Opera on the Avalon

Main Season Productions

Opera on the Avalon (OOTA) presents the best of traditional opera and musical theatre, with engaging and powerful new theatrical productions, that are focused on topics and themes which resonate within our regional and international communities. Through our New Commission Series, OOTA is starting a conversation about how we see ourselves and the world around us, and how those stories are reflected on stage, turning our history into art.

The Phantom of the Opera

Opera on the Avlaon’s production of The Phantom of the Opera is coming in November 2019. Directed by Donna Fletcher, and conducted by Jeffrey Huard (Assistant Conductor of the original 1988 Broadway cast, and Musical Director/Conductor of the 1989 Toronto cast of The Phantom of the Opera), and Marie Steffen as choreographer.

Novemeber 7th-9th at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre.


June 21st, Arts & Culture Centre

Co-commission with Tapestry Opera in partnership with Native Earth

Music by Dean Burry | Libretto by Yvette Nolan

Featuring mezzo-soprano Marion Newman as Shanawdithit

Shanawdithit is a new opera project commissioned in partnership with Tapestry Opera, starring Marion Newman in the title role. Opening in May 2019 in Toronto before its St. John’s premiere, the work is centered on the life of Shanawdithit (1801-1829), the last recorded surviving member of the Beothuk Nation in Newfoundland.

In 1829, Shanawdithit is taken to St. John’s by William Cormack, a self-styled explorer who is fascinated by Shanawdithit’s people. In the last months of her life, she created a series of coded drawings that speak of the loneliness of survival and lost history.

Collaboratively interpreted by Indigenous artists from across Canada, including Aria Evans, Michelle Olson, Jerry Evans, Jordan Bennett, Meagan Musseau, and Lori Blondeau, led by librettist Yvette Nolan and Newfoundland composer Dean Burry, these drawings ask us to acknowledge the ways that stories are told, who tells them, and how they are heard.

Shanawdithit is a work unlike anything in opera.

Come From Away

January 23rd – 27th 2019

In partnership with Mirvish Productions, OOTA facilitated the concert version of Come From Away at the Holy Heart of Mary Theatre, January 23-27 2019. Mirvish Productions and OOTA donated the net proceeds to the towns of Gander, Gambo, Appleton, Lewisporte, Norris Arm, and Glenwood, as well as the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Community Food Sharing Association.

Did You Know?

All of our productions are available to New Canadians through the Cultural Access Pass. We’re proud to partner with this initiative which allows New Canadians to take in cultural events in their new home free of charge.

Contact Us

Opera on the Avalon
78 O’Leary Avenue
St. John’s, NL, A1B 2C7

Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm

(709) 738 1322


Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the land on which we gather as the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk [bee-oth-uck], whose culture has now been erased forever. We also acknowledge the island of Ktaqmkuk [dah-gmm-gook] (Newfoundland) as the unceded, traditional territory of the Beothuk and the Mi’kmaq [mig-maw]. And we acknowledge Labrador as the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Innu [in-ew] of Nitassinan [ne-tass-eh-nen], the Inuit [in-yoo-eet] of Nunatsiavut [nu-nat-see-ah-vut], and the Inuit of NunatuKavut [nu-nah-tuhk-ah-vut]. We recognize all First Peoples who were here before us, those who live with us now, and the seven generations to come. As First Peoples have done since time immemorial, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land and to respect the cultures, ceremonies, and traditions of all who call it home. As we open our hearts and minds to the past, we commit ourselves to working in a spirit of truth and reconciliation to make a better future for all.

Opera on the Avalon is funded in part by The Government of Canada, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the City of St. John’s, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.

Opera on the Avalon thanks our Generous Sponsors Cahill, Coast 101.1 FM, Cox & Palmer, Fortis, Marco Group, and Gluskin Sheff, Genoa Design International, Toronto Dominion Bank and Travelers.