Aline Kutan, Mireille Lebel, Éric Laporte, & Philippe Sly Present ‘A Life In Opera: homage to Joseph Rouleau’

By Afton Wooten

(Photo credit: OCM)

For the last concert of its 84th season, the Orchestre Classique de Montréal pays homage to bass Joseph Rouleau.

Soloists Aline Kutan, Mireille Lebel, Éric Laporte, and Philippe Sly perform excerpts from operas by Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Delibes, Wagner, and Offenbach. Songs by Félix Leclerc are also programmed. They are accompanied by the Orchestre Classique de Montréal, conducted by maestro Jacques Lacombe. Innu soprano Elisabeth St-Gelais and Louise Pelletier give a pre-concert recital in the Maison’s foyer, at 6:30 p.m. The duo presents a program of French melodies by Bizet, Duparc, and Poulenc. Sylvia L’Écuyer hosts the event.

Also on the evening’s program is a showing of “Joseph Rouleau: Last Bow – A Virtual Reality Experience.” The animated 20-minute biopic is based on the opera singer’s archives, and tells his story by revisiting his personal archives, memoirs and greatest solos. The installation is available for viewing in the foyer of the Maison Symphonique.

“Joseph Rouleau was one of those unique individuals who devoted every breath of his life to the development of the performing arts, and the vocal arts in particular. He had an immense career as an opera singer, and contributed to the creation of the Opéra de Montréal, Jeunesses Musicales and the CMIM, three great Montreal institutions. We are delighted to honor his memory and his enormous legacy with this exciting opera concert,” said Taras Kulish, General Director of the OCM, in a press release.

The concert takes place on the fifth anniversary of the opera singer and former Chairman of the OCM Board of Directors’ passing, June 18. It is held at the Maison Symphonique of the Place des Arts beginning at 7:30 p.m.