Opera in the Big Top and Beyond

Get ready to thrill to the trills and belt out the bravos! The countdown to Opera in the Village has begun.

From August 14 – 23, RiverWalk™ Plaza will once again be brimming with bel cantos, as the outrageous comic romp Candide (featuring the irrepressible Tracy Dahl) takes centre stage in the big white tent. But the repertoire isn’t just confined to the big top. When Canada’s only professional outdoor summer opera festival makes its triumphant return to RiverWalk-by-the-Bow, melodrama will be bursting its banks.

Make sure to plan extra time to take in all the over-the-top action happening around RiverWalk Plaza. Because in true operatic fashion, the side stories are just as much fun as the main libretto.

Let the alumni of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist program prepare you forCandide with a prelude of some of the opera world’s greatest hits, performed nightly at 6:45 on the side stage. Cheer on your favourite diva as Broadway-inclined reality show contestants spar in a contest of vocal gymnastics to take top prize in the So You Think You Can Sing Musical Theatre contest, held on the side stage August 20-22, from 5:00-6:30 pm.

Introduce the next generation to the delights of opera with a child-friendly matinee performance of Hansel & Gretel by Engelbert Humperdink (the other one, not the one who had ladies’ undergarments thrown at him). The kiddies will soak in all the excitement of opera under the big top in one easy hour on August 16, 17 and 23 at 3:00 pm.  And be prepared to shout bravo when the talented youngsters enrolled in Calgary Opera’s summer camp take over the open-air tent with a mini-presentation of Gilbert and Sullivan’sThe Mikado on August 22 and 23.

If all that singing leaves you parched, we’ve got you covered, in beautiful open-air RiverWalk style. Sit back, relax and enjoy a refreshing beverage on the Big Rock Patio, open throughout the entire festival. Show off your own vocal chops at Karaoke Nights, held in the Big Rock Patio August 15, 16 and 22, from 10:15 pm to midnight. You know you want to.

On Sunday, August 17, plan the overture to your festival day around a delectable Sidewalk Citizen Bakery picnic basket. Simply book in advance with Calgary Opera and at 6:00 pm, share a bountiful basket with your ensemble. Calgary’s entourage of food trucks will also be in attendance throughout the festival to quell those pre- and post-performance hunger pangs.

Check out the shenanigans of the roving carnival performers from Green Fools Theatre, and then be sure to stick around for an operatic after-party of cinema cult classics projected onto a screen, with the beautiful Bow River as the backdrop. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to Outdoor Movie Nights (10:15 pm – midnight), featuring Rocky Horror Picture Show on August 15, Moulin Rouge on August 16 and Beetlejuice on August 22.

Don’t miss out on any of the operatic action. Buy your tickets to the Opera in the Village production of Candide now, and be sure to take in all the extravaganza of Canada’s only professional outdoor summer opera festival: calgaryopera.com/box-office