Montreal artists stage an operatic ode to confinement

·2 min read

A selfish soprano, an anxious tenor and a crestfallen mezzo walk into a bar.

Just kidding, the bars are all closed.

During an hour-long show, the three singers lament their isolation during the pandemic, quip about drinking one too many glasses of wine and brag about the sourdough bread they've made while stuck at home.

These are the characters we meet in the Chronicles of Confinement, an operatic show that offers a playful take on how people are handling the changes brought on by the pandemic.

"We built this show around all the difficulties that we're living," said Nathalie Deschamps, the show's director and script writer.

The show is being performed by La Roulette Lyrique, a musical group that has been putting on public opera shows in Montreal since June.

Andre Chevrier
Andre Chevrier

The project originally began as a way to bring art back into people's lives even as concert halls and theatres were shuttered.

"Art is so important to everybody. Let's be together if we can be," Deschamps said.

She told CBC Montreal's Let's Go that she developed the script and characters based on conversations the troupe had with spectators while performing on street corners throughout the summer.

The show is made up of snippets of opera music combined with dialogue. It features music by French composer Pierre-Max Dubois and includes three singers, one actor and a pianist.

As the characters squabble, they frequently burst into song, expressing themselves via excerpts of Dubois' Opéra élastique, La Traviata and Rossini's cat duet.

On Sunday, La Roulette Lyrique will be livestreaming their show for free from the Maison de la culture Ahuntsic starting at 3 p.m.

Deschamps said she's hoping the performance will bring a smile and a little moment of joy to the audience.

"It's a big hug that we want to do and to give to the audience again and again," said Deschamps.

The livestream of the Chronicles of Confinement begins at 3 p.m. on Oct. 25. Details on how to watch the free event here.