Students from Hillhurst School creating Doppel during Let's Create an Opera

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 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, the Opera in Schools Tour that brings one-act operas into schools performed by Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists, and Allegro Group for those opera lovers (or soon to be opera lovers) under 35. 


Discover everything you need to know about opera, and Calgary Opera.

This section will teach you everything you need to know about Calgary opera, and opera - from buying a ticket to shouting Toi Toi Toi! at the end of the performance, and everything in-between. You can also discover our Emerging Artist Development Program. Each season, Calgary Opera 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.

We thrive with your support.

Ticket sales cover less than 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. 


Ambur Braid & Adam Luther in The Magic Flute (Photo by Trudie Lee)

Riaz Mamdani

Riaz Mamdani is a Calgary-based real estate developer, business and philanthropist with a notable admiration and respect for the performing arts. As the founder and CEO of Strategic Group, Riaz has developed the company into one of Canada’s largest privately held real estate organizations.

Established in 2001, Strategic Group has steadily grown under Riaz Mamdani’s leadership and owns and manages more than 150 properties across Canada. In addition to property development, ownership and management, Strategic Group is also an investment company, with subsidiaries in a variety of industries including technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, and construction.

With a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba, Riaz worked in a Calgary area hospital pharmacy while he attended the University of Calgary’s Law School in the 1990s. After earning his law degree, Riaz practiced commercial, corporate and securities law at a law firm in Calgary.

Riaz Mamdani eventually redirected his professional interest toward company financing and helped launch two successful companies.  It was his interest in financing and developing start-up firms that led Riaz into real estate and to found Strategic Group. 

Outside of the business world, Riaz Mamdani is a well-known Alberta philanthropist who is passionate about giving back to his community. He and his staff at Strategic Group donate, volunteer and support many local charities. In 2012, Riaz spearheaded Strategic Group’s partnership with the Calgary Food Bank’s Lets Eat! Campaign, an annual city-wide food drive. He also created the month long program that runs in more than 50 of his Calgary properties to collect warm clothing in partnership with Project Warmth Society of Alberta. In 2016 Riaz, Strategic Group and Project Warmth will be celebrating its 5th anniversary.

Riaz also supports the Alberta Champion Society, an organization committed to preserving and celebrating the contributions of well-known Albertans. The society’s most recent undertaking involves a series of memorial plaques featured throughout Calgary, highlighting the achievements of notable Calgarians and Albertans.

In 2015, Riaz Mamdani began a three-year partnership with Calgary Opera that will help the  Opera to stay in their current location until their transition to a new space located on the Youth Campus at Stampede Park.

Thanks to this generous partnership, Calgarians will still be able to enjoy the first rate performances that have become synonymous with Calgary Opera. To celebrate Riaz Mamdani and Strategic Group’s contribution, Calgary Opera’s existing building has been renamed the Mamdani Opera Centre.