In case you missed them: 6 must-see Canadian opera streams

by | Apr 26, 2021 | Featured, News

It’s extraordinary, the fast-growing body of work that has come out of the pandemic-inspired opera drought in the last 13 months. It’s no substitute for live stages, but there’s still enough digital creativity out there that it’s easy to lose track. In case our readers are as happily overwhelmed as we are, we’ve put together a short list of 6 Canadian opera streams that are still available to watch – for free!

Solatium, Pacific Opera Victoria

The latest out of Pacific Opera Victoria’s “Music at the Baumann” series features Canadian tenor Colin Ainsworth, in a unique recital titled Solatium. These concerts have become quite intimate, a real balance of artistic and personal expression from each individual artist. For Solatium, Ainsworth pairs Vaughan Williams and Britten with the world premiere of The Length of a Day, by composer Jeffrey Ryan and poet Michelle Poirier Brown. The concert is free to stream – catch it before it’s gone!


Gerald Finley, John Holiday, Peter Sellars, Breanna Sinclairé – these are the few of the extraordinary people of From the Director’s Chair, the engaging interview series led Against the Grain Theatre Artistic Director Joel Ivany! Season 2 has kicked off – with the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson! – and it’s a perfect time to play catch-up.

S.O.S. Sketch Opera Singers, Tapestry Opera

In case you haven’t yet caught it, this is one-of-a-kind: only with S.O.S. Sketch Opera Singers will you hear the true resonance of Britney Spears, the hidden link between Herr Schubert and Lady Gaga, or the acute pain of a pandemic-neglected water fountain. Be amazed, laugh out loud, and take your mind off things with this amazing feat of opera comedy. (Episode 2 premieres May 6, so now’s the time to get on board!)

The Limit of the Sun libretto workshop, OperaCon

Ever been in the room for an opera libretto workshop? It’s a murky concept, not usually open for public observation – until the first ever OperaCon took over the internet in 2020! Co-presented by Musique 3 Femmes and Opera 5, OperaCon featured several days of virtual events that cover the true ins and outs of making opera in the 21st century. We love this inside look at text creation: a libretto workshop of The Limit of the Sun, by librettist Andrea Stolowitz and composer Luna Pearl Woof.

Digital Opera Projects, Opera McGill

For the new opera lover with a short attention span: Opera McGill‘s Digital Opera Projects, presented in collaboration with Tapestry Opera, showcases nine short operatic works by living Canadian composers. Works by James Rolfe, Ivan Barbotin, Cecilia Livingston, Chris Thornborrow and more can be found in this two-part event – a fascinating crash-course in Canada’s current opera output:

Gender & Opera, COC in Conversation

Between centuries of Western European tradition and long-held associations with voice types, opera’s relationship with gender is about as complicated as it gets. Presented by the Canadian Opera Company and hosted by stage director Aria Umezawa, this conversation about gender and opera will crack open minds, challenge assumptions, and imagine the potential growth of an art form with fewer boundaries:

Readers, what Canadian opera streams are you watching? Leave your picks in the comments, or email us at

Jenna Simeonov

Jenna is the editor and co-creator of Schmopera. She also writes for The Globe and Mail and Opera Canada. She’s a pianist and vocal coach, and working with singers is how she fell in love with opera.



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