The Montreal West-end Operatic Society specializes in producing the works of Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert, perhaps the most famous pairing of composer and librettist in the world, as well as comic operettas by other notable classic composers.
MWOS is responding to the bilingual nature of the city, by periodically producing bilingual shows – with lyrics sung in French and dialogue spoken in English. MWOS began this new focus in 2012 with the critically-acclaimed ‘Orpheus in the Underworld/Orphée aux Enfers’ (J. Offencbach), and is following up with ‘La Chauve Souris’ (J. Strauss II) in 2015.
Each show is approached with a fresh eye and is set in a period in accordance with the stage director’s vision. Sets and costumes are created each year with a view to achieving that vision.
We perform in and around the Montreal area, and have travelled as far as Philadelphia, participating in the American chapter of the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. Other venues have included the beautiful Haskell Opera House straddling the border between Stanstead, QC and Derby Line, VT, St. Johnsbury, VT, Trenton, ON, Belleville, ON, Knowlton, QC and Lac Brome, QC.
Most recently, we’ve added the lovely and intimate Hudson Village Theatre to our list. The theatre is in a still-operational historic train station! The renovated waiting and storage rooms were converted in 2000 into a cozy 148-seat theatre with very good acoustics. The basement has been made over into dressing rooms, washrooms, kitchen; and it even has a green room with a closed-circuit television focussed on the stage!
The Piggery Theatre near North Hatley in the Eastern Townships is another popular venue for live community theatre. MWOS has been treated to sell-out performances at this location. Just as with the theatre in Hudson, this space was transformed into a theatre, in 1965. The former barn is now a 250-seat theatre with excellent acoustics, 2 spacious dressing rooms, washrooms, and kitchenette.
In Montreal, we have performed at the Royal Vale Theatre, West Hill Theatre, The Wagar Building (formerly Wagar High School), D.B. Clarke Theatre of Concordia University, Montreal West United Church, St. James Club (Montreal Westward Rotary Club), McCord Museum, Montreal West Town Hall (Montreal West Travel Club).
Lately, we have been performing at Victoria Hall (4626 Sherbrooke West), Westmount and our crowning achievement, the Rialto Theatre in Mile-End, Montreal (5723 Park Avenue). We thank the theatre management of these two exquisite performance spaces for their continued generosity.
Most recently, under the banner of the MWOS Wand’ring Minstrels, we have altered our format by “bringing musical comedy to your community”. We’ve taken the show on tour to venues such as the PiggeryTheatre in North Hatley, QC, as well as Victoria Hall and the Rialto Theatre. In 2013, we ventured west to the Hudson Village Theatre. We are thrilled to add this venue to our list of superb touring locations.
We have ongoing engagements with various organizations to help them celebrate the holiday season or milestone events, such as centenary celebrations with the Montreal Chest Institute, in the fall of 2010. This year, we sang and mingled in costume at the 150th Anniversary of the Seafarer’s Mission (Marine House) on Nov. 2, 2012.
Annual concerts include: Montreal West Travel Club at the St. James Club, the Quebec Provincial Association of Retired Educators (QPARSE) at the English Montreal School Board, and the Mont Royal Retirement Home at the Mount Royal Community Centre.
In our effort to strengthen our ties with the community, we collect food donations for the NDG Food Depot in the west end and Sun Youth food bank in the centre of town. Please bring a food donation to our shows, and pop the can or package into the food box.
For a couple of years now, we have entered into a partnership with two Fair Trade organizations: Dix Mille Villages (aka. Ten Thousand Villages Canada) and La Siembra Co-operative (a Canadian Fair Trade and Organic Food Producer). La Siembra chocolate – ‘Camino’ snack bars, are sold at our FOH concession stand and at rehearsals.
MWOS and Dix Mille Villages Monkland have organized several events to benefit both its store and MWOS. Look for ‘Shop for the Arts‘ coupons at our shows. 10 -15% of the value of your purchase is donated by the store (on Monkland Avenue) to MWOS. Simply mention ‘MWOS’ or present the coupon, during the designated ‘Shop for the Arts’ week and the donation will be made. Also, a special launch of the Holiday season featuring MWOS took place on December 8 at 5675 Monkland Avenue, NDG.
We encourage you to buy goods (that are guaranteed fairly traded and certified organic) at the Dix Mille Village stores at 3 locations in the Montreal area.
We also offer pairs of free tickets to other non-profit organizations, and benefit concerts and shows. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org