Hamilton’s sixth annual exploration of new music returns May 12 to 27. Experience Canadian opera and vocal works, sung in concert at venues around the city in the 2016 What Next Festival.

New to opera? Not sure if it’s for you? Read below as we challenge common misconceptions of this great art form.

  1. I won’t understand it
    Opera is all about telling stories through music. During the What Next Festival of New Music, each opera is sung in English and you’ll find the synopsis right in your concert program.
  2. It’s too expensive
    Admission to all What Next Festival events is by donation. Simply PWYC (pay what you can!) at the door. Whether you’ve got a fiver or a fifty, there’s a seat for you.
  3. You have to dress up
    While you can dress up if you want to, there is no dress code for our performances. Make a night of it and dress up, or wear a t-shirt and jeans. Feel free to attend in whatever clothes you feel comfortable.
  4. It’s too serious
    Just like books and movies, there are different genres of opera, such as comedy, romance, adventure and more. Looking for something risqué? Enjoy our May 27 cabaret concert featuring two outrageous comedies: The Virgin Charlie and The Perfect Screw.
  5. What’s opera got to do with my life? It’s just not relevant
    Opera is all about people and their stories. From surviving a plane crash in the Andes, to the simple act of a parent walking a child home from school, the 2016 What Next Festival shines a light on Canada’s storytellers and our vibrant contemporary opera scene.