Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, a non-profit organisation, was founded in 1976 by tenor Alain Nonat with the help of many important persons from the lyric and dance circles from Canada and France.


Author: L20

18 Avril
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By Harry Somers
Libretto by Mavor Moore with the collaboration of Jacques Languirand
APRIL 20 TO MAY 13, 2017



Over a 15-year period, the charismatic Métis leader Louis Riel is inspired by visions to lead two revolts to protect the lands, rights and religion of his people in present-day 19th-century Manitoba. He falls afoul of powerful players in the Canadian government and is ultimately executed.



In 1867, Canada was born from a union of Ontario and Quebec with the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In the same year, the Hudson’s Bay Company, holding administrative power in the mid-west under British charter, changed hands—and the new owners proved as anxious to sell the territory to Canada as Canada was to acquire it. Consequently, in 1869 the new Canadian parliament passed legislation for the future government of Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territory, to take effect when ratified by Britain.

In this transaction the settlers already in the area—British, French, Irish, Métis, and others—were not consulted, and were to receive no recompense for their land. The proposed legislation set up a Crown Colony in which settlers would have no rights of citizenship—a prospect which deeply concerned those of French origin. When the Canadian government sent out surveyors to mark off the land even before the transfer of authority, and the Hudson’s Bay Company administration faltered, the alarmed Red River settlers set up their own provisional government, owning allegiance to the Queen alone, in hopes of negotiating better terms before joining Canada.

While recognizing this step as legal under the Law of Nations, the Canadian government in Ottawa proceeded to appoint a governor, William McDougall, and dispatched him via Minnesota to await, just south of the border, the expected proclamation from the Queen. The anti-French, anti-Catholic McDougall grew impatient; and, in November 1869, he tried to enter the territory with a forged proclamation.

It is at this point that the action of the opera begins..



Scene i: At the U.S.-Canadian border, south of Fort Garry (now Winnipeg), 1869
McDougall and his retinue are stopped by a band of Métis. Thomas Scott, a violently fanatic Orangeman scout, attacks the Métis and is arrested.

Scene ii: Fort Garry, Red River Headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company
The Fort has been taken over by Riel’s provisional government. He prays for divine guidance and frees Scott, against the advice of Lépine and his band of Métis.

Scene iii: The Prime Minister’s Office, Ottawa
Sir John A. Macdonald, George-Étienne Cartier and Donald Smith receive Bishop Taché. Macdonald assures him of an amnesty for his people but also sends Smith west with promises to the Métis.

Scene iv: The House of Julie Riel
Riel is completing the Manitoba constitution for Taché to take back to Ottawa. Later, alone, Riel recalls the psalm of David and envisions himself as David’s reincarnation, called by God to lead his people.


Scene i: The Prime Minister’s Office, Ottawa
Taché bargains with Macdonald and Cartier. They agree on terms for Manitoba entering the Confederation. Macdonald assures Taché the delayed amnesty will come, but later tells Cartier it is “a hot potato we must toss to Britain—there’s an election coming up!”

Scene ii: Fort Garry
Scott is tried for treason and condemned to death. Riel says “I cannot let one foolish man stand in the way of a whole nation.”

Scene iii: Fort Garry, the day of Scott’s execution
As Riel tells his mother and sister, “It is God himself who guides my hand,” the Métis shoot Scott outside in the courtyard.

Scene iv: A railway depot in Toronto
Schultz and Mair arouse a crowd by producing the rope with which Scott was supposed to have been bound.

Scene v: The Prime Minister’s Office, Ottawa
Macdonald’s cabinet is split: was Scott’s execution a legal act or murder? Colonel Wolseley advises marching on Fort Garry. Cartier warns that Quebec will rise if they do. Macdonald suggest that the army go to keep the peace until the new Governor Archibald arrives with the amnesty and Riel resigns as promised. Taché goes to assure Riel all is well.

Scene vi: The courtyard, Fort Garry
Riel’s followers are mollified by the promised amnesty. Smith reads a proclamation from Wolseley stating his mission is peaceful, but scouts report he plans to arrest and hang Riel. Riel accuses Taché of betraying him to Ottawa, then, on Smith’s advice, decides to flee. Wolseley takes over the town.


Scene i: Riel’s house in Sun River, Montana, 1880
Riel, in exile, is a school teacher with a Métis wife and infant son. When a deputation arrives from Saskatchewan, Riel agrees to return to Canada, an avowed revolutionist.

Scene ii: The Prime Minister’s Office, Ottawa
The aging Macdonald again calls up Taché who agrees to instruct his French Catholics in the west that “whoever takes up arms will be refused the sacrament.” Macdonald assures Taché the police will be restricted to peacekeeping action. But he instructs General Middleton to mobilize the army to march on 24 hours’ notice.

Scene iii: Church in Frog Lake, Saskatchewan, 1885
Father André’s mass is interrupted by Wandering Spirit, a Cree war chief, who says his people are on the warpath. Riel arrives, accuses the priest of selling out to the enemies and commandeers the church. He arrests André, says he will administer the sacraments himself, and tells of a mystical dream. The people believe him to be a prophet.

Scene iv: The courtroom in Regina
The Métis have been defeated by Middleton at Batoche and Riel is on trial for high treason. Friends in Quebec have sent lawyers to prove him insane. The Crown aims to prove him sane and guilty.

Scene v: Riel’s cell
Riel thinks even God has forsaken him but a visit from his mother renews his courage.

Scene vi: The Courtroom, Regina
Riel eloquently pleads that he should be acquitted if insane. If sane, he says, “Acquit me all the same. I acted… against a government gone mad.” The Crown lawyer Britton Bath Osler declines to address the jury on the grounds that Riel is sane and has made his case for him.

Scene vii: A street in Ottawa and a square in Regina
Taché and Lemieux plead with Macdonald for a reprieve for Riel, while in Regina Riel is calm in the face of death. Macdonald’s reply echoes the words of Riel after Scott’s trial: “I cannot let one foolish man stand in the way of a whole nation.”

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Durant la dernière quinzaine de mars 2012, le directeur général et artistique du Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, Alain Nonat, était en mission à Moscou et Saint-Petersbourg avec le support du Ministère des relations internationales du Québec pour promouvoir des échanges lyriques entre le Québec, Moscou et St Petersbourg.

Il fut aussi membre du jury du III Concours international de chant B.Y Shtokolov de St Petersbourg où il a entendu 175 chanteurs. Il a invité le Grand Prix du concours, une basse de 19 ans, à venir chanter au XIX Gala des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques le 25 novembre 2012. Dmitry Khromov, ténor russe, est également venu pour 3 concerts et le Gala. Lors du XVIII Gala des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques on pourra entendre le soprano chinois qui fut nommé lauréate de notre programme à cette occasion. Cette mission a permis à M Nonat de mettre en place des projets d’échanges lyriques avec l’Opera Novaya et l’Opera Helikon de Moscou, le conservatoire P.I. Tchaikovsky de Moscou. En novembre 2012, le directeur artistique de l’Opera Helikon s’est rendu à Montréal, en qualité de membre du Comité International des JAL 2012. Il a aussi obtenu qu’un lauréat des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques 2012 soit invité au Festival international de musique « We gather friends » de Moscou en août 2013. En mars 2013, a lieu un concert spécial à l’Opera Novaya de Moscou, avec la participation de 3 lauréats québécois des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Marianne Lambert, soprano, et Marc-Antoine d’Aragon, Baryton, accompagnés par le pianiste Julien LeBlanc. Ce concert était une première canadienne à l’Opera Novaya. Le programme du concert était composé d’oeuvres de compositeurs québécois et français et 4 artistes de la troupe de l’opera Novaya ont également participé à ce concert. Alain Nonat a signé un protocole de coopération avec le directeur général de l’Opera Novaya, Dmitri Sibirtsev, qui permettra des échanges de jeunes chanteurs canadiens, lauréats des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques et de jeunes chanteurs russes de la troupe de l’Opera Novaya. Cette coopération permettra ainsi à des lauréats du programme des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques de se produire à l’Opera Novaya. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au soutien du Ministère des Relations Internationales du Québec et de la Francophonie, de LOJIQ, du CALQ, de Madame Olga Kameneva, de l’Opera Novaya et du Fonds Lyrique du Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20. Au cours du printemps 2013, le baryton Philip Kalmanovitch a été invité à étudier à l’Académie Théâtre Musical de Moscou. Deux lauréates canadiennes du programme des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques furent choisies au Gala de Novembre 2013 par le directeur-adjoint de l’Opera Novaya, Alexey Veyro, pour chanter dans des productions de cette maison en 2014 : Laurelle Jade Froese (rôle de Cherubino) et Beste Kallender (rôle de Dido). En 2014-2015, Shantelle Przybylo, soprano, sera invitée à chanter à l’Opera Helikon.


Le festival international Sori de Jeonju (JISF) est un festival international de musique qui met en valeur la diversité des musiques traditionnelles étrangères et la musique du monde.


Le JISF collabore avec le Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, qui aide les jeunes artistes lyriques canadiens à débuter une carrière internationale en Europe et en Asie. Le JISF a été classé ces trois dernières années parmi les 25 meilleurs festivals internationaux par le magazine britannique Songlines. Le public, tout comme les organisateurs d’autres festivals, apprécie ce festival unique qui combine musique traditionnelle et musique du monde.


Le JISF s’intéresse particulièrement au Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, scène rêvée pour les jeunes talents lyriques, puisque l’on y déniche des talents prometteurs. Les organisateurs du JISF espèrent y trouver la nouvelle voix qu’ils cherchent depuis 14 ans. En assistant au Gala des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques organisé par le Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, l’équipe du JISF espère trouver cette nouvelle voix et la présenter sur la scène de la prochaine édition du festival JISF 2015 et encourager ainsi les échanges culturels entre la Corée et le Canada.

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NICOLAS MANSFIELD, Directeur General-Nederland ReiseOper – Pays-Bas

CHRISTOPH MEYER, Intendant-Deutsche Oper- Allemagne

STEFAN VOGEL, Operdirector- Maiz Oper – Allemagne

GEORG ECKEL, Leitung Musiktheater und KünstlerischerBetriebsdirektorTheater Freiburg im Breisgau-Allemagne

THOMAS HERMANN, Casting manager- Nüremberg Opera- Allemagne to be confirmed

BERTHOLD WARNECKE, Operdirector- Würzburg Opera – Allemagne to be confirmed.

GREGOR HOLMES- Directeur opera studio – Opéra de Linz- Autriche

MAURO GABRIELLI – Secrétaire artistique – Opéra de Bologne- Italie

MARY MILLER- Directrice générale et artistique- Opéra de Bergen- Norvège

GUY MONTAVON- Intendant- Opéra d’Erfurt – Allemagne

CONSTANTINE ORBELIAN- Directeur artistique- Opéra d’Etrevan – Arménie

HANS NIEUWENHUIS- Président Orfeo Fundation, metteur en scene-Pays Bas

JOHN BILLS – Directeur artistique – Opera de San Miguel- Mexique

DIMITRI BERTMAN- Directeur artistique- Opéra Helikon de Moskou- Russie

RAYMOND DUFFAUT- Directeur général des Voix Nouvelles – Ex-directeur  général des Chorégies d’Orange – France  (dates de présence à corriger

XAVIER ADENOT- Directeur de production – Opéra Massy – France

JULIUS KLEIN – Directeur général – Orchestre philharmonique de Kosice-Slovaquie

ALAIN SURRANS – Directeur général – Opéra de Rennes– France-To be confirmed- vient de changer de direction de théâtres

ANETTE LEISTENSCHNEIDER- Operdirector -Theater Nordhausen-Allemagne

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It was in 1991 that Mr. Alain Nonat, the General and Artistic Manager of Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, first made contact with the Chinese representative at the first Universal Arts Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria where he represented Canada as a member of the International Executive Committee.  A few years later, this newly forged relationship made it possible for Mr. Nonat to establish contact with the cultural councilor of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, who arranged a first visit to China in 2004 where Mr. Nonat gave French lyric repertory interpretation master classes in two musical institutions, one of which was the Beijing Central Music Conservatory.

During his first stay in Beijing, Mr. Nonat established contact with the directors of the Chinese Musician’s Association and proposed to hold a Chinese national audition within a Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques (Young Lyric Ambassadors) program.


The first national audition of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors was held in April 2005. Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 formed an international selection committee composed of: Danuta Dubois, Chief Music Inspector from the Ministry of Culture (France), Christian Mihailescu, General Manager of the Brasov Opera (Romania) and Alain Nonat, General and Artistic Manager of Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 (Canada). Auditions, preceded by master classes given by Mr. Mihailescu and Mr. Nonat, were held in Beijing.  The result was that two laureates were invited for concerts in Montreal, two more were hired by the Brasov Opera in Romania to sing leading parts in two productions and others were sent to participate in European competitions.

In December 2005, Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 proposed the creation of the International Lyric Center of Chengdu to the Sichuan Music Conservatory.  In order to promote the French lyric art, and in collaboration with Professor Zhu Qing Lacombe, we staged Carmen, an opera by Bizet with performances given by the students and teachers of the conservatory.  A Quebec tenor was invited for one of the leading roles, and other soloists were invited. Mr. Nonat acted as stage manager and the orchestra was directed by Jacques Blanc of the Bordeaux Opera of France. This project lasted for one month.


In 2006, following the favourable results of these first auditions which made it possible to send laureates to successfully participate in international competitions in Europe, Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 organized a second series of auditions to take place in Beijing and Chengdu.  The international selection committee named by Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 reunited Mr. Mihailescu and Mr. Nonat to which it added Mr. Norbert Klein of the Gelsenkirchen Opera (Germany).  Master classes were also held in Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai by Mr. Mihailescu and Mr. Nonat.  Once again, two laureates were invited to sing in concerts in Montreal and others were sent to Europe.


The third audition of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors program was held in Beijing in April 2007.  The members of the international selection committee were Mr. Mihailescu, Mr. Nonat and Mr. James Wright, General Manager of Opera Vancouver (Canada).  Many laureates were sent to European international competitions and subsequently won prizes and training courses.  Two laureates were invited to come to Montreal to perform.


The fourth national audition of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors program was organized in April 2008 in collaboration with the Mianyang Branch of the Sichuan Music Conservatory and our partner, the International Lyric Center of Chengdu.  The international selection committee was made up of  Mr. Nonat, Mrs. Jean MacPhail of the Royal Music Conservatory of Toronto (Canada) and Mr. Hans Nieuwenhuis, General and Artistic Manager of the Amsterdam Nederland Opera Studio (Holland).

For this fourth audition, the Royal Music Conservatory of Toronto, a new partner to our China program, has donated three 2-year study bursaries evaluated at $35,000.00 each.


The fifth national audition of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors program was organized in April 2009 in the Chengdu Music Conservatory with the collaboration of the China Schola Cantorum. The international selection committee was made up Mr. Nonat, Hans Nieuwenhuis,  Zhu Qing Lacombe, and Henri Maier, Director of Opera events, Germany.


The sixth national audition of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors program was organized in Chengdu the collaboration of  Professor Zhu Qing Lacombe at the  Sofiel Hôtel with a master class  given by M Alain Nonat

One singer win a $ 500 Francis Poulenc Prize


The seventh national audition of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors program was organized with a master class with  M Alain Nonat, (Canada) Hans Nieuwenhuis  (The Netherland )and M Cristian Mihailescu (Romania ) at the conservatory of Ningxia University of Yinchuan and two Francis   Poulenc Prize from  $ 750  each we offered to  Xingpeng Zhan, baritone and  Xiaoxing Zhang, soprano


A 5 days  auditions   at the  Sichaun Music  Conservatory of Music  in June  2012

A 10 days   master class at the Conservatory of music of Ningxia University of Yinchuan in October plus a final concert. et une audition des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques


Alain Nonat gives a master class in Chengdu  Music Conservatory in June


Alain Nonat gives a master class at the Ningxia University College of Music in October et une audition des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques


Alain Nonat gives a master class at the Tianjin Art Vocational college  and an  audition of the  Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques


Since 2005, Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 has obtained the collaboration of many international partners for its Canadian program.


In China

Chinese Musicians Association- Main partner

Beijing Central Music Conservatory, Sichuan Music Conservatory in Chengdu,

International Lyric Centre of  Chengdu and Professors of the Shanghai Music Conservatory.

Ningxia University of Yinchuan.


In Canada

Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, Opéra de Québec, Opera Vancouver. L’OJIQ


In Europe

Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 have partners in

Austria, Bielorussia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain






Xinghai Conservatory of Music. Sichuan Music Conservatory, Southwest University for Nationalities,

Sichuan Normal University, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Herbin Opera House, Zhejiang Vocational Academy of Art,China National Opera & Dance Drama Company, Shanghai Huiluo Art School, Shanghai Xinku School, Shanxi University,Renmin University of China, Tianjin Conservatory of Music, Central Conservatory of Music of Beijing, PLA Political Dept. Song & Drama Ensemble, Guangzhiou Opera Institute, Shenyang Conservatory of Music,Jilin Yanbian University China Conservatory of Music, Xi’an Conservatory of Music, Shenzhen Musician’s Association,Guizhou Tongren Teachers’ College, Air Force Art Troupe, Shanghai Opera House, Herbei Symphony Orchestra,College of Art Xiamen University, Wuxi Jiangnan University, High School of China People University,College of Art and Communication-Beijing Normal University, Xihua Conservatory of Music,Chongqing Singing & Dance Group School of Music, Zhejiang Normal University, China National Opera House, Ningxia University of Yinchuan, Tianjin Art Vocational college





Since the first auditions were held, Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 has invited two laureates from the national auditions of the Chinese Young Lyric Ambassadors program to come to Montreal to perform. Each year these young Chinese artists attract the attention of the Montreal public.


In 2006, soprano Liu Lian was hired by the director of l’Opéra de Québec for its annual gala after having been heard at the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Gala in Montreal.

In 2007, Zhao Ming, bass  and Song Gong, baritone were invited to Montreal , M Song Gong won a prize at the Ninth Czech and Slovak International Music Competition in Montreal.on the same week.

In 2008, Bing Bing soprano and Hua Hu tenor from Shanghai were invited in Montreal for several concerts and the JAL Gala.

In 2009, 3 singers, Lian Liu, soprano.and Zhou YuanYuan, mezzo soprano from Shanghai and  tenor  Tao Tong from Chengdu were invited for several concerts in Montreal and the JAL Gala.

In  2011, 2 singers are invited  Mrs  Lan Zhao, soprano  and   Mrs Xiaoxing Zhang, soprano for 4  concerts in Montreal

In 2012, 2 singers are invited fro 4 concerts Tao Tong, tenor and Vanessa Liao, soprano at the Montreal JAL program

In 2013, soprano Lian Liu is invited for 4 concerts at the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques program in Montreal

In 2014, baritone Andy Wang is invited for  4 concerts at the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques program in Montreal

In 2015 soprano Cui Wenwen is invited for  4 concerts at the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques program in Montreal

In 2016 tenor Ma Guoyi is invited for  4 concerts at the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques program in Montreal

International Vocal Competition, Oct. 9-11

Application Deadline September 27th, 2017

Private housing is available from October 12-15th if you register before September 15th, 2017.


The competition schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

• Friday, Oct. 9 — Preliminary Round 10 a.m. – noon
• Saturday, Oct. 10 — Semifinal sessions beginning at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 11 — Finals, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (closing reception, 3 p.m.)