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.

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. 


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. 

The Canadian premiere of Silent Night (2014). Photo by Trudie Lee. The Canadian premiere of Silent Night (2014). Photo by Trudie Lee.

Contact Us

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


Jessica Strong works with John Fanning in a masterclass with the Emerging Artist Development Program. Photo by Alex Bonyun.

The Emerging Artist Development Program 2013-2014 runs from October through May and is coordinated with the three main-stage productions during the Calgary Opera season, The Italian Girl in Algiers, The Flying Dutchman, and Madame Butterfly. Emerging Artist participants are cast in Supporting and Bit roles as well as cover roles throughout the season, based upon their skill level and experience.

Throughout the season Emerging Artists have opportunities for individual and group contact with Mainstage guest artists including visiting directors, Kelly Robinson, Michael Cavanagh, and Glynis Leyshon; conductors Robert Tweten, Robert Dean and Joseph Mechavich; and singers Allyson McHardy, Eduardo Chama, Hugh Russell, Richard Paul Fink, Joni Henson, David Pomeroy, John Tessier, Valerian Ruminski, Sally Dibblee, Lauren Segal, and Daniel Okulitch.

The Emerging Artist Showcase ends the season in May with The Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin Britten staged by guest director, Glynis Leyshon, with chamber orchestra conducted by Resident Conductor, Christopher Mokzrewski, in the intimate setting of the Arrata Opera Centre Rehearsal Hall.

The driving goal of the program is to bridge the gap between a formal education and the professional world of opera, therefore emphasis is put on coaching and performance experience. Resident Voice Teacher is Dawn Johnson, who works with the Emerging Artists throughout the season.

Eminent Canadian Voice Teacher and Soprano, Tracy Dahl is Guest Voice Instructor throughout the year in several week-long residencies.

Resident Instructors in other performance development areas may include Grant Reddick (Acting, Text and Speech), Anita Miotti (Yoga and Movement for Actors), Tim Christison (Professional Development), Dr. S. Joseph Warshawski, Otolaryngologist (Vocal Care and Health Consultant), and J.P. Fournier (Fight and Combat).

Confirmed guest teachers and coaches throughout the season include Rachel Andrist, Peter Tiefenbach, Michael McMahon, Glynis Leyshon, Nancy Argenta, Kinza Tyrrell, Christopher Mokrzewski, and Gordon Gerrard.

Participants receive career counseling throughout the season in marketing, publicity, presentation, effective audition practices, exposure to prospective agents and prepare an audition CD and marketing package.