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)

Calgary Opera Community Arts Centre

Calgary Opera Special Advisor, W.R. (Bob) McPhee C.M. and Calgary Stampede Foundation Board Chair, Bob Thomson

Calgary Opera is planning a new home, the Calgary Opera Community Arts Centre, that will be an integral part of the Calgary Stampede Youth Campus.  Situated on land donated by the Calgary Stampede on the corner of 5th Street and 12th Avenue SE, Calgary, the new facility has been designed as a multi-purpose working and performing space – for use by Calgary Opera, Calgary Stampede performing arts groups and by community arts and cultural groups.

The Need

Calgary Opera’s current home for the past 13 years, the Mamdani Opera Centre, is a repurposed heritage-designated building that has been in constant use as a rehearsal, performance and event space by over 180 arts and cultural organizations. We have outgrown the space, and have established that renovations to the aged building will be too costly and inadequate for our future needs. Furthermore, there is a dire need for affordable, suitable arts and cultural spaces in our community.

The Opportunities

The unique partnership between Calgary Opera and the Calgary Stampede offers possibilities for both organizations to effectively move beyond their traditional sector borders to connect with a wider base of Calgarians. The new 45,000 sq.-ft.  multi-functional hub will include a flexible 400-seat performance/rehearsal hall, additional rehearsal, classroom and studio spaces, set-building, props and costume production shops and administrative areas for Calgary Opera and its arts partner groups.

“We love this new partnership” Our commitment to the Stampede is that the Calgary Opera Community Arts Centre will be shared with the Stampede’s Youth Campus partners and our current arts partners at the Mamdani Centre. Indeed, the days of single-purpose built facilities are over; partnerships are the way of the future.”

Bob McPhee C.M., former General Director and CEO, who is currently the company’s special advisor and building project lead.

The Benefits

The new facility will be home to Calgary Opera artists, including members of our Emerging Artists Development Program, technicians and administrators. Our new programs will be tailored to close the gap between youth and professional artists as we intentionally foster relationships and co-create experiences between novice and the seasoned professional in ways that will expose aspiring young Calgarians to the arts in meaningful and enjoyable ways.  

“The programs and relationships with participating arts groups at the Calgary Opera Community Arts Centre have the potential to contribute massively to the social, artistic and cultural health of our community. We are receiving strong support and funding commitments for the new building project.” 

Monica Sloan, Chair, Hear Our Voices Capital Campaign

Local arts organizations are also welcoming the long-awaited opportunity to use the Calgary Opera community Arts Centre’s affordable rehearsal, performance and production spaces to expand and realize their artistic mandates. As a cultural resource nexus, this venue will attract artistic synergies and creative collaborations to engage audiences in new ways, enrich Calgary’s vibrant community spirit, and add significantly to our City’s cultural and economic growth.

The Project Developments

  • Date for building project completion: Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 
  • Project Architects: Gibbs Gage Architects of Calgary and Diamond Schmidtt Architects
  • Project Management:  WSP Projects
  • Hear Our Voices Capital Campaign, chaired by Monica Sloan, is set to raise $35 million
  • The process to secure funds from government and private sources is well under way.   

Calgary Opera