Travel Blog

5 Mar

375MTL: World premiere of “Another Brick in the Wall – The Opera

A dapper Roger Waters was on hand for the Opéra de Montréal’s media launch of Another Brick In The Wall – The Opera, based on Waters’ legendary work The Wall. The opera version composed by Julien Bilodeau is based on Waters’ lyrics and music, and will have its world premiere in Montréal in March 2017 as part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations.

The seed for Waters’ iconic 1979 masterpiece The Wall was planted in 1977 when Waters infamously spat on a fan at a Pink Floyd concert at Olympic Stadium, where the Opéra de Montréal also launched its 2016-2017 season at a press conference with Waters in attendance.

“It will be 40 years next year since I famously spat at one of you,” says Waters. “When I was approached by this wonderful team to take part in this project, I think my reply was dismissive in that it had been my experience that collaborations between the worlds of rock and roll and symphonic music and the classical world were generally disastrous. But [the Opéra de Montréal] were extremely persuasive. They came down to New York for a meeting and Julien [Bilodeau] played me what he had already started working on. I confess I sat there not expecting to be moved, and I was moved.”

The opera will be directed by Dominic Champagne, with Alain Trudel conducting the Orchestre Métropolitain. The opera will star renowned Canadian baritone Étienne Dupuis as Pink, the fallen rock star, and will feature 10 soloists, 48 chorus singers and 70 musicians.

The Opéra de Montreal promises a musically and visually spectacular production which is being presented in collaboration with the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary. “This project creates a stylistic shock, representing daring and unprecedented collaborations,” says Gilbert Rozon, Commissioner of Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations.

When asked if he remembers why he spat on the fan in the first place, Waters replied, “What I think happened was I was pissed off or disaffected about playing to a large number of people who – with all due respect to the population of Montréal – were completely drunk and not paying much attention to what was going on onstage.”

Roger_Waters-Yves_RenaudWhen a fan stormed the stage, Waters says, “I think I spat at him. But who knows whether I did or not. But I do remember that very soon after whatever happened that day, I realized that I was at the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing, and I needed to express the fact that I didn’t feel human. And I wanted to feel human. And my response to that was to write a show that involved building a huge wall between me and the people I was trying to communicate with.”

Says Waters, “I am very happy 40 years later that this piece that had its conception on this soccer field down here [in Olympic Stadium] with an appalling act that I committed all those years ago, should find its way back home in Montréal. I cannot wait for it to be finished and be sitting in that great auditorium.”

“Another Brick In The Wall – The Opera” will premiere at Salle Wilfred-Pelletier on March 11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24, 2017. Pre-sale for the general public is from March 3 to 20, 2016.

The Opéra de Montréal also announced four other operas for its 2016-2017 season: Aida by Verdi (Sept. 17 to 24), Don Giovanni by Mozart (Nov. 12 to 19), Dialogues of the Carmelites by Poulenc (Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, 2017), and La Boheme by Puccini (May 20 to 27, 2017).

For tickets and information, visit

Up next: A first look at Montréal’s 375th Anniversary celebrations in 2017


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