Andrist in rehearsal
Photo courtesy of Opéra de Montréal

Opéra de Montréal announced the appointment of Saskatchewan-born pianist Rachel Andrist as Principal Coach of Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique young artist training program, in a news release on August 21st. Andrist will succeed Québécoise Marie-Ève ​​Scarfone, who has just been appointed pianist-coach at Opernhaus Zürich.

In a sort of musical chairs involving Canada’s top opera coaches, Carrie-Ann Matheson recently left Zurich to head up San Francisco Opera’s training arm; Scarfone replaced her in Switzerland, and now, Andrist slips into Scarfone’s role in Montreal. 

Andrist has an impressive reputation and is well-established in Europe’s opera scene. She has been part of the musical teams of the Salzburg Festival, Bavarian State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Netherlands Opera, English National Opera and Scottish Opera. She has worked alongside distinguished conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Antonio Pappano and Kazushi Ono.

Andrist headshot
Rachel Andrist. Photo: Shelagh Howard

“[Andrist’s] vast experience and knowledge of the Atelier lyrique, since she has worked with us for several years already, make her a first-rate candidate,” said Chantal Lambert, director of Atelier lyrique in the news release. “She has accompanied singers of great renown such as Adrianne Pieczonka, Sir Thomas Allen, Jason Howard, Allyson McHardy, Klara Ek, Ekaterina Gubanova…This is invaluable knowledge that she can pass on to our artists-in-residence.”

The 2020-2021 season of the Atelier lyrique begins on Sept. 14th, offering artists-in-residence a hybrid training formula, in-person and online, in accordance with provincial health regulations.