Opera Revue began with the question “Why does opera get such a bad rap?”. We came up with several answers: It’s expensive. You have to dress up. It’s snobby. You can’t drink, except during intermission. You can’t talk. It’s snobby. You can’t get up and move around. And it’s snobby.
So, that’s what we have set out to change. Opera Revue is a great way to introduce opera to people who have never seen it before, as well as a new way for opera lovers to enjoy it. We perform opera and art song in a casual bar setting, where our audiences can feel comfortable to talk, drink, and to share the experience with those around them. We aim to take away the exclusive nature of opera, and make it accessible for all audiences.
Opera Revue was founded in 2017 by soprano Danie Friesen. Pianist Claire Harris joined the company in 2018, and baritone Alexander Hajek rounded out the team in 2021. Through monthly opera performances in Toronto neighbourhood bars including the Dakota Tavern, Castros Lounge, and The Emmet Ray, Opera Revue has built a generationally diverse community that mixes opera lovers, opera performers, and the opera curious, with new young audiences finding it fun rather than daunting. Now in the Covid-19 crisis we’re adapting our work to an online short live video format and connecting with our community digitally, while drawing in new audiences alike.