Opera, a genre that brings together all forms of art (music, literature, dance, theatre, film, stage design, visual arts), is enjoying a boom period. Interdisciplinary seminars on opera creation and on musical composition for the stage are part of a research program whose aim is to renew opera for the 21st century armed with an approach that merges research and creation work. For opera to be adapted to our time, it must necessarily be made more inclusive, and its changing relationship to new technologies be taken into account. These seminars make it possible to build bridges among the fields of creative research, professional artistic circles, and the student communities of Université de Montréal and the National Theatre School of Canada. They comprise the first milestone of a project aimed at developing an international operatic-creation and opera-creative-research center operating out of Université de Montréal.
The interdisciplinary seminars on opera creation and on musical composition for the stage draw together a teaching faculty in composition from the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music (Ana Sokolović), the Department of Art History and Cinematographic Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Olivier Asselin), the Design School of the Faculty of Ecological Design (Marie-Josèphe Vallée), the National Theatre School of Canada (Diane Pavlović and Andrea Romaldi) and the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (Sarah Bild). These courses are open to students in composition, performance, musicology, literature, design and, beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, film studies at Université de Montréal, as well as to students in playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada.
Artists from professional circles also contribute to students’ training by way of coaching that takes place in the framework of these seminars. Such has been the case with set designer, producer, actor and director Gilles Maheu; with choreographer Louise Bédard; with composer Nicolas Bernier; with the Musique 3 femmes company; with Normal Studio, with director Robert Lepage as well as with librettist Paul Bentley.
In addition, the Faculty of Music is also home to the Canada Research Chair in Opera Creation.
Classes and workshops in the camera’s eye
Photos taken during improvisation and co-creation classes and workshops given in 2019-2020 and in the fall of 2020.
A few interdisciplinary creations
These are some final products from the six interdisciplinary groups created as part of the seminar Composer et interpréter la musique pour la scène (Composing and Performing Music for the Stage, fall semester 2020).