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Essential Opera

Essential Opera, Featured Artists

Essential Opera began in 2010 with an idea for a single opera concert, and has continued to evolve through changing times and artistic climates. Our mission is to give both audiences and artists opportunities to experience opera at its most essential, with a dynamic and evolving definition of what is essential. In pursuit of this goal, we have explored works spanning a musical history of nearly 300 years. In past seasons, we have gone from presenting world premières of new works by Canadian composers, to rare outings of beautiful classical pieces, and works in the Western Classical European canon.


We have always believed new compositions are inherently essential. We have a passion for contemporary works, with a primary goal of fostering the continued performance of recently composed operas. Current practical and artistic considerations have offered us the complimentary approach of creating digital and streaming film versions of these works. Opera is a living art form; what we do and how we do it is a response to the world in which we’re producing. Our focus has remained on having something to say with each production, and saying it in as entertaining and engaging a way as possible.


Essential Opera is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all forms for all humans. This translates to a mandate to create and produce works that will allow us to employ a diverse group of artists, particularly women, non-binary people, and non-cisgender men, as well as Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour. Our hiring practices actively seek to promote equity and inclusion in our field, elevating the voices of underrepresented and marginalized creators and performers. We are striving to continue to improve our own contributions to this goal with each successive project.

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