A taste of Gounod at the Opera Festival

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Marc-André Caron and Marie-Andrée Mathieu sing a duet from Charles Gounod’s comic opera Le Médecin malgré lui. Gounod is best known for his “Ave Maria,” based on a work by Bach, and his opera Faust. 

The Gounod à l’apéro concert at the Chapelle de l’Amérique francophone was certainly a tasty treat. From July 25 to 29, starting with a pre-concert apéritif, six talented singers presented excerpts from eight of the 12 operas written by French composer Charles Gounod during his lifetime (1818-1893).  

The  five concerts were organized by Tempêtes et Passions, whose mission is to encourage the production of lyrical concerts of the romantic, post-romantic and modern eras, and to introduce upcoming young singers, as part of the Festival de l’Opéra de Québec.

Performing on July 25 were: Audrey Larose Zicat (soprano), Elisabeth Boudreault (soprano), Marie-Andrée Mathieu (mezzo-soprano), Louis-Charles Gagnon (tenor), Marc-André Caron (baritone-bass) and Marcel Beaulieu (bass). Each piece was introduced by narrator Georges Nicholson. 

With songs from Roméo et Juliette, La reine de Saba, cing Mars, Le tribut de Zamora, Polyeucte,  Mireille and Le Médecin malgré lui, the wine-sipping members of the audience spent a delectable afternoon, free of charge (except for the wine, at only $5 per glass) in the breathtaking chapel. 

The Festival de l’Opéra de Québec continues until August 6 at 10 p.m. with Starmania at the Grand Theatre on August 3 and 4, free concerts in various locations around the city by the Brigade Lyrique. The Festival ends with a bang (literally) at 10 p.m. on August 6 with a glorious fireworks display over the St. Lawrence River set to music from the opera, presented by Les Grands Feux Loto-Québec. 

For full details of the Opera Festival, visit festivaloperaquebec.com/en/ 

For information about Tempêtes et Passion’s upcoming season, visit www.tempetesetpassions.com/