Montreal Christmas concerts you can stream online over the holidays

·3 min read

Every year, thousands of Quebecers flock to concert halls and churches to hear the sound of angelic voices bringing classic carols to life.

This year, with COVID-19 shuttering all public performances, orchestras and choirs have stepped up to release end-of-year shows online so people can still enjoy the music of Christmas from home.

While the CBC annual Christmas Sing-In is cancelled, music lovers can still enjoy the choir at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul virtually.

The church has released a recording of its annual Carols by Candlelight concert for free on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch.

Similarly, the Lyric Theatre Singers have moved their end-of-year concert online and are offering it free on their YouTube channel throughout the holiday season.

Despite being unable to gather and practise in person, the Lyric Theatre Singers have been taking part in virtual rehearsals and recording their voices and video footage at home.

With 40 singers in Montreal, Saskatoon and even Nashville, artistic director Bob Bachelor has put together a program of Broadway and Christmas songs for the vocal ensemble's 30th anniversary.

While the concert is free, the Lyric Theatre Singers are accepting donations to keep their operation going. In addition, a portion of funds raised will be donated to The Depot Community Food Centre in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.


When it comes to paid content, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal will be presenting a Christmas concert available for streaming until Jan. 5.

The concert will feature Vivaldi's Gloria and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah under the direction of Quebec conductor Bernard Labadie.

Access to the stream costs $20.

Labadie also conducts the free baroque music concert offered on demand by Les Violons du Roy.

The concert was recorded earlier in December at the Palais Montcalm – Maison de la musique in Quebec City.

This online concert will be available until Jan. 2.

Les Grands Ballets
Les Grands Ballets

For fans of The Nutcracker ballet, a recording of a previous year's event is being streamed on ICI ARTV on Dec. 28 at 8 p.m.

"It was difficult for me, as for our dancers, to imagine the holidays without The Nutcracker," said Ivan Cavallari, artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, in a statement.

"After dozens of performances onstage, it's the energy that the audience brings them that keeps them going, night after night. This year, they will be the ones gifting the public something special, by bringing them a moment of enchantment at home, directly on their screens."

The Nutcracker isn't the only dramatic performance coming to screens this season. Opéra de Montréal is hosting a free webcast of its family-friendly show Hansel and Gretel by composer Engelbert Humperdinck.

"We are especially eager to provide a moment of magic for families, knowing that the holiday season will be different this year," said Patrick Corrigan, general director of Opéra de Montréal, in a statement.

The show was originally presented by the Atelier lyrique in 2014, in collaboration with the National Theatre School of Canada and the National Circus School.

Yves Renaud/Opera de Montreal
Yves Renaud/Opera de Montreal

The recording filmed at Place des Arts will be available to watch online until Jan. 17.