Hip-Hopéra, Carmen : An unprecedented meeting of hip-hop and opera

A musical reimagination of Bizet's Carmen September 16-19 and 23-26 Place de la Paix.

Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, September 8, 2021 – The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the National Theatre School of Canada, the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] and the Festival Mode + Design are very pleased to collaborate in presenting a musical performance titled Hip-Hopéra, Carmen on September 16-19 and September 23-26 in Place de la Paix, with two free shows nightly at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The performance, produced by La Tête de pioche, offers an unprecedented meeting between hip-hop and opera by retelling Georges Bizet’s famous opera Carmen, the world’s most-produced French-language opera.

Born from the different organizations’ shared desire to further promote street art in public space, Hip-Hopéra, Carmen respects the essence of the original work while integrating elements of contemporary urban culture (music, dance and fashion). The show artfully juxtaposes two different musical styles that are rarely showcased together thanks to Louis Tremblay’s brilliant direction and staging.

Onstage, 10 artists (opera singers, rappers, musician and dancers) bring to life the best-known arias from Carmen in a bold and spirited performance. Is it a case of opera invading the street or the street immersing itself in opera? Either way, Hip-Hopéra, Carmen trades Seville for the Quartier des Spectacles and appeals to both opera connoisseurs and novices.

This musical performance highlights the talents of classical singers Michèle Motard, Rose Naggar-Tremblay and Pierre Heault, rapper S.P. Sans Pression, musician Josiane Rouette, and dancers James Dhaïti, Mary-Lee Brunet, Raphaël Gagnon, Eliana Todaro and Stéphanie Hébert. The reinterpretation of this classical piece and its musical numbers is directed by Loïc Thériault (Valaire, Qualité Motel, Le Diable à cinq). Randy Smith, under the direction of Chantal Durivage and assisted by Emmanuelle Néron, signed the Quebec fashion design of the costumes.

Hip-Hopéra, Carmen
September 16-19 September and September 23-26
Two performances nightly: 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Place de la Paix, Quartier des Spectacles

No reservations, limited space.
COVID-19 vaccine passport mandatory (with ID) in compliance with Government of Quebec guidelines.


Energy, passion, creativity, madness and poetry permeate the shows presented by La Tête de pioche. Every event is a party that the public is invited to join. Through its use of different settings, media and other mechanisms to spark the audience’s imagination and keep its attention, the company creates works that maintain the connection between the performers and the audience from start to finish.

The idea of creating a shared moment between artwork and audience is central to La Tête de pioche’s approach. The desire to explore the relationship with the public has led the company to present its works in unconventional venues. La Tête de pioche also uses different performance spaces and media in each of its creations: the theatre of objects, urban wanderings, group theatre and intimate performances. The company’s shows can always be found in unusual, original and unexpected venues.

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The Quartier des Spectacles is Montreal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues. Year round, the district is home to countless festivals and events, and hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design, immersive environments or interactive digital spaces. The Quartier des Spectacles is a showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the urban exhibition of digital content.

The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization with more than 85 members active in the district. It is responsible for animating the Quartier des Spectacles by programming cultural activities, managing and animating public spaces, providing distinctive illumination and promoting the Quartier as a must-visit cultural destination. The Partnership benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal.

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As a global leader in theatre training, NTS shares its expertise and resources with a broad and diverse community of Canadians to ensure that the performing arts continue to play an important role in society.   To serve the evolving needs of Canadian theatre, NTS:

  • Provides incomparable training in French and English to actors, directors, playwrights, designers and production specialists to prepare them to work in professional theatre;
  • Delivers a broad range of community programs in order to make theatre more accessible to all Canadians.

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Founded in 1996, the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] is a non-profit organization recognized internationally for its active, leading role in developing immersive technologies, virtual reality and creative use of high-speed networks. With its triple mission as a centre for the arts, training and research, SAT was created to support a new generation of creators/researchers in the digital age.

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The Festival Mode + Design celebrates the creativity and diversity of downtown Montréal. Founded, designed, produced and presented by Groupe Sensation Mode, this one-of-a-kind event offers free outdoor activities focussed on urban art, dance and music, as well as conferences with international personalities. Each year, many up-and- coming artists, Canadian designers, retailers and international icons share their art and their vision with the public. A true platform for urban creativity, this event is the largest open-air event of its kind in North America.

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Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and La Tête de pioche

Mélanie Mingotaud
Communications Mingotwo
(514) 582-5272

École nationale de théâtre du Canada

Jean-Sébastien Bélanger
Chief External Relations Officer
(514) 842-7954

Société des arts technologiques [SAT]

Claire Martin
Communications Manager

Festival Mode + Design

Thara Tremblay-Nantel
(514) 208-6897

Margaux Navas
(514) 775-2578



Director and Stage Manager: Louis Tremblay
Assistant to the Director and Stage Manager: Emlyn VanBruinswaardt
Production Manager: Myriam Poirier Dumaine
Musical Director: Loïc Thériault
Technical Director: Éric Romer
Writer: Danis Durocher
Choreographer: Eric Olivier
Set designs and props: Alix Brenneur
Lighting: Erik Dionne
Fashion design director: Chantal Durivage
Quebec Fashion Costume Design: Randy Smith assisté par Emmanuelle Neron
Hair and makeup: Steeve Daviault


MC: S.P.-Sans Pression
Classical singers: Michèle Motard, Rose Naggar-Tremblay, Pierre Heault
Musician: Josiane Rouette
Dancers: James Dhaïti, Mary-Lee Brunet, Raphaël Gagnon, Eliana Todaro, Stéphanie Hébert

Hip-Hopéra, Carmen is produced by La Tête de pioche and in co-broadcast with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the National Theatre School of Canada, the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] and the Festival Mode + Design. La Tête de pioche thanks the Canada Council for the Arts for its support and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) for its financial support.