Notre-Dame-de-Paris... The Chœur classique de l’Outaouais remembers...

While the entire world has been rocked by the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Chœur classique de l’Outaouais is remembering with deep emotion the magical moments in May 2016, when we sang in the cathedral under its great arches. A German choir from Volksdorf joined us for that event and others, as we traveled and sang in Paris and Hamburg. Tourists visiting the cathedral, along with Parisians taking time to worship, stopped and listened to us. We hope they shared the feelings that overwhelmed us when we sang Monteverdi’s Magnificat and Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt by Schütz; at times we were so overcome by the cathedral’s physical, spiritual and symbolic grandeur that we almost couldn’t hear. Those stone walls have overheard so many whispered prayers, and so many words of joy and sorrow.

The whole occasion lingers with us like a many-sided jewel that glistens in our choir’s history, even though each member undoubtedly experienced something private and unique. For some, it verged on the sublime and the transcendent. For others, it was the immeasurable joy of singing a Gregorian chant that melded so magnificently with the location. It might have been the privilege of touching an organ that so many great musicians had played over the centuries, or the wonderment of leaving a trace of oneself on those universal, all-encompassing walls. Immersed in the spirit and majesty of the surroundings, we waited to sing in an unusually meditative silence, sitting in orderly rows in the wooden chancel pews. Do those old pews that have greeted so many clerics and precentors still exist?

The atmosphere was almost surreal as we entered the great cathedral by a side door and quickly descended the well-worn spiral staircase leading to the deep and windowless vault that was ours to use as a dressing room. We were engulfed in the Middle Ages, and it felt like a fleeting moment in the antechamber of grace! Then after the concert, still rather dazed by the intensity of our experience, several of us paused for a moment on the forecourt of the cathedral, unwilling to leave that evocative setting, even though we were expected at the Jardins du Luxembourg for another performance. There, with the façade of columns and lintels as a backdrop, we sang arm in arm for bystanders who kept asking for more.

Notre-Dame left its mark on us, as it has so many others and as it will surely continue to do for many centuries to come, despite suffering a devastating fire, for which we all grieve. We desperately crave art and other expressions of the human capacity for transcendence. Those demonstrations resonate within us at the highest levels, and they are something that the Chœur classique de l’Outaouais will always remember.

Micheline Chartrand
Chœur classique de l’Outaouais

Translation: Patricia Galbraith


The CCO singing in Notre-Dame de Paris
© Photo Richard Tardif 2016
2019 Christmas Concert
A stunning concert will be offered to mark the 50th anniversary of the School
   of Music of the University of Ottawa! The great polychoral masterpiece,
      Vivaldi’s Beatus Vir, will be the centerpiece of this concert. More than
         150 singers and musicians from both sides of the river will join together
            for this concert, from the Calixa-Lavallée Choir, the Choral Ensemble
               and four soloists from the School, as well as the Chœur
                   classique de l’Outaouais and the University of Ottawa Choir.
November 16, 2019, 8 pm
Saint-Joseph Church
174 Wilbrod St., Ottawa
November 17, 2019, 3:30 pm
St-François-de-Sales Church
799 Jacques-Cartier St., Gatineau
2020 Spring Concert
The April 2020 concert begins at the sources of choral polyphony, with the great undisputed masters that were Palestrina (Missa Brevis), an Italian, Victoria, a Spaniard, and William Byrd, an Englishman. Then, it’s through the works of Canadian composers, including two from our region, that the richness and poetry of contemporary creation will shine. You must hear these works by Rachel Laurin, Frédéric Lacroix and Harry Somers. The origins, the present, a fresh perspective!
April 25, 2020, 7:30 pm
April 26, 2020, 3:30 pm
St-François-de-Sales Church
799 Jacques-Cartier St., Gatineau
Tribute program

Whether to highlight a special occasion, the loss of a loved one or simply for the love of choral music, we invite you to share these special moments with us through a musical tribute.

The Chœur classique de l'Outaouais now offers you the opportunity to sponsor one or more works of your choice which will be performed during one of our concerts.

In addition, depending on the amount offered, a video / photo montage of the pieces performed will be made available to the sponsor. Click here to see an example

For more information, we invite you to contact us.

To our English-speaking public

Please note that the information on our web site that is currently available in French only is in the process of being translated. The English version of the full CCO website will be available shortly. We thank you for your understanding.

To contact us: Whether you are seeking information, looking to buy concert tickets or a subscription to our season, or wanting to sing with us, you can reach us in one of the following ways: send a letter, an e-mail or call and leave a message with your contact information. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact us by email email : click on the image on the left to send us an email
telephone : 819-920-0350 (leave a message)
Send a letter throught the mail mail : Chœur classique de l'Outaouais, P.O. Box 1653, Station B, Gatineau (QC) J8X 3Y5

We want to thank our partners and sponsors: