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Professional Company Member

Opera 5

Opera 5’s broad audiences are drawn by word-of-mouth and our reputation for unelitist, unexpected, unconventional performances which appeal to all five senses: we specialize in immersive productions and unusual collaborations with aerialists, drag artists, puppeteers, chefs, and more. Our programming centres on three initiatives: we re-imagine canonical operas, we revitalize obscure works, and we commission new Canadian operas, particularly from female-identifying creators and perspectives. Our innovative approach to opera has attracted international attention from online and print media such as Maclean’s magazine, The National Post, The Huffington Post.com, Jezebel.com (Gawker Media), and BlogTO. Social media influencers Operagasm named Opera 5 Best Independent Opera Company in 2014, and in 2019 Opera America invited Opera 5 to New York to share our vision for indie opera in North America, and our strategies for financially sustainable, groundbreaking indie opera commissioning and production. Led by General Director Rachel Krehm, Artistic Director Jessica Derventzis, and Music Director Evan Mitchell, Opera 5 is a founding member of Toronto producers’ collective Indie Opera T.O. Opera 5 was incorporated as a not-for-profit and granted charitable status by the CRA in 2013, and we take pride in commissioning new works by Canadian composers: we believe that new works rejuvenate our art form and Canadian voices should be heard, and that we can lead where larger companies often avoid commissioning due to financial risk. Deepening our commitment to equity in opera, in 2020 Opera 5 began a new partnership with Musique 3 Femmes, creators of Canada’s first commissioning prize for female-identifying opera creators. This partnership takes the form of workshopping new Canadian operas with university students across Canada. This partnership concluded in 2022 when Musique 3 Femmes obtained their own charitable status. Opera 5 has produced nine main-stage productions. Our most recent, Dora-nominated production ‘Open Chambers: Hindemith & Shostakovich’ is part of our innovative new series, staging vocal chamber music in intimate settings to probe the ‘boundaries’ of opera. Other Opera 5 productions include: ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ which received two Dora nominations; ‘Suffragette’ which introduced Toronto audiences to the music of Dame Ethel Smyth and for which Opera 5 received its first Dora nomination for outstanding ensemble; ‘Die Fledermaus’ which featured an audience-immersive second act and cabaret with local drag, burlesque and dance talent; ‘Modern (Family) Opera’ featuring the world premiere of Montreal composer Darren Russo's SOCAN award-winning opera ‘Storybook’; ‘Offenbach & Hahn,’ an evening of French opera co-produced with Alliance Française de Toronto; ‘In Pace Requiescat’, presenting three operas based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe and including a new Canadian commission; ‘Besame Opera’ which featured Manuel de Falla’s puppet opera; ‘El retablo de Maese Pedro’; the Canadian premiere of Enrique Granados’ ‘Goyescas’; ‘Opera Eats’ which paired three operas with food samplings; ‘La voix humaine/Bluebeard’s Castle’ which combined live performance with photography. Committed to audience development and outreach, we use digital tools and social media to demystify opera and connect with new audiences. Opera 5 produces the web series ‘Opera Cheats’ which deconstructs operatic plots and conventions in light-hearted videos of three minutes or less. The series has been viewed over 350,000 times and the channel has over 3,500 subscribers, the most of any opera company in Canada. Opera 5 also produces the popular humour series ‘Opera Cats’: opera arias staged with cat ‘actor’ and 'Threepenny Submarine': which combines puppetry and opera. Opera 5’s YouTube channel has over 413,000 views and our ‘Opera Cheats’ have been featured on the social media pages of opera companies across North America including Houston Grand Opera, L.A. Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Calgary Opera, San Francisco Opera and more.
Upcoming Events
Title Date & Time
The Turn of the Screw June 12, 2024, 7:30 PM
The Turn of the Screw June 13, 2024, 7:30 PM
The Turn of the Screw June 14, 2024, 7:30 PM
The Turn of the Screw June 15, 2024, 7:30 PM
View more events View performance history

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Name Title
Rachel Krehm General Director
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