Michelle Minke's Website: Click Here
Founder and Artistic Director of Cowtown Opera
Voice Teacher at Mount Royal University ConservatoryCredits in this year's Festival:
2018: Alumni Mentor
Previous NUOVA Festival Credits:
2003: NUOVA Participant: Marcellina in "Le nozze di Figaro"
2001: NUOVA Participant: Nursing Sister & Novice in "Suor Angelica"
Pushing the boundaries of classical opera, Calgary's Michelle Minke has made a career out of inspired disruption. Michelle's recent debut album, Expect the Unexpected, confidently merges genres and invites creative collaborations across the musical spectrum and brings Michelle's years of top training and international experience to new audiences. With her boundless vitality and powerful voice, Michelle performed throughout Europe and North America before returning to her home town of Calgary. As founder and artistic director of Calgary's Cowtown Opera and the Cowtown Opera Summer Academy, Michelle's heartfelt excitement for contributing to the cultural identity of her city has earned her a place among arts champions.
An alumna of the inaugural Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Program, Michelle proudly performs with the company that enabled some of her first steps as a professional artist. Her many standout performances in Calgary include her role as Edith in “Pirates of Penzance” at Opera in the Village and most recently 2nd lady in the “Magic Flute” with Calgary Opera, and as the high-flying soprano on tightwire performing over the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show.
Dedicated to Canadian contemporary composers, she performed in Calgary Opera’s world premiere, What Brought Us Here: A New Community Opera by Calgary composer Arthur Bachmann, and in Ukrainian-Canadian composer Anna Pidgorna’s one-act chamber opera On the Eve of Ivano Kupalo through NewWorks Calgary.
In addition to operatic performances, Michelle has a strong reputation for her oratorio and concert work including ; Brahms’ German Requiem, Bachianas Brasilieras, the Celtic Mass for the Sea by Canadian composer Scott McMillan, Beethovens 9th Symphony, and Mozarts and Verdis Requiems. Michelle has been featured at some of the world’s most esteemed festivals and concert halls such as the Mountainview International Festival of Song, the Charlottetown Music Festival, the New Brunswick International Music Festival, and Toronto’s International Bach Festival. Overseas, she has been acclaimed by international audiences at the Anghiari Festival in Tuscany Italy and at Spitalfields festival in London England as well as other concert performances in Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and France.
She is a Masters graduate in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Toronto and the Opera School at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England as well as the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia in Italy, where she studied with operatic legend, Mirella Freni. Further training includes COSI, Banff Centre for the Arts,St. Andrews by The Sea, and received her first start in operatic training at Opera NUOVA in 2000.
Michelle has been named as one of Calgary’s Top 40-Under-40 by Avenue Magazine, was a recipient of the Mayor's Enbridge Emerging Artist Award and was recently named one of Albertas 25 Inspiring Artists by Alberta Foundation for the Arts for her commitment to the arts community of Calgary.
She currently is a voice teacher at Mount Royal University Conservatory where she teaches advanced students who have gone on to place in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and have been accepted into prestigious schools such as Guild Hall, Julliard, Oberlin, New England Conservatory, Eastman, and all major Canadian Universities for both Bachelor and Masters pursuits.
Upcoming performances include high profile private performances across Canada of "Carmen Remix", an operatic collaboration with Hip Hop Artist, James Noble and the release of an operatic children's album, "M.O.M- Minkee's Opera Music, the first Canadian operatic children's album to be released in over a decade.