Following our intuition is important.It is essential even, I would say! The story between Albertine en cinq temps - L'opéra and Ode, sister projects born around the moon and for women, has been shaped by intuition to celebrate WOMEN and their transitions.
Two projects led by strong and beautiful women who have become more than allies in recent months. They form an aligned community, with whom we change the world. Yes, nothing less. Join us!
Genesis on a pandemic landscape
The beginning of 2021 has been for many, a time of darkness, of genesis, of transition. Tested by the pandemic, reconfinement and emotions in the midst of a storm, a collaboration was born.
It was at this point that a proposal presented itself. A friend (Debbie Zakaib, executive director of The Montreal Fashion Clusters mmode, philanthropist and art-lover) proposed that I join a women's collective that would produce an opera for women, by women, with all-female characters. This would be the first time that a collective of women wrote an opera booklet together, and also the first opera in joual, based on one of the great works of one of the greatest authors and directors of all time, Michel Tremblay. The cast includes sopranos Chantal Lambert, Catherine St-Arnaud, Monique Pagé, Chantal Dionne and Marianne Lambert, as well as mezzo soprano Michèle Losier. The musical composition was entrusted to none other than the award-winning author, composer and performer Catherine Major.
Michel Tremblay, one of the only men members of this collective, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in 2022, embraces the cause of women and succeeds in expressing the human and societal complexity of several generations of Quebec women. He does so through colorful writing, a remarkable musicality and dialogues that can naturally be read as an opera.
Created in 1984, Michel Tremblay's play Albertine en cinq temps - L'opéra features a 70-year-old woman who, in her room at a long term care facility, is replaying her memories at different stages of her life. At the age of 30, Albertine already suspects that the immensity of the sky will never be able to contain her rage for life...
The strength of the themes, still relevant today, the musicality of the text, the all-female characters and the subject matter which, through the united voice of the different ages of Albertine and Madeleine, places the whole woman in search of freedom in the face of her deepest expression and in the face of her relationship with a hostile and suffocating society, which has always kept her in a cage.
This project of the opera was born out of this period of global crisis, following an intuition of its instigator Nathalie Deschamps, renowned director and producer behind Les Productions du 10 avril.
During the first meetings with Nathalie, Debbie and Catherine St-Arnault (a young soprano who will interpret Albertine at the age of thirty and an entrepreneur invested in the project with Les Productions du 10 avril), I was marked by a revelation: the moon was going to be one of the main characters of this opera.
The creation of an undeniable link
This is when an undeniable link was made. At the same time, I had chosen to invest myself with two other ambitious and passionate women, osteopath Lisa-Marie Farley and physiotherapist Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto, founders of Ode, a new movement and mindfulness online platform created with the goal of accompanying women through the transformational cycles of life, in an intergenerational community spirit. A powerful project, also drawing its essence from the power of transitions, feminine archetypes and the moon.
It became clear that these two sister projects, both created to celebrate women through their life cycles and transitions, needed to work together, to grow together, in order to reach as many women as possible, with their noble missions.
From the first meeting between Ode and Albertine en cinq temps - L'opéra, the connection was established instantly and intensely.
It was clear from our discussions - and our insights - how much the singers and creative team behind Albertine could benefit from Ode's expertise, as well as the good care of our beloved therapists.
Nathalie expressed her conviction that providing a work environment and conditions more conducive to the development of women in the arts was one of the elements that set the Albertine project apart from its peers. A frustration with the treatment of women, which unfortunately remains less than equitable in many artistic and cultural spheres, reinforced the need for a new paradigm. The sense of privilege, the devotion at all costs, the discrimination of older artists … This all needed to be explored and reversed.
In a private conversation, author Michel Tremblay confided that Albertine: "is a tribute to the progress achieved by women, over the past few decades, to find and make a place for themselves. It is an ode to the courage of women who, despite sometimes dark moments, give us hope in life".
Ode to movement and creativity
Ode is a celebration of women, movement, and creativity.
Many of the exchanges with the team indicated interesting avenues to explore between movement, mindfulness, breathing, and the artists' performance on the Albertine en cinq temps - L’opéra project. The strength of Ode is that it brings together methods that apply to all women in order to optimize their everyday tool - the human body.
Lisa-Marie and Bianca from Ode will be hosting two workshops in early August to kick off and conclude the artistic residency. These workshops will focus on grounding, harmonizing, energizing, calming and connecting through movement to support the artists' and team's practices and performances. They will also be the therapists associated with the project for any specific needs during this residency. For opera singers, taking care of their body is 'taking care of their instrument'.
For more information on Albertine en cinq temps - L'opéra, visit productionsdu10avril.com/albertine
Tickets are available for $20 here lepointdevente.com/billets/vitrinealbertine
Through the Scotiabank Women's Initiative, tickets to Albertine en cinq temps - L'opéra will be offered to start-ups and diverse women entrepreneurs through a half dozen partner organizations who support diversity. Ode will also provide these women with a number of discovery subscriptions for the platform.