc Hervieux will join the OCM on a musical journey to Italy, in an evening of Neapolitan and Sicilian songs. Marc Hervieux will captivate concertgoers with his personal renditions of classics such as Volare and Funiculì, Funiculà, as well as other musical gems from this magnificent Mediterranean country, the home of romance and eternal beauty.

Marc Hervieux, tenor

Geneviève Leclair, conductor


Fire and Ice:

Carmina Burana and the Ice Storm Symphony

June 20, 2023 – Maison symphonique


Join us for this benefit concert at the Maison symphonique featuring two major works: one celebrated masterpiece and another destined to take its place among the classics. The OCM is proud to present the world premiere of Maxime Goulet’s first symphonic work, the Ice Storm Symphony, marking the 25th anniversary of the 1998 North American ice storm. This piece is sure to bring back memories for those who lived through the event, while evoking the feeling of hope that emerged in the wake of the disaster. The concert will end with a performance of Carl Orff’s monumental Carmina Burana, the famous cantata inspired by satirical medieval poems about love, lust and the fickle hand of fortune.

Aline Kutan, Soprano

Spencer Britten, Tenor

Hugo Laporte, baritone

Choeur de Laval and the Petits chanteurs du MontRoyal

Alain Trudel, conductor

Seasons tickets are currently on sale here.

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Angie Bell

Angela Bell is Opera Canada’s Digital Media Specialist. She has held digital and PR roles with various businesses including the Walt Disney Company, Sullivan Entertainment and Toronto International Film Festival.



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