Ste. Anne church hosting amusing opera evening
Former Royal Conservatory teacher leading the way
GThe Royal Conservatory of Music’s loss is the gain of a Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue church that has found a real gem in choir master Pierre Gallant, who will lead an amusing opera appreciation evening next week.
allant reportedly moved from Toronto to Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue in order to get in touch with his French roots. Though he was teaching at the Royal Conservatory, one of the world’s largest and most respected music education institutions, the English speaking Gallant decided to relocate to Quebec in order to explore the linguistic and cultural side of his French family’s history.
At the same time he also found a home he loves in Ste. Anne, as well as a second home at Union Church where he not only leads the choir but is its pianist, organist, and composer.
Susan Hawker, a member of the church choir, says Gallant’s impressive musical background and abilities aside, he simply makes music fun.
With that in mind the church will host A Night at the Opera: from Rossini to Bugs Bunny, an Opera Romp, Italian Style, on Sept. 20. Hawker describes it as an evening combining a delicious meal with dishes being created by Ste. Anne Farmers’ Market coordinator Patty Murphy, with Gallant’s specialities: musical entertainment, anecdotes, videos, education and fun.
All will be geared toward allowing participants to gain a lighthearted appreciation for opera.
Hawker says the evening, Gallant’s idea, was inspired by Italian composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini, who wrote 39 operas including The Barber of Seville, and La Cenerentola, among others.
“Apparently he really loved food and was an amazing cook so Pierre thought this would be a great way for people to learn about him,” she said.
The evening is aimed at opera lovers and those who might normally shy away from the musical art form for fear of feeling intimidated. “This is perfect for the person who doesn’t really understand opera, or is not sure if it’s for them because they can learn a little in a relaxed setting,” Hawker said, adding, “and it’ll be funny.”
Gallant, who also teaches at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, is additionally leading a series of evening community classes that will coincide with several upcoming high definition screenings at regional movie theatres of live operas that were filmed at New York’s famed Metropolitan Opera.
The Meet the Met classes have been timed to coincide with the opera broadcasts. Participants will learn the stories behind many of the world’s most famous operas before watching the shows that were filmed live. The courses will start on Oct. 4 with an overview of Verdi’s Macbeth. Other classes will include Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, (Oct. 11;) Bizet’s Carmen (Oct. 25;) Adam’s The Death of Klinghoffer (Nov. 8.) Three more classes will be held in December and January.
A Night at the Opera: from Rossini to Bugs Bunny, an Opera Romp, Italian Style will begin at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, at Union Church, 24 Maple, Ste-Annede-Bellevue. For tickets or information call Jan Langelier at 514 453-7103.
For more information about the college classes call John Abbott College’s community courses l i ne at 514 457-3063.