Touching the Future of Opera
With Mel Kirby
Mel Kirby, Coordinator of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist apprentice program, will provide insights into the challenging and fulfilling work involved in training a new generation of opera singers in today’s world.
Founded in 1972, Calgary Opera has made a name for itself as a company that is committed to the development of Canadian talent and the development of new opera works, as well as bringing opera to all ages in the community on a broader scale.
Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program is the only one of four designated annual National Training Programs funded through Canadian Heritage in all of Canada, which provides 8 young artists the opportunity to learn through an intense program of vocal coaching, acting, performances, touring and one-on-one training with experts in the opera world.
Mel Kirby brings to his role of Coordinator of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program over 30 years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, conductor and highly respected member of the Calgary music community. He joined Calgary Opera in 2006 creating the curriculum and goals for the Emerging Artist Program which oversees the annual post-graduate training and transition to a professional working career of an ensemble of young singers from across Canada.
Mr. Kirby has also served as Artistic Director of The Festival Chorus since 1991, conducting performances of major works with orchestra by J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms. His experience also includes five seasons as Conductor of the Calgary Bach Festival Society and two seasons at the helm of the Civic Symphony. He has been on the staffs of the University of Calgary Music Department, the Banff Centre’s Music Theatre Program, and Mount Royal University.