Arts & Entertainment News

Quebec opera festival opens with Tempêtes & Passions

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

More than an hour before the doors of the Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique francophone opened, fans hoping to get a front-row seat inside were lined up at the door of the museum in Old Quebec. Admission was free to this first event of the Festival d’Opéra de Québec.

Le Vaisseau fantôme conquers the Grand Théâtre

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Photo: Peter Black

It’s no mean feat to fill the vast stage area of the Grand Théâtre, but during scenes from the Festival d’Opéra de Québec’s magnificent production of German composer Richard Wagner’s Le Vaisseau fantôme (The Flying Dutchman) the space, while not exactly rendered intimate, was stunningly conquered.

Back Alley Jazz & Gin served up at Palais Montcalm

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Photo: Michael Fournier

The Back Alley jazz band made its debut at the Salle d’Youville of the Palais Montcalm on July 18. Singers Vanessa Bergeron and Zita Bombardier-Touret, accompanied by Félix Dubé (piano), Olivier Garand (bass), Raphaël Dubois (trumpet) and Gaétan Paquette (drums), gave a sizzling concert.

Morrin Centre’s Arts Alive! festival sprouts an enchanted garden

The Morrin Centre invites you to discover exciting, new activities during its fifth annual Arts Alive! Québec festival. On Aug. 2 and 3, Quebec City’s English-language cultural hub will host several performances, concerts, and workshops, proudly featuring Quebec City-based artists. This year’s programming explores nature and dreams with events on the theme: “The Garden of Live Flowers.”

Enjoying a musical weekend at the Domaine Forget

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

A little getaway to the country led to the discovery of the amazing Emerson String Quartet performing at the Domaine Forget in Saint-Irénée on July 19.

Wagner’s Flying Dutchman docks at Quebec opera festival

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Photo: Peter Black

One of the most complex and spectacular productions ever mounted at the Grand Théâtre, Richard Wagner’s Le Vaisseau fantôme (The Flying Dutchman in English, Der fliegende Holländer in German), is ready to take Quebec opera fans on a thrilling voyage “combining epic tales, supernatural worlds and remarkable scenic effects.”

Celtic Festival planned for September 2019

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Photo: Festival celtique de Québec

The Quebec City Celtic Festival / Festival celtique de Québec (FCQ) has revealed the preliminary programming of its 14th edition. The festival will be held from Sept. 5 to 8, mainly at the enchanting Domaine de Maizerets. Certain activities will still take place in Old Quebec, specifically on Rue Saint-Jean.

Mother Nature slays Imagine Dragons at FEQ

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

There was almost no room in front of the Bell Stage on July 13. Despite weather warnings, people had been lined up for hours. Some had driven hundreds of kilometres to see Imagine Dragons, a concert on the roster of the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ). To everyone’s disappointment, Mother Nature created a repeat of the Foo Fighters’ 2015 concert, to the day.

A dazzling Mariah Carey sings through the rain

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Photo: Renaud Philippe, courtesy of FEQ

July 11 was a sparkling evening on the Plains of Abraham, despite the rain and dense clouds. Mariah Carey stepped onto the Bell Stage in a form-fitting short silver dress, reflecting the shining star that she is. With more than 150 million albums sold worldwide, the queen of R&B had arrived at the 52nd Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ).

Bluesman Buddy Guy’s still got it at 82

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Photo: Peter Black

He turns 83 on July 30, so Buddy Guy has more than earned the right to sing the blues and claim the title of the last of the great bluesmen, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and their ilk having already ascended to the big three-chord progression in the sky.

Blink-182 celebrates 20 years and closes FEQ 2019

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

No band could have closed the 52nd Festival d’Été de Québec better than the punk rock group from California, Blink-182. The songs of this iconic 1990s-2000s trio are etched in people’s minds, proven by the tens of thousands who attended the 20th anniversary of the Enema of the State concert on July 14. For many, this renowned album was the main attraction to the Blink-182 show.

The Offspring thrills FEQ crowds

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

After a 30-minute delay, spectators were more than happy to see The Offspring appear on the Bell Stage. As part of the closing program of the 52nd Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ), the band opened with “Americana,” the title song of their album of the same name.

25th Grands Feux Loto-Québec: fireworks, dance, music and movies

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

There are just a couple of weeks to go before fireworks explode over the St. Lawrence River. From July 31 to Aug. 24, hundreds of thousands of spectators both old and young, from near and far, will gather along the river’s banks and at the designated sites – Quai Paquet in Lévis and Place des Canotiers in Quebec City.

Quebec rugby and soccer teams lead their leagues right across the province

The Club de Rugby de Québec (CRQ) and the Québec Dynamo soccer players are enjoying a great summer on their respective pitches, across the province.

The CRQ women lead Quebec’s Women’s Super League and have an unbeaten record. On July 13, the CRQ team won 38-10 over the Barrhaven Scottish club from Ottawa, for their seventh straight win in as many games.

Corey Hart opens FEQ with high-energy performance

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Photo: Renaud Philippe, courtesy of FEQ

Pop star Corey Hart “never surrendered” to travel obstacles in his way, including being boxed in by traffic in Montreal. That was a very good thing for organizers of the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ) who had scrambled to have Hart fill in the abruptly vacant headliner spot on the opening Thursday of the monster festival.

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zep tribute band rock FEQ Saturday

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Photo: Photo by Renaud Philippe, courtesy of FEQ

The packed crowd for the July 6 show on the giant Festival d’Été Bell stage didn’t seem to mind that they were rocking out to essentially two big-name tribute bands.

Twenty One Pilots climbed to new heights at the FEQ

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

They crowd-surfed, tower-climbed, changed their outfits and instruments, went down into the crowd and invited security guards to dance. Ohio band Twenty One Pilots know how to put on a show. They’ve seen their fair share of concerts, so lead vocalist and guitarist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun understand the importance of stage presence.

Mamma Mia! Here I go again . . . how can I forget ya!

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Photo: Salle Albert Rousseau

After a triumphant première in Montreal, the musical Mamma Mia! is coming to Quebec City’s Salle Albert-Rousseau with 21 presentations from Aug. 14 to Sept. 7. It is based on the music of ABBA’s greatest hits, composed by two members of the famous Swedish singing group. Anyone who lived through the 1970s and ’80s could sing most of the songs in this hit musical by heart.

A well-organized Musical Wednesday

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Photo: Maude Chauvin

The first of Chalmers-Wesley United Church’s Musical Wednesday noon-hour summer concerts, held on June 26, was an “organ-ized” success!

J-C Poitras and Libby Oliver examine fashion statements at MCQ

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Fashion, clothing, photography, cinema, family and travels complete the summer program at the Musée de la Civilisation (MCQ). Until Sept. 20, visitors can admire the significant and influential fashion pieces designed by Jean-Claude Poitras and Libby Oliver’s intimate photographs of people wearing their entire wardrobe.

Éric Lapointe has carte blanche to create his dream FEQ concert

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

For the seventh consecutive year, the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ) and Bell Canada have given a Quebec artist carte blanche to create his dream concert. Quebec’s rock ’n’ roll icon Éric Lapointe is coming to the Plains of Abraham on July 9, and he won’t be alone.

More fun featured at FEQ for families

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Photo: FEQ

Clowns! Pirates! Bubbles! Slime!

Organizers of the Place de la Famille component of the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ) certainly seem to know what makes kids happy. FEQ last week unveiled this summer’s program targeting youngsters looking for fun stuff to do during the festival, which runs from July 5 to 14.

Grads give last show before running away to the circus

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Photo: Danielle Burns

Not all directors would want the word catastrophe in the name of their show. However, Maxime Perron, artistic director of Catastrophe ultraviolette, is unafraid. The actor and first-time director of the graduates’ final show at the École de Cirque (ECQ) chose a rather abstract theme based on a concept from quantum physics.

École de cirque de Québec brings the circus to town!

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Photo: Danielle Burns

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Chamber music this summer

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Photo: Jonathan Letellier-Black

The public square at the corner of Avenue Cartier and Boul René-Lévesque was the scene of a casual noon-hour concert last week. The Élement 8 cello octet performed for passers-by and a seated audience, as a promotion for the third annual Festival de Musique de Chambre, called Vibrances.

Drumming up business while recycling

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

This street musician in the Old City is a great example of how to help the planet by recycling. His “instruments” consist of empty plastic buckets, barrels, tin cans, and various pots, pans and lids. He was drumming up a lot of business (donations) near Porte Saint-Louis last weekend.

Musique de chambre à Sainte-Pétronille unveils its 36th season

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Ever faithful to its tradition of excellence, Musique de chambre à Sainte-Pétronille (MCSP) will present six concerts from June 27 to Aug. 22 for its 36th season. The concerts will take place in the beautiful church at the tip of Île d’Orléans, just 15 minutes from downtown Quebec City.

Artistic director Marc Roussel announced the season’s program for lovers of chamber music.

Grands Feux Loto-Québec celebrates with music and dance

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

The party of the summer will be happening simultaneously at Quai Paquet in Lévis and Place des Canotiers in Quebec City. The 25th anniversary of the Grands Feux Loto-Québec (GFLQ) will be celebrated over the St. Lawrence River on four Wednesdays and two Saturdays from July 31 to Aug. 24. The public is invited to dress according to different cinematic themes every evening.

Noises Off is ready to take off

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Photo: Quebec Art Company

It’s the door-slammer of all door-slammers. Some tickets are still available for a very rare theatrical event courtesy of the Quebec Art Company. Noises Off takes to the stage at CEGEP St. Lawrence for four performances from May 16 to 19.

Yet another award for Rouge et Or’s Mathieu Betts

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Photo: Mathieu Bélanger courtesy of U-Laval

Mathieu Betts, a defensive lineman for the Université Laval Rouge et Or, was named the USports male athlete of the year for 2018-19.

A week after signing a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League, Betts was named the recipient of the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Athletic Award at a ceremony held in Calgary on May 2.

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