Founded in 1972, Calgary Opera's Mission is:
"To Engage our Audience and Enhance our Community through the Magic of Opera."
Since its inception, and especially in the past decade, Calgary Opera has made a name for itself as a company that is committed to the development of Canadian talent and the development of new opera works.
Who's afraid of the aging singer?
"In later career, there is much less forgiveness for a less than standard performance, whether it is loss in vocal function, beauty, tone quality or whatever, there is much less margin for error. As a young singer, you are perceived as fresh and new, so companies are willing to give you more chances. It is much more challenging to maintain a career as you age than it is to begin. Companies will often hear younger singers in audition again and again, while they often dismiss older artists."Read More
Spotlight on: Vanessa Oude-Reimerink
"Normally, the voice in my head would say things like 'you're running out of air' but instead I try to hear 'you have all the air in the world and you WILL make it through this phrase!' I really believe that sending out positive energy and thoughts will not only make your life more enjoyable, but you will notice a difference in the people who surround you. "Read More
Spotlight on: Stephanie Tritchew
"Why am I doing it professionally? That's easy: because I'm lucky enough to have that opportunity. If I wasn't doing it professionally, I'd be doing it for fun. I think if anyone could do their absolute favourite thing on the planet and get paid for doing it, they would every time."Read More
Spotlight on: James Westman
Stratford-based baritone James Westman is one of Canada's leading stars, performing roles like the Conte de Luna (Il trovatore), Macbeth (Macbeth), Germont (La traviata), and Horace Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe) on the stages of the Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera, Vancouver Opera, and many more. Busy schedule aside, James insists his work as a singer is easier than his growing up on a farm; he chats about advice for young singers, and the great roles still on his to-do list.Read More
9 ways to fend off a Canadian winter
After all the food is cleared away, the bottles recycled, and once the days of the week start to mean something again, it's time to get back to real life. For us, real life means going to see lots and lots of shows. It's hard to bundle up in the dead of winter and brave the cold for a few hours of music, but we hope to convince you of some of our cold weather picks across Canada to kick off 2016.Read More
Talking with singers: Peter McGillivray
"I came to opera a little bit later," says McGillivray, who studied English, history, and Political Science before turning his attention to singing. "I think it was helpful for me to have to make the conscious decision to study this, because in the end you do decide that it's the only thing you can do."Read More
Talking with singers: Ambur Braid
Dramatic coloratura soprano Ambur Braid has been on our interview wish-list since Schmopera's day one. Her choice repertoire consists largely of "evil, crazy royalty," where she can show off her staggering high notes and coloratura so fast you can blink and miss it.Watch Video
Idealism & questions about unions
I'll never be quoted as saying that artists deserve to be paid less than they already do. They work incredibly hard in a specialized set of skills. I think it's important, though, to be self-aware in an industry that's ubiquitously almost out of money. Will the unions be the first to adapt to a contemporary opera economy, or should contemporary artists be the ones to take the bold steps for the sake of the industry (perhaps martyring themselves along the way)?Read More
Spotlight on: Lida Szkwarek
Winnipeg-born soprano Lida Szkwarek is a past finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and she makes her Edmonton Opera debut this coming seasons as Micaëla in Carmen. Lida will return to Calgary Opera to sing First Lady in their 2016 production of Die Zauberflöte. She's also sung on stages in Saskatoon and at The Banff Centre; speaking The Banff Centre, I was recently reminded of a beautiful story by a mutual colleague of Lida and mine, where Lida's now fiancé, tenor Michael Marino, proposed to her on the Eric Harvie Theatre stage after a performance of Don Giovanni (#operaproposals?).Read More
What's on, eh?
This spring, opera-going Canadians are in luck: across the country, opera is a-happening. Starting in the West, you can still catch Verdi's Don Carlo at Vancouver Opera, playing until May 11th. The cast includes Canadian faves like Joni Henson and Brett Polegato, and they're doing it in Italian. Nice.Read More