A scene from Vancouver Opera's HMS Pinafore. Photo: Tim Matheson

From comedic classics to iconic symphonies, from world-renowned voices to homegrown favourites, Canada’s operatic stages have plenty to offer in May. With theatres now returned to full capacity, stages across the country (and abroad) are lifting their curtains and filling seats — you won’t want to miss these 10 shows starring some of Canada’s most celebrated voices this month:

1. April 30 — May 8, Vancouver Opera’s HMS Pinafore

Rosemary Thomson conducts Vancouver Opera‘s joyful production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular operetta featuring a fantastic cast that includes Caitlin Wood, Ernesto Ramirez, Jorell Williams, Peter McGillivray, Megan Latham, Marcus Nance, Hillary Tufford, Luka Kawabata and Jason Cook. Directed by Brenna Corner, this production is packed with absurd characters and is sure to deliver plenty of laughs — get your tickets here.

2. May 5 and 7, Opera San Antonio’s Rigoletto

Opera San Antonio‘s Rigoletto abounds with Canadian operatic talent, starring acclaimed baritone James Westman singing the title role alongside soprano Andriana Chuchman singing Gilda, under the baton of Canadian maestro Francesco Milioto. This powerful remount of Verdi’s classic is filled with famous arias and is not to be missed. Get your tickets here.

Andrew Haji (Tamino) and Elena Tsallagova (Pamina) in the Canadian Opera Company’s The Magic Flute, 2017. Photo: Michael Cooper

3. May 6 — 21, Canadian Opera Company’s The Magic Flute

The COC’s signature production of Mozart’s fairytale classic is conducted by Patrick Lange and directed by Anna Theodosakis. Starring Anna-Sophie Neher, Ilker Arcayürek, Gordon Bintner, Russell Braun, and Matthew Cairns among others, this whimsical comedy is bound to transport audiences to another world. Tickets on sale here.

4. May 7 — 17, Opéra de Montréal’s The Magic Flute 

Barrie Kosky’s thrilling production returns with a show that combines on-stage performance with screens and projections. This Opéra de Montréal production conjures the silent film era and features Canadians Andrea Núñez, Kirsten LeBlanc, Matthew Dalen, Florence Bourget, and Jean-Philippe McClish among others. Get your tickets here.

5. May 7 at 7:30pm, Cecilia Concerts’s The New Orford String Quartet 

This in-person concert centers on Métis composer Ian Cusson’s song cycle “Five Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont”, based on works by the Cree/Métis poet and educator. The program stars mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, violinist Jonathan Crow and his New Orford String Quartet, along with Prix Goyer-winning pianist Philip Chiu. Tickets on sale here.

6. May 14 at 7:30pm, Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven Ninth Symphony

Beethoven’s iconic Ninth Symphony will be performed by the RSO, buoyed by four vocal soloists and a local choir under the baton of Maestro Gordon Gerrard. Featured soloists include Canadians Andrea Lett, Adam Luther, Dion Mazerolle and Stephanie Tritchew, with Janina Fialkowska on piano. The evening’s program also includes Grieg’s Concerto in A minor. Buy tickets here.

7. May 14 — 21, Opéra de Québec’s Don Giovanni

Opéra de Québec brings Mozart’s celebrated masterpiece to Quebec City, with a production that proudly showcases Quebec artists and local talents. The show stars an exceptional cast that includes renowned Canadians Philippe Slye (in the title role), Julie Boulianne, Florie Valiquette, Alain Coulombe, Doug Macnaughton and Geoffroy Salvas. Don’t miss this seductive, intriguing production directed by Bertrand Alain and conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni — tickets available here.

8. May 22, Voicebox: Opera in Concert’s The Mother of Us All

Voicebox: Opera in Concert returns with this dramatic opera chronicling the story of Susan B. Anthony and the women’s suffrage movement. Told by a cast that includes Meghan LindsayDion Mazerolle and Evan Korbut, this imaginative opera spotlights women’s rights — as relevant today as it was for those disenfranchised on the basis of gender, race, and sexuality a century and a half ago. Music Director Kate Carver will conduct, alongside Chorus Director Robert Cooper. Tickets available here.

9. May 27 at 8pm, Orchestre Classique de Montréal’s Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” and Choral Fantasy, op. 80

This concert closes Orchestre Classique de Montréal‘s 82nd season, and is dedicated to Montreal’s healthcare workers. Featuring a program that includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” and Choral Fantasy, op. 80, the evening features six vocal soloists, accompanied by pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre and the choirs Les Filles de l’île and the Chantres musiciens under the direction of conductor Jacques Lacombe.

Soloist voices include Jacqueline Woodley, Suzanne Taffot, Matthew Dalen, Rose Naggar-Tremblay, Emmanuel Hasler and Jean-Philippe McCclish. Get your tickets here.

10. May 24 — June 5, Tapestry Opera’s R.U.R.A Torrent of Light

Tapestry Opera and OCAD University collaborate for this world premiere, inspired by Karel Čapek’s 1920’s science-fiction play Rossum’s Universal Robots. Composer Nicole Lizée’s and writer Nicolas Billon’s R.U.R. A Torrent of Light is a stunning new opera combining multimedia design, a chamber orchestra of 100 instruments, and wearable technology to deliver an immersive science-fiction experience like no other. The tale is told by a strong cast including Krisztina Szabó, Peter Barrett, Scott Belluz, Danielle Buonaiuto, and Micah Schroeder among others. Tickets available here.

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