The National Arts Centre Orchestra collaborates with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity to present Mozart's epic Don Giovanni

After a pause of more than four years, opera returns to the National Arts Centre on Thursday, June 15, and Saturday, June 17.

April 25, 2023 – OTTAWA – In collaboration with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the National Arts Centre (NAC) is proud to present the music of Mozart’s epic opera, Don Giovanni. Overflowing with comedy, tragedy, drama, and the supernatural, Don Giovanni recounts the conquests and ultimate downfall of the womanizing Giovanni, all wrapped in some of the most beautiful music ever written for the opera stage. NAC Orchestra Music Director Alexander Shelley conducts this blockbuster Opera in Concert in the NAC’s Southam Hall.

The cast for Don Giovanni includes soloists Elliot Madore as Don Giovanni, Justin Welsh as Leporello, Jane Archibald as Donna Anna, Andrew Haji as Don Ottavio, and Mireille Asselin as Zerlina, as well as Ottawa’s own Ewashko Singers, under the direction of Laurence Ewashko.

These exciting performances are part of the NAC’s collaboration with the Banff Centre’s Opera in the 21st Century 2023, a multidisciplinary program comprising two modules. Module 1 will be held in June at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and Module 2 will unfold in July at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

The program offers a unique opportunity for emerging opera artists, selected by the Banff Centre, to shadow and learn from the roster of professional artists in Ottawa. In Module 1, Banff Centre participants will observe the cast of career principal artists at the NAC and prepare the roles needed for their own production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In Module 2, the learning artists will remount this Opera in Concert at the Banff Centre in July 2023.

“At Canada’s National Arts Centre, professional development for the next generation of creative artists is at the core of what we do,” says Nelson McDougall, Managing Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. “Mozart’s Don Giovanni in theatrical concert production here at the NAC and in Banff will provide an exciting and meaningful experience for many young emerging arts professionals. We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the Banff Centre’s Opera in the 21st Century 2023 program for this project.”

Opera in the 21st Century at Banff Centre is a performance-based, collaborative training experience for emerging opera professionals that truly challenges the conventions of opera performance, production, and design. Their focus is to provide early-career professionals with the skills and experience to take them to the next level of their careers and beyond. Led by Artistic Director Joel Ivany, Banff’s Opera faculty comprises internationally recognized professionals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.

Ivany is equally excited about the opportunity. “To be able to collaborate with an institution like the National Arts Centre is a dream. The quality, passion, and vision of that organization align perfectly with the training and contemporary vision that Opera in the 21st Century at Banff Centre has developed over the past several years. The opera program this year will be one of the highlights of my tenure!”


Tickets can be purchased at NAC Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets, by telephone from Ticketmaster, 1-844-985-2787 (ARTS), or online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC’s website (


Opera in the 21st Century at Banff Centre is generously supported by the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund. The National Arts Centre Foundation wishes to acknowledge the leadership support of Mark Motors Group, Official Car of the NAC Orchestra. The NAC Orchestra Music Director role is supported by Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LLD (hc).  Special thanks to the Janice & Earle O’Born Fund for Excellence in the Performing Arts.


Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary educational programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. Under the leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley, the NAC Orchestra reflects the fabric and values of Canada, reaching and representing the diverse communities we live in with daring programming, powerful storytelling, inspiring artistry, and innovative partnerships.

Since its inception, the NAC Orchestra has recorded for radio and more than 40 commercial recordings many of the 80+ new works it has commissioned, primarily from Canadian composers. These include:

  • Angela Hewitt’s 2015 JUNO Award-winning album of Mozart Piano Concertos;
  • The ground-breaking Life Reflected, which includes My Name is Amanda Todd by the late Jocelyn Morlock (winner of the 2018 JUNO for Classical Composition of the Year);
  • Ana Sokolović’s Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes, 2019 JUNO Winner for Classical Composition of the Year (from the 2019 JUNO-nominated New Worlds);
  • The 2020 JUNO-nominated The Bounds of Our Dreams, featuring pianist Alain Lefèvre, and;
  • Clara - Robert - Johannes: Lyrical Echoes, nominated for Classical Album of the Year at the 2023 JUNO Awards.


The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe. 


Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become a global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential.

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Greggory Clark
Communication Strategist
National Arts Centre Orchestra

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