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Atelier et Chœur d'opéra de l'Université de Montréal (Opera workshop and chorus)

Under the codirection of Richard Margison and Robin Wheeler

Since 1995, the productions of the Université de Montréal Atelier d’opéra (opera workshop) have attracted a steadily growing audience and considerable critical acclaim.

Students in classical singing, directed by well-known artists – such as Alice Ronfard, Benoît Brière, Yves Desgagnés, Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, François Racine, Oriol Tomas, Claude Poissant and Alain Gauthier – and by a veteran artistic directors, Richard Margison and Robin Wheeler, develop and thrive in large-scale productions that offer them a professional-level learning environment.

An established reputation

The Université de Montréal Atelier d’opéra is synonymous with quality, originality and success. A number of productions are presented each year, notably in collaboration with the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal and with the Atelier de musique baroque.

The Atelier also collaborates with Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique (an artist-in-residence program for Canadian opera singers) ‒ in masterclasses, for example, that are unique opportunities for learning and growth with a view to a future career. 

The Atelier d’opéra chorus

Some twenty students in classical singing participate annually in this chorus as part of Atelier d’opéra productions.

Often offering a first opportunity to perform on stage with sets, costumes and staging, the chorus, directed by Robin Wheeler, is a stimulating experience for students interested in pursuing a career in opera.

The Atelier d’opéra’s latest productions

  • Berlioz, Béatrice et Bénédict (2000)
  • Bizet/Mérimée (adaptation by P. Brook, M. Constant and J.C. Carrière), La tragédie de Carmen (2022, directed by François Racine)
  • Blow, Venus and Adonis (2020, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Britten, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2004, directed by Alice Ronfard)
  • Britten, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2018, directed by Oriol Tomas)
  • Chabrier, L’étoile (The Star) (2015, directed by François Racine)
  • Charpentier, Actéon (Actaeon) (2017, staging by François Racine)
  • Debussy, Pelléas et Mélisande (2012, directed by François Racine)
  • Handel, Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) (2011, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Humperdinck, Hänsel und Gretel (2006, directed by Alice Ronfard)
  • Johann Strauss II, Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron) (2010, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Johann Strauss II, Die Fledermaus (The Bat) (2008, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Massenet, Cendrillon (Cinderella) (2002, directed by Yves Desgagnés)
  • Monteverdi, Il Nerone, ossia L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) (2007, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Mozart, Così fan tutte (Women Are Like That) (2019, directed by Claude Poissant)
  • Mozart, Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) (1999)
  • Mozart, Don Giovanni (2009, directed by Benoît Brière)
  • Mozart, Idomeneo (2021, directed by Alain Gauthier)
  • Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (2005, directed by Benoît Brière – Best production of the year in Montréal, according to the late music critic Claude Gingras)
  • Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (2016, directed by François Racine)
  • Offenbach, Die Fledermaus (The Bat) (2023, directed by François Racine)
  • Offenbach, La vie parisienne (Parisian Life) (2020, directed by Alain Gauthier)
  • Offenbach, Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld) (2018, staging by Valerie Kuinka)
  • Poulenc, Dialogues des carmélites (Dialogues of the Carmelites) (2013, directed by François Racine)
  • Poulenc, Dialogues des carmélites (Dialogues of the Carmelites) (2003, directed by Alice Ronfard)
  • Poulenc, Les mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias) (2015, staging by François Racine)
  • Puccini, Gianni Schicchi (2001, directed by Benoît Brière)
  • Puccini, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi (2014, directed by François Racine)
  • Purcell, Dido and Aeneas (2016, directed by François Racine)
  • Purcell, The Fairy-Queen (excerpts) (2018, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Rameau, Les Indes galantes (The Amorous Indies) (excerpts) (2019, directed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière)
  • Ravel, L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) (2017, directed by François Racine)
  • Ana Sokolović, Dawn Always Begins in the Bones (2019)

Critical praise

Resource person

Sarah Joyal, manager of the Université de Montréal Atelier d’opéra