8 P.M. | La Maison symphonique

Claudie Bertounesque : Le choeur des bélugas (création)
Wagner : Wesendonck Lieder (soliste: Elisabeth St-Gelais)
Strauss : Symphonie Alpestre

Wesendonck Lieder

Symphonie alpestre

Nicolas Ellis

Nicolas Ellis

Conductor, Founder and Artistic director The Orchestre de l’Agora

Nicolas Ellis is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orchestre de l’Agora in Montreal and Music Director of the Orchestre National de Bretagne. Since 2023, he is also the Principal Guest Conductor of Les Violons du Roy.

He currently stands out as one of the most active conductors on the Canadian musical scene, as well as for his artistic and social commitment within the Montreal community. Known for his versatility in a vast repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to contemporary music, Nicolas also distinguishes himself as a thoughtful programmer with a concern for the dramaturgical line that unites the works programmed. In recent years, he has acted as assistant conductor to Raphaël Pichon and his Ensemble Pygmalion in opera productions at the Opéra comique and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and has also held the position of Artistic Collaborator to the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin from 2018 to 2023.

As a guest conductor, Nicolas has conducted the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. More recently, he has appeared with the Graz Opera and the San Diego Symphony and the 2024-2025 season will take him to conduct in Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and France.

In 2023, he won a JUNO award in the Classical Album of the Year – large ensemble category, with the Orchestre de l’Agora and violist Marina Thibeault for the album Viola Borealis. Agora also won the Prix Opus for Musical Event of the Year for its Gala de la Terre featuring Mahler’s 3rd Symphony. At the heart of Agora’s mission, Nicolas has set up projects with teenagers struggling with mental health problems, educational workshops and a series of monthly concerts at the Bordeaux Prison in Montreal.

Nicolas Ellis is the recipient of the 2017 Fernand Lindsay Career Grant and was also awarded the Prix Goyer Mécénat Musica 2021.

Elisabeth St-Gelais

Elisabeth St-Gelais


Innue from the Pessamit community, Elisabeth attaches great importance to sharing her culture through her artist mission.

Named Radio-Canada Classical Revelation 2023-2024, Elisabeth St-Gelais will complete her Master’s degree in Voice and Opera at McGill University in April 2023.

In the community of Pessamit, Elisabeth places great importance on sharing her culture through her role as an artist. She made her European debut in the summer of 2022 at the Berlin Opera Academy in Germany, where she performed as Rosalinde in the famous operetta Die Fledermaus. This soprano has garnered numerous performances throughout Canada and has been invited to perform with prestigious organizations such as the Canadian Opera Company, the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean Symphony Orchestra, the North Shore Symphony Orchestra, I MUSICI de Montréal, and the Agora Orchestra.

Elisabeth St-Gelais has achieved significant recognition and success in the world of music. In March 2022, she was the grand winner of the prestigious Wirth Vocal Prize at McGill University. In June 2022, she also won the grand prize in the 19-30 age category at the Canimex Canadian Music Competition. Elisabeth’s talents were further acknowledged in 2022 when she was included in the prestigious #CBC30under30 list, where she stood out as a promising Indigenous opera artist under the age of 30. In 2023, Elisabeth continued to make strides in her career. She was appointed as one of the Young Opera Ambassadors at the Lyrichorégra Theatre, and she claimed the First Prize in the 26-30 age category at the Classival Festival in April 2023. Her most recent achievement was winning the 2023 Prix d’Europe, an honor she received on June 11th at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Elisabeth St-Gelais is undoubtedly making a significant impact on the world of classical music and opera.

In addition to her musical achievements, Elisabeth St-Gelais is actively involved in the Montreal music community. Starting in April 2023, she has been appointed to the board of directors of the Conseil Québecois de la Musique, demonstrating her commitment to contributing to the music scene in Quebec. Her involvement in this capacity further showcases her dedication to both her art and her local musical community.

Claudie Bertounesque

Claudie Bertounesque


laudie Bertounesque is an award-nominated film music composer, recognized for her diverse portfolio spanning various disciplines.

Her notable works include Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Rift in Time by Gameloft Montreal & Disney/Pixar, Lady Sapiens directed by Thomas Cirotteau, and François Barbeau: créateur de costumes by Jean Beaudry. She received a nomination for “Best Original Score: Documentary” at the 34th Gémeaux Awards for her contribution to the latter.

Her eclectic works are distinguished by a continuous dialogue between electroacoustic music and classical orchestration. They merge traditional and innovative musical colors, thus translating the essence of her artistic approach: innovation through tradition.

Natasha Kanapé Fontaine

Natasha Kanapé Fontaine

Poet and writer

Natasha Kanapé Fontaine is an Innu writer, poet and interdisciplinary artist from Pessamit, on the Nitassinan (North Shore, Quebec, Canada). She lives in Tio’tia:ke – known as Montreal. Her poetic works and essays are recognized and acclaimed by critics, travel the world, translated into several languages and are studied at several levels in schools in Quebec and elsewhere. In 2017, she received the Rights and Freedoms Award for her poetry and her contribution on bringing people closer through art, writing, performance, dialogue – for future generations to grow through sharing, respect and exchanges between cultures. At only 29 years old, she was already amongst the public figures who took part into the recognition of the Indigenous peoples of Quebec, in Canada and elsewhere in the world. In 2021, she received the grade of Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres de la République française. She works as well as a translator, screenwriter, consultant on Indigenous literature and a sensitivity reader.


Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal


Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal (PCMR) is a choir that was founded in 1956 to provide high-level musical training for young Montreal orphans. Ranging in age from eight to seventeen, the 200 boys in the choir today come from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and share a genuine passion for singing. Their repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to contemporary choral works. Over the course of a year, Les PCMR sing in over sixty masses at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, and offer numerous a capella concerts or with various ensembles.

Orchestre de l'agora

Orchestre de l’Agora uses music as a tool for sustainable social change while presenting innovative and audacious concerts. Its musicians actively participate in its social actions through music.

Since its foundation in 2013, the Orchestra has distinguished itself through numerous initiatives, notably winning a first JUNO prize for the Viola Borealis album, featuring violist Marina Thibeault, as well as the prix Opus for “Musical Event of the Year” for its 2022 Gala de la Terre pour les enfants, which also raised $255,000 for environmental and humanitarian organizations.

Moreover, the Orchestra began a partnership with the Montreal Detention Center in 2021 to present Concert-Workshops to incarcerated individuals. Since 2013, the Orchestra’s musicians have been offering monthly music lessons and mentorship to hundreds of children from underprivileged backgrounds, in partnership with Partageons l’Espoir. Agora also closely collaborates with Espace Transition, a social innovation project at the heart of CHU Sainte-Justine that explores the power of art and creation on the well- being of troubled youth.

Artistic projects have allowed the Orchestra to collaborate with singer-songwriters like Jean-Michel Blais and Philippe Brach and established classical musicians, including Andrew Wan (concertmaster, OSM) and Yukari Cousineau (concertmaster, OM). Renowned Canadian soloists have joined the Orchestra in its past events, such as contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, violinist Kerson Leong, and pianist Charles Richard- Hamelin.

In its regular collaborations with the Opéra de Montréal, Agora has had the opportunity to work with talented stage directors like Sylvain Scott, François Racine, Aria Umezawa, and Isabeau Proulx-Lemire on innovative operatic projects, including L’Enfant et les sortilèges in 2023 and, more recently, Monteverdi’s opera The Coronation of Poppea.

The past few years have seen Agora present several high-quality online concerts, including a holiday concert with soprano Karina Gauvin, Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and the Concert solidaire in support of healthcare workers, broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Première.