Cowtown Opera | Two Pieces on the Theme: You Are Here

From TEDxYYC 2019

Cowtown Opera | Two Pieces on the Theme: You Are Here

In 2011 Cowtown Opera founder and Calgary native Michelle Minke grabbed the bull by the
horns and acted on a vision to breathe new life into an art form that has traditionally been
misunderstood as elitist and boring. She and business partner Carrie Kalmykov launched
Cowtown Opera with a goal of breaking pre-conceived notions about opera and providing
performance opportunities for local opera talent.

Since then, Cowtown Opera has become one of Calgary’s signature artistic companies, surprising
audiences with cheeky, English-language interpretations of operatic classics, remarkable vocal
calibre, and daring new projects. Cowtown Opera delivers unique and entertaining
performances that holler “Calgary!”

Cowtown explores the intersection of classical and popular culture with innovative and
contemporary performances like a Western reimagining of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville,” a
mashup of opera pop hits with lyrics about the Calgary Flames or even an original opera based
on Archie comics.

The company is making opera more accessible, fun and relevant to modern audiences while
keeping the classics alive. This ain’t your grandma’s opera — though all grandmas are welcome!

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