25 years of harmony | The Journal of Montreal

MEDELLIN, Colombia | Solange Bouchard, 54, was part of the Orchester symphonique de Longueuil even before it was like this. Her 25 years in the orchestra make her one of the proud deans of the group. Energetic and passionate, she welcomed the changes that came with the arrival of maestro Alexandre Da Costa.

• Read also: “Stradivarius in Vienna”: from Longueuil to Medellín.

• Read also: Opening night for the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra in Bogota

“Earning a living making music is wonderful,” says the musician from Howick. Me, I wanted to be a violinist in an orchestra, I wasn’t interested in being in the foreground. It’s being part of a whole that stimulates me, my pleasure is when we’re together! »

This stimulating together, which has become like a family, has since 2019 been headed by a certain Alexandre Da Costa. A very talented soloist whom Solange has known since he was very young and with whom she studied at the Montreal Conservatory of Music.

“It’s absolutely impossible not to embark on the intensity of Alexandre, affirms the mother of three children who have all dabbled in music. He gives so much, he is so generous with his game, his time and his energy that you too want to give everything! »

living a dream

The violinist could never have imagined one day flying off to South America with the Orchester symphonique de Longueuil. A quarter of a century after her audition, she still pinches herself as she currently plays first violin on the stages of major theaters in Colombia and Brazil.

For the experienced musician – whose father is a fiddler and whose mother is a mad music lover – playing under the direction of Alexandre Da Costa represents a gentle letting go and a kind of impetus from the heart.

“My seated symphony, I do it with other orchestras, explains the one who is called upon to play the violin standing with Da Costa. So, yes, why not do things differently with Alexandre! From the moment I let myself go in there, I followed and since then, I have had a lot of fun. »

It also praises the heterogeneous but complementary aspect of the group of musicians forming the orchestra. Of the 33 participants taking part in this first South American tour in particular, with whom she feels at home. The energy of the young, she says, blends well with the experience of the older ones.

Still the stage fright

It is moreover with Roxanne Sicard (see other text), the youngest musician in the orchestra, that she shares her desk on stage.

“One of the old timers and the youngest!” laughs the one who was on tour with Bruno Pelletier in 2000 and who will join that of Mario Pelchat in September.

“The stage fright, I clearly still have it and I don’t want it to pass, she adds with shining eyes. And then, we always learn from others, even after 25 years and that’s what is beautiful and stimulating. »

  • The tour Stradivarius in Vienna by Alexandre Da Costa and the Orchester symphonique de Longueuil continues in Brazil until August 18. The ensemble will perform at the Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro tonight and at the B32 Theater in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

“Alexander’s deep motivation matches my values”


Roxanne Sicard during the concert in Medellin in Colombia.

Photo Sarah-Emilie Nault

Roxanne Sicard during the concert in Medellin in Colombia.

At 26, Roxanne Sicard is one of the youngest OSDL musicians. She had just acquired her position as a violinist last May when she knew she was going to fly away with the orchestra for a tour of South America.

At three years old, Roxanne Sicard watched the film The violins of the heart and it changed his life.

“I’ve always wanted to play the violin,” says the young woman from Joliette. I didn’t come from a musical family at all, but I had a hard head. For my birthday, my parents rented me a violin and gave me lessons. I never asked myself questions about my career choice. »

After various formative experiences and seven years of study at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, she is proud to be part of the Orchester symphonique de Longueuil and to work with conductor Alexandre Da Costa, who has his unique way of conducting. .

The feeling of belonging to this group also gives him great pleasure.

Dream job

“Alexandre is inspiring,” she says. His personality is so close to the audience, that’s what’s most important. Because what we learn at school is very sharp, but we have to reach out to the public. »

It’s as much because she has always liked doing different things as because she was chosen by a violinist and “complete musician” that she has trouble realizing what is happening to her.

“I worked really hard to get where I am today, which is what I wanted, even though it was difficult. It’s fun to have the chance to do a job you love. Every morning I get up and feel lucky. I can’t come back yet! »

The tour in brief…


Solange Bouchard of the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra

Photo Courtesy, Marc Dussault

A first concert in Brazil

After Colombia, the tour Stradivarius in Vienna led by Alexandre Da Costa continues in Brazil. The ensemble shone at the Sesi Theater in Porto Alegre (whose modern version was inaugurated in 1997) on Sunday evening. Porto Alegre is the capital and largest city of the state of Rio Grande do Sul and has 1.5 million inhabitants.

A maestro dressed in clothes from Quebec designers


Solange Bouchard of the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra

Photo Sarah-Emilie Nault

Alexandre Da Costa proudly wears clothes from Quebec designers during the tour. In Bogota, he wore a frock coat by Thai-born Quebec designer Nathon Kong. On the back of the tailor-made jacket for the maestro were the conductor’s sheet music and a picture of his Stradivarius. In Medellin, he wore – in style! – a black skirt created by designer Denis Gagnon.

Da Costa son the controls


Solange Bouchard of the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra

Photo Courtesy, Marc Dussault

At 8 and a half years old, Mattenzo Da Costa already has 5 years of experience in the field of music (piano, vocals, direction). During the tours – and since he was 5 years old – he comes to share the stage with his famous father to direct Radetzky’s March. “I’m very tempted to be like dad,” he said. If he can play the violin and conduct, I can play the piano and sing. My father inspires me! »

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