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.

Calgary Opera's world premiere of The Inventor. Photo by Trudie Lee.

We thrive with your support.

Ticket sales cover about half 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. 


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. 

Contact Us

Arrata Opera Centre
1315 - 7 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1A5
Phone: 403-262-7286



Tickets The Pirates of Penzance Thu / aug 22 : 8:00PM
Tickets The Pirates of Penzance Fri / aug 23 : 8:00PM
Tickets The Pirates of Penzance Sat / aug 24 : 2:00PM
Tickets The Pirates of Penzance Sat / aug 24 : 8:00PM
Tickets The Pirates of Penzance Sun / aug 25 : 2:00PM
Tickets The Pirates of Penzance Sun / aug 25 : 8:00PM


East Village
5th Street and Confluence Way SE

Opera in the Village

Get ready for a fun-filled festival of music, laughter, and love in Calgary’s newest, oldest, coolest, warmest neighbourhood – East Village.

Whether you’re attending a mainstage performance of The Pirates of Penzance or just soaking up the atmosphere, enjoy a myriad of festival activities including movie nights, a children’s opera camp performance, a singing competition, fight demonstrations and more! 

Click here to download the full Opera in the Village Schedule



All aboard for this swashbuckling comedy presented in a 900-seat tent on the RiverWalk Plaza in East Village. Experience this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta like you’ve never seen it before. Pirates, policemen and damsels, oh my!


Children must be 5 years or older

Click to view seating map and parking map

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!!  Please click here to learn more.

sponsored by:

  • Opera in the Village Presenting Sponsor
  • Site Partner
  • Festival Founder
  • Festival Founder FRAM and SLOKKER
  • Festival Founder embassy BOSA
  • Festival Founder

The Cast


The Synopsis

Act I

On a Cornish beach in the late 1800s, the renowned Pirates of Penzance are celebrating the coming of age of their apprentice, Frederic, who, upon reaching his twenty-first birthday, is to be freed from his indentures. Ruth (Frederic’s nursery maid when he was younger) explains that Frederic should never have been a pirate except for her mistake: she was told to apprentice Frederic to a pilot, but, being hard of hearing, she misunderstood and placed him with a pirate instead.

Frederic tells the pirates that, after he leaves the gang, he intends to destroy them, not because he doesn’t love them, but because he loathes what they do. He is a slave of duty and, when no longer a pirate, it will be his duty to destroy them. The pirates understand. They also complain that they cannot seem to make money. Because Frederic is a slave-of-duty to the pirates until noon, he tells them why: Because they are all orphans, the pirates will not rob another orphan; and since all their potential victims are aware of this, they all claim to be orphans!

As the sole female member of their band, the aging Ruth is the only woman Frederic has seen for many years. She manages to persuade the young man, whom she has grown to love, that she is a fine example of womanly beauty.

At this point, however, Frederic sees a group of beautiful young women, realizes he was betrayed by Ruth, and rejects her. Frederic informs the women that he is a pirate, but not for long. He asks if any of them will marry him, and the youngest, Mabel, agrees.

The pirates enter the scene and each grabs a woman. Major-General Stanley enters and identifies himself as the father of the young women, demanding to know what is taking place. When the pirates tell Major-General Stanley that they intend to marry his daughters, he objects, saying he has an aversion to having pirates for sons-in-law; the pirates respond that they are opposed to having major-generals as fathers-in-law, but that they will put aside the objection.

Knowing about the pirates’ weakness, Major-General Stanley tells them he is an orphan and, thus, disarms the pirates and takes his daughters, along with Frederic, away to his family chapel and estate.

Act II

The major-general, who actually is not an orphan, soon feels guilty about the lie he has told the pirates. Frederic, anxious to have the pirates arrested, arrives with a contingent of police.

Before he can act, however, the pirate king and Ruth arrive to tell him that he is still obligated to the pirates. Because Frederic was born on February 29 of a leap year, he has served only five birthdays, not the twenty-one required by his contract. A strong sense of duty forces Frederic to relent, and, because he is a member of the pirate band again, to reveal the truth that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan. The pirate king vows that he will have revenge on the major-general. Mabel enters and begs Frederic not to go back to the pirates, but bound by duty, he leaves. The police ready their attack on the pirates, while the pirates creep in to take revenge on the major-general.

The pirates defeat the police. However, when Ruth divulges that the pirates are really noblemen who have gone astray, and that they swear their allegiance to the queen, the tables are turned--and the police take the pirates prisoner.

Because the pirates have never really hurt anyone, they are soon forgiven. The ex-pirates win the women, Frederic wins Mabel, and everyone lives happily ever after.


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Opera in the Village site rendering
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Opera in the Village - Inside the tent
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Opera in the Village - Inside the tent
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Opera in the Village - site rendering
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