Apr 11

Take Back the Alley

by Shannon Calhoun · 0 comments

Typically a secluded and mysterious place in today’s urban landscape, back alleys tend to have a bad rap.

In many cases, their lack of usage, upkeep, and lighting set the stage for questionable activities and unsavoury characters, but in Downtown Calgary they are setting the stage for Opera!












On Friday, May 4th, Mercury Opera, Downtown Calgary and Stephen Avenue will present Alley Oop, a unique operatic performance and celebration of the downtown core.

Alley-ways are giving birth to some intriguing things in Calgary these days. This one of a kind operascape will take place only one block away from the birthplace of CHARCUT’s infamous Alley Burger.












Hosted in the alley between Stephen Ave Walk (8th Ave SW) and 7th Ave SW between Centre St SW & 1 St SW, Mercury Opera is offering Calgarians a chance to experience opera in an unconventional and refreshing atmosphere.

This unique installation will combine some of opera’s well-loved classics sung by a quartet of sopranos, accompanied by Calgary-based string quartet, Volante.  The contrast between the exposed brick and fire escapes with the sopranos adorned in their stunning costumes alongside a stilt walker and SaFire Dance, is sure to be a breathtaking spectacle both auditorily and visually.

Daria Parada, Mercury Opera’s founder and artistic director, has travelled the world singing and while in New York City performing she began to entertain thoughts of performing in unusual spaces and bringing opera to a wider audience by making it more accessible to audiences who might find it initmidating in a traditional sense.

For Alley Oop, participants are invited to stroll historic Stephen Avenue, while enjoying pop up performances by Volante, and stop in at participating host businesses to sample light bites by HOME Tasting Room and Murrieta’s along the way.  Hosts include Coppeneur, Twigs & Company, Casting for Companies, Sport Chek, James Joyce Pub, The Palomino, Bang & Olufsen, and The Cellar and refreshments are provided by Belvedere Vodka, Fetzer Vineyards, Hennessy, Sandeman, and the new, local Village Brewery.

Next you are ushered into the back alley for a unique mini opera at sunset, and aftward you can meet the cast at a “through the back door” prohibition-styled premiere after party with nibbles, refreshments (cash bar) and music.

More information and tickets to this event can be found here.  Patrons are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.

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