Essential Opera began in 2010 with an idea for a single concert, and is now an ever-evolving and growing venture. Since then, we’ve explored works that span a musical history of nearly 300 years. Most recently, we have presented world premières of new works by Ontario composers, beautiful classical rarities, Spanish zarzuela, and a collage of contemporary works focusing on stories by and about women.
Join us as we continue to bring together talented and passionate professional and emerging singers, expert music direction, and beautiful venues. We’ll keep production costs (in other words, ticket prices!) down by presenting these amazing works in concert. It’s just the essentials.
“Tonight’s portrayal—which I saw up close in the wonderful intimacy of the Heliconian Hall—had wonderful nuances…the ensemble work was rock solid, perfectly tight and with a delicacy …the bar keeps getting raised higher. Essential Opera gave us great music and side-splitting comedy.“
~Leslie Barcza, Barczablog (Two Weddings)
“…these talented singers would do any fine opera house proud.”
~ John Terauds, Musical Toronto (Preview: Handel opera Alcina sprouts from Toronto’s rich vocal soil)
“…using all the resources available to their fullest potential.”
-Paolo Griffin, New Music Toronto (Short Operas on Big Subjects)
“At the Heliconian Hall on Saturday night, there was a great buzz as a full house gathered … Essential Opera has taken every effort to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for the opera-shy, and a new way for the seasoned opera fans to enjoy the classics.”
-Margaret Lam, for Musical Toronto (Etiquette, Regina and Heather marks major milestone for Essential Opera)
“Essential Opera has put themselves on the map in its new contributions to Canada’s operatic repertoire, and I give them a bravo for that.”
-Jenna Douglas, Schmopera (In Review: Essential Opera’s Triple Bill)
“…the strong vocal performances reminded me that Essential Opera’s strength was in the talented young cast.”
~ Margaret Lam, Musical Toronto (Concert format helps keep Toronto’s Essential Opera accessible)
Groups like Essential Opera are the lifeblood that keeps things like this alive...With minimal resources Erin and Maureen have brought people who are really (and in some cases astonishingly) good at what they do together to show how worth having things like this are largely because they care.
~ Brian Hay, norules-nolights.com (Alcina: Essential Opera, Doing So Much with So Little)