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Orchester Métropolitain: the importance of reaching out to people

Orchestre Métropolitain: the importance of reaching out to people


For Yannick Nézet-Séguin, summer is a good time to discover, learn about and appreciate classical music. After two summers when the Orchester Métropolitain had to be discreet, due to the pandemic, the Montreal ensemble will be very present over the next few days.

“I am ready. I can't do it anymore,” the conductor said during an interview.

After a stay in Germany, where he conducted the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin took over service with his ensemble, on July 23, at Domaine Forget, during a concert featuring Tchaikovsky's Symphonypathetic“.

“People, I believe, have a little more time and spirit in the summer, away from the daily concerns of the regular year, to be able to drink in the art of music,” he said. indicated.

The 47-year-old conductor still remembers the concerts he saw, when he was younger, at the Théâtre de Verdure in Parc La Fontaine and at the Festival de Lanaudière with his parents.

“It was a very important part of my youth and my journey as a musician. It is important to perhaps be able to sow passions in many new young people who will come to hear us. I think we can reach people when we go to them and it's important to do so,” he said.

The Orchester Métropolitain's programs are making way, for the past few years, to female composers and more diversity with the music of First Nations and Indigenous nations. 

“I wanted that to be reflected in the parks, streets and other festivals that we visit across Quebec this summer,” he noted, adding that summer programming is not so different from what the Orchestra offers in the regular season. 

A magical moment

After a concert to be conducted by French conductor Ariane Matiakh, on Sunday , at the Festival de Lanaudière, with opera arias by Rossini, the Orchester Métropolitain will meet its conductor on August 2, at 8 p.m., during a free concert at the foot of Mount Royal. A crowd of 35,000 attended this event in 2019.

“It was one of the great moments in the history of the Orchester Métropolitain. A magic moment. I have no doubt that there will be even more people this year,” he said of this program, which represents the mosaic of Montreal, featuring Symphony No. 5 < /em>by Beethoven.

A work that can be found on the box set The symphonies, launched on July 15 on the Deutsche Grammophon label, where the Chamber Orchestra of Europe performs the German composer's nine symphonies, under the direction of the Quebec conductor.

The German composer, according to Yannick Nézet -Séguin, offers, with his music, a beautiful demonstration of resilience. 

“Beethoven teaches us all the time about human resilience. We lived it, we were able to get through the pitfalls of fate and there will be others. Beethoven helps us with this energy,” he said. 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Orchester Métropolitain.

Wagner and Debussy

The Orchester Métropolitain will offer the same program on August 5 at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur.

On August 6, the conductor and his ensemble will attack the first act of Wagner's opera La Valkyrie, with American soprano Christine Goerke, American tenor Brandon Jovanovich and German bass Franz-Josef Selig.

“They are the best singers in the world today to sing these roles,” he said.

The sequel to Pélléas et Mélisande by Debussy will launch this concert. “I like to create contrasts that sometimes allow you to discover points in common. I've never done that with these two composers and I'm curious about the results. We'll talk about it later,” he said, bursting out laughing. 

The next day, the conductor, his ensemble and the French pianist Hélène Grimaud will offer, at the end of the Lanaudière Festival, a concert with works by Félix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann and the Overture in C major by Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn.

“This overture is fascinating and we are going to perform it in the 'spirit of introducing new pieces,' explained Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

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