MONTREAL — Road trip!
While festival season in Montreal is well under way in the heart of the city, a few area fests — most within an hour or so from downtown — may take a bit more planning and an overnight stay.
Here are a few regional celebrations to enjoy:
First up, the Laval World Choral Music Festival (or Laval’s Mondial Loto-Quebec) provides a month-long sing-along of choral concerts, youth choir meet-and-greets and some pretty big-name musical acts. The fest celebrates its ninth edition in the western Montreal suburb of Laval.
Events and concerts are held at outdoor parks big enough to host some 60,000-plus spectators, such as the Centre de la Nature and Parc Montmorency. Intimate choral concerts will also be performed at 10 local churches.
The Black Keys perform Friday, July 5, and a Chicago and Credence Clearwater Revisited double bill is Saturday, July 6.
The festival began Wednesday and continues through Sunday, July 7. Complete choir listings, directions, dates and pricing can be found at www.mlql.ca. Call (888) 935-9229 for questions.
Festival de Lanaudiere combines classical music, culture and a walk in the woods.
The 36th edition, held in Joliette, about 45 minutes northwest of Montreal, features 28 full-length classical concerts, including Orchestre Metropolitain, I Musici de Montreal, Les Violons du Roy, the Quebec Symphony and the Montreal Symphony.
The festival will celebrate the bicentenaries of the birth of Verdi and Wagner with the Verdi Gala, which offers more than three hours of music with arias, duets and ensembles on Saturday, Aug. 3, and a closing concert devoted to Wagner on Sunday, Aug. 11. The main concerts are held at the L’Amphitheatre Fernand-Lindsay.
Festival de Lanaudiere runs from Saturday, July 13, through Sunday, Aug. 11. For scheduling, ticket prices and information, call (450) 759-4343 or visit www.lanaudiere.org. A festival shuttle operates between the Infotourist Center on Peel Street in Montreal and the Amphitheatre on Fridays and Saturdays during the fest as well as on Aug. 11. For shuttle information and reservations, call (800) 561-4343.