Four UdeM alumni win scholarships to create opera

From left to right: Analia Lugdar, Alejandra Odgers, Nicole Obomswain and Danny Maynard Belanger.

From left to right: Analia Lugdar, Alejandra Odgers, Nicole Obomswain and Danny Maynard Belanger.

Credit: Music 3 Women


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Four UdeM graduates are winners of the prestigious Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes, which will enable them to create operas.

On September 14, Musique 3 Femmes de Montréal and Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec awarded the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes 2022 award to Canadian bands of composers and musicians. This prestigious award aims to encourage the next generation.

The winners in three of four categories are University of Montreal alumni: composer Analia Loughdar (Faculty of Music) in the category Work in French; composer Alejandra Odgers (Faculty of Music) and scriptwriter Nicole Obomswain (Department of Anthropology) in the Indigenous work category; and Danaë Ménard-Bélanger (Faculty of Music), faculty composition lecturer, in the category Work in French – Encouragement Award.

Winners receive a $50,000 grant and benefit from musical and dramatic guidance from famed composer and playwright Luna Pearl Wolf. Their business will be represented in 2024.

Composers Encouragement Award

“In music composition classes in Mexico, I was the only woman. Sometimes there were two of us. When I came to study at the University of Montreal in the early 2000s, there were very few women. Fortunately, things changed: I put The Montreal Metropolitan City of Women Orchestra is in the spotlight, UdeM has hired musicians like composer Anna Sokolovic, and awards like this help boost creativity among women,” says Alejandra Odgers.

Evolution: This was also confirmed by the Young Lecturer in Music Composition at Danai University College of Music Maynard Belanger. She was recently hired by UdeM and graduated with a master’s degree in music, and recalls that her classes were mainly men: “There’s a huge difference compared to opera singing classes, the majority of which are female.”

The works performed are mostly those written by men. “In France, where I currently live, for a concert the program has six works, five will be composed by men. Often the creations of women are the most successful, because these musicians have had to struggle to perform their pieces. An award like this provides an opportunity to hear more of composers,” says Analia Lugdar.

He composes an opera with several hands

While studying at the University of Montreal, Alejandra Odgers met Abenaki anthropologist Nicole Obomsauen. The latter shared it with her legends and abenaki songs that the student assigned to music as part of her Ph.D. The result was a work composed thanks to the first prize in the composition competition at the Orchester de l’Université de Montréal and which will be performed again, this time at the Maison symphonique de Montréal. Together, the PhD student and anthropologist will explore three myths of opera design. One of them, The Story of Creation, tells how the world came into being through music.

Dana Maynard Bellanger will compose an opera with her sister, Maya. She will take care of the music and her sister will write the script. “The way we work is completely organic. We switch back and forth a lot between text and music,” he recalls.

As for Analia Lugdar, she will set the poetic text to the music fig tree dance Written by Amna Nasr El-Din, which evokes the relationships severed by the war in Lebanon between three generations of women. “Every word is a gem. Every word has its power. I will not change any of them. To turn this text into a chamber opera while respecting the narrative framework, I will work alongside the author.

About Anna Lugdar

Analia Lugdar is an Argentine-Canadian composer currently living in France. Her catalog includes around 60 works for voice, orchestra, chamber music, solo instrument, ballet, opera, and mixed music. Creations suggest cruelty, cruelty and ingenuity. ballet joanna It was created as part of the Monaco Dance Forum.

Among her awards is the Victor Martin Lynch Staunton Award from the Canadian Council on the Arts. Opus Award for Composer of the Year 2008-2009 from Conseil québécois de la musique; and the 2008 Jules-Léger Prize.

About Alejandra Odgers and Nicole Obomswain

Mexican-Canadian composer Alejandra Odgers studied in Mexico and Canada. This journey gave him the tools to create expressive and direct music that draws inspiration from various sources. Alejandra Odgers has composed more than fifty works by different orchestras and dozens of orchestras. In particular, the Orchester metropolitain de Montréal commissioned a piece of it as part of the 375e Anniversary of Montreal and another for the opening of Espace 67. The latter was created under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Alejandra Odgers won first prizes in makeup competitions in Mexico and Quebec.

Abenaki anthropologist Nicole Obomsauen studied anthropology at the University of Montreal. For nearly 50 years, it has worked to enhance the richness of its traditional culture. First through dance, as she traveled with her band in Canada, the United States and Europe, and then through tales and legends. She has received numerous awards and honors for her commitment to promoting First Nations cultures.

About Danae Menard-Bélanger

Danaë Ménard-Bélanger is a Quebec composer who draws inspiration from the symbolic universe of narrative and visual arts. His works depict rich emotional worlds through bell games, time, and grand musical gestures. The master’s degree you will soon complete explores silence, stagnation, and lack. His early career was marked by his passion for the human voice. His fascination with paralinguistic language is the source of his academic research and writings. Since 2022, she has been the assistant director of Kô vocal ensemble and will begin her PhD in lullabies at the University of Montreal this fall.

About music 3 women

Founded in 2018, Musique 3 Femmes (M3F) is a non-profit organization that encourages the next generation of Canadian and non-binary female creators. Under the direction of artists Kristen Hoff and Jennifer Szito, M3F will present an opera at its Canadian world premiere this month in Berlin with Uva Fabrik (the operas of Anna Pedjorna and Laurence Jobedon) as well as a first feature opera in 2023, co-produced by Kiko Devaux and Ensemble Paramirabo (Juno finalist reached). in 2020).


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