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Since its inception in 1972, 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.
In July 2005, Calgary Opera moved to the Arrata Opera Centre – a 2,700-square-metre (29,000-square-foot) facility in the historic Wesley United Church that brings together administration offices, rehearsal and education space, as well as props and wardrobe workshops. Calgary Opera mainstage productions take place at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
At the end of Calgary Opera’s 2009-2010 season it was announced that the Emerging Artist Development Program would receive the Canada Arts Training Fund’s support at $125,000 over three years. This was a great acknowledgement of the value and strength of the program which was founded in 2004. Other recipients include the National Ballet School of Canada, the National Theatre School and the Canadian Opera Company’s ensemble.
Calgary Opera has an annual operating budget of almost $5 million with a subscription base close to 3,400 and total attendance at 85% capacity.
Over the past decade creating new works and building new productions has been a cornerstone of the company. By the opening of Calgary Opera’s 2014-15 season, the company will have presented six world premieres, five Canadian premieres, and many company premieres. Calgary Opera’s most recent world premiere, What Brought Us Here: A New Community Opera focused on the true stories of three new immigrants to Canada.
Calgary Opera’s outreach and education programs are helping the company connect with the community more than ever. Let’s Create an Opera continues to take the magic of opera into Calgary schools, giving children the chance to write and present their very own operas to Calgary audiences. The Opera for All program offers those ordinarily not able to come to experience live opera performances, and our For Students Only Dress Rehearsalsprovides thousands of students with hugely discounted tickets to mainstage productions.
On the mainstage, Calgary Opera produces a subscription season of three full-scale operas at the 2,400-seat Jubilee Auditorium complimented by a series of opera-related events and fundraisers.
Calgary Opera presents Canada’s only outdoor summer opera festival, Opera in the Village, which premiered to great acclaim in August 2013 with Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, and returned in August 2014 with Leonard Bernstein's Candide. It continues the festival August 2015 with another Gilbert and Sullivan production, The Mikado.
In Canada, Calgary Opera ranks with Toronto's Canadian Opera Company, Opéra de Montréal, the Vancouver Opera, and Pacific Opera Victoria as being among North America's most innovative and successful opera companies. Calgary Opera showcases primarily North American singers in its casts, and regularly produces contemporary North American operas, including works that it commissions. Calgary Opera was the first Canadian company to mount a production of "Dead Man Walking", and achieved acclaim for "Filumena", which it co-commissioned with the Banff Centre, and which was created by librettist John Murrell and composer John Estacio.
- Calgary Opera History
- "Calgary Opera: Larger than Life" Retrieved on 7 April 2015.
- "Opera in the Village: The Mikado" Retrieved on 7 April 2015.
- Press Release, April 3, 2014.
- "Opera in the Village: Candide" Retrieved on 27 March 2014.
- "Wagner, Madame Butterfly fill opera slate" Retrieved on 18 April 2013.
- "Opera in the Village" Retrieved on 3 April 2013.