Free outdoor shows all summer in Parc La Fontaine
Seven years after its closure, the Théâtre de Verdure in Parc La Fontaine has undergone a renaissance and will be hosting a summer filled with concerts, dance, and circus performances.
The City of Montreal recently unveiled the programming. From June 30 to August 26, Montrealers, visitors, and tourists will be able to view more than thirty cultural shows — all for free.
On opening night, members of Ballets Jazz Montréal will take to the stage in a joint celebration of the theatre’s reopening and the 50th anniversary of the contemporary dance company. The audience can take in its new triple program Essence, as well as the presentation of a new creation, We Can’t Forget What’s His Name by Ausia Jones, which focuses on themes of time, community, isolation and uncertainty. Reservations are required for this event only.
Magical summer evenings
In July, shows with singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright as well as The Metropolitan Orchestra will present Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 3 by Louise Farrenc — one of the rare female composers of her time to have received recognition from her peers during her lifetime. Jérôme 50 will be presenting a theatrical performance by Hiérarchill, accompanied by a children’s choir and special guest Marily Dorion.
In August, Les Grands Ballets, under the artistic direction of Ivan Cavallari, will present a daring program that will include pas de deux from the great classics and contemporary creations.
And for something completely different, 100Lux’s Creative Boost Battle dance competition will features dancers in teams of two performing freestyle with music played by a DJ. Discover how each dancer interprets movement and music as they showcase krump, hip hop, popping and locking. Judges will determine the duos who will move on to the next stage, right up until the grand finale.
Mid-month, I Musici of Montreal will present a joyful concert of traditional dance music from around the world. Hear the Austrian march, the Argentine tango, Romanian, Hungarian, and Greek dances as well as the Viennese waltz, the German Ländler and the Quebec rigodon. There’s something for everyone and all tastes.
And make sure to grab a seat for Cirque Kalabante on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 8:30 p.m. There will be live music, acrobatics and dances inspired by the travels of director Yamoussa Bangoura.
The open-air venue can host 2,500 people and is on a first-come first-served basis.
Theatre has long history
A creative landmark and home to countless shows in Parc La Fontaine since it first opened in 1956, the theatre was forced to close in 2014 due to decaying facilities. Located in the northwest sector of the park, the scenic building has been designed and rebuilt with open walls to allow views of the surrounding landscape when not in use.
Completely redone bleachers and two new terraces set up on each side can also accommodate those in wheelchairs. The theatre site – which was formerly closed to the public outside of performance times – will be kept open and accessible to the public throughout the year, with the exception of the stage building itself.
The work on the Théâtre de Verdure is part of the La Fontaine Park Master Plan, which in 2019 received an award of excellence from the Association of Landscape Architects of Canada. In addition to the construction of the theatre, plans are in the works for the redevelopment of the playground and sections of the street as well as the rehabilitation of the fountain.
Find the complete program of the Théâtre de Verdure online at montreal.ca/calendrier