Meet the opera stars of tomorrow

Each season, Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program provides up to eight young singers with the opportunity to study and perform under a highly prestigious professional staff of teachers and performers.  This program acts as a bridge between post-secondary education and the professional opera world.

Enbridge believes in making communities culturally vibrant through investments in the arts. We thank them for their generous support of our Emerging Artist program.

Silent Night - November 8, 12, 14. Photo by Michal Daniel Photography

We thrive with your support.

Ticket sales cover about a third of the cost of producing live opera, even on sold-out shows. We rely on government funding, sponsorships from corporations, and charitable donations to ensure that opera is alive and well for our community. 

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Jennifer Sproule and Allison Cecilia Arends in Calgary Opera's The Brothers Grimm at Glendale Elementary School. Photo by Alex Bonyun.

Building generations of opera lovers.

Education programs are an essential part of what we do, enriching the experiences of our current patrons and building audiences for tomorrow through our student and young people outreach. This includes great programs like Let’s Create an Opera that gives students the opportunity to create their own original opera and the Opera in Schools Tour that brings one-act operas into schools performed by Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists.

Talisman Energy believes the arts can make a positive difference to the lives of young people. We thank them for their generous support of our Education programs. 

Madame Butterfly (2014). Photo by Trudie Lee.

Contact Us

Arrata Opera Centre
1315 - 7 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1A5
Phone: 403-262-7286
info@calgaryopera.com

About the Arrata Opera Centre

In July of 2005 Calgary Opera took over the old Wesley United Church, converting it into the Calgary Opera Centre. Located in the busy Beltline District, at the corner of 14th Avenue and 7th Street S.W., this beautiful heritage building has taken Calgary Opera to a whole new level offering unprecedented opportunities for Community Connections and Artistic Development.

This building has a rich heritage and for many years was a house of worship, a Sunday school, and an important venue for ceremonies that marked the most momentous occasions in thousands of peoples’ lives.
 

The Arrata Opera Centre

In 1911, the Wesley congregation established a building fund for the church. Significant contributors included Senator James A. Lougheed, former mayor and provincial cabinet minister William H. Cushing, future mayor Herbert A. Sinott, and future Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.

In 1930, membership of the church exceeded its seating capacity. Assisted by a $10,000 donation from Lachlin McKinnon, the congregation built galleries that increased seating by 50%. The galleries were dedicated to the memory of pioneer mothers of Southern Alberta.

The Arrata Opera Centre
In 1961 a Youth Centre was added to the Christian Education Building. Church membership peaked at 1300 members. Through the 1960s increased suburbanization of Calgary led to a sharp decline in the Wesley Church’s membership. By 1984 the church had fewer than 300 members.

Calgary Opera has converted the old Wesley Church into a working Opera Centre, where the company has its administrative offices, rehearsal hall, wardrobe shop, and education wing. Rehearsals, recitals, and events now take place in the beautiful and inspiring setting of the former sanctuary.

In April 2007 Said Arrata became the naming benafactor of the newly named Arrata Opera Centre. Mr. Arrata's donation is the largest individual gift ever to be given to Calgary Opera.

Naming Sponsor - Mr. Said Arrata

Mr. Said Arrata is a steadfast supporter of music in our community, as evidenced by his major gift to Calgary Opera as the naming benefactor of the Arrata Opera Centre. Said Arrata is recognized in Calgary as an accomplished entrepreneur and as a dedicated community leader and humanitarian. He is well-known for his inspirational and innovative leadership throughout his forty year career with the petroleum industry, both locally and internationally. Mr. Arrata is greatly appreciated in our community for his devotion to the arts, and his commitment to various humanitarian causes and higher education. He is a long-time champion of the Alberta Ballet, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotary Club, United Way, as well as our colleges and universities. The sponsorship of the Opera Centre is the highlight of years of joyful association between the Arrata family and Calgary Opera.

At the 2008 Mayor's Evening for Business and the Arts, Mr. Arrata received the Patron Award for Sustained Support for his outstanding support of Calgary Opera.

Photos

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Arrata Opera Centre Rehearsal Hall
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The pipe organ of the Arrata Opera Centre
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7th Street Exterior - Arrata Opera Centre