The first Thursday of every month
Next event: May 2, 2019, 9pm–11pm
Location: Amsterdam Bicycle Club


There’s a bar in Toronto where you can hear live opera—for free—with a pint in hand: this is AtG’s Opera Pub.

About Against the Grain Theatre’s Opera Pubs:
Running the first Thursday of every month, AtG Opera Pub nights are improvised, wild nights that offer up your favourite beer on tap with a side of operatic arias and ensembles, performed by both established and emerging opera talent. Free admission, discounted pints of beer. It’s the perfect introduction for newbies and a welcome break for opera vets who you want to see something “a little different.”

AtG Artist Director Joel Ivany and Music Director Topher Mokrzewski chatted with Jenna Douglas at Schmopera about the idea behind Opera Pub.

“Opera Pub brings this most secret of pleasures to astonished newcomers.”—The Globe and Mail

Placing opera inside a bar put Against the Grain Theatre on the artistic map of Toronto and, since then, the company has grown into an operatic force in Canada. Yet even while creating new works for the Banff Centre and Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Against the Grain has maintained its monthly opera pub night…offer[ing] patrons one more chance to have a pint alongside some of the city’s best singers.—Toronto Star

Duration/What Time Should I Show Up?: Musical performances begin at 9pm and wrap by 11pm. We perform 3–4 sets of 15 minutes and take a break between each set to refresh our drinks and chat with the audience.

1) You can arrive super early and enjoy dinner/drinks before the show (and try to grab seats and a table). Doors at 7:00pm for the Livestream — it’s usually standing-room-only after 8:00pm.


2) Join us for the late-night set, starting at 10pm, and ending around 10:30pm/11pm. More seats and tables become available at this time.

Photos by Darryl Block

2018/2019 Dates

9pm Dec 6 2018
9pm Jan 3 2019
9pm Feb 7 2019
9pm March 7 2019
9pm April 4 2019
9pm May 2 2019

(Summer hiatus: every June–September)


FREE admission
Discounted pitchers of beer


Amsterdam Bicycle Club
54 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5E 1A6

Sign up to sing


"It has the feeling of an after party when musicians kick back, loosen up and playfully make music with their friends"

− Musical Toronto

"Opera truly is best consumed live, and it’s hard to get more real-life than in a cozy pub."

− Schmopera

"It was loud, it was fun and the audience, not all of whom I suspect knew what they were in for, stayed."

− Opera Ramblings

"There are few events in the Canadian opera scene that have garnered as much hype as the Opera Pubs presented by Toronto's Against the Grain Theatre."

− Schmopera

"Opera Pub brings this most secret of pleasures to astonished newcomers."

− The Globe and Mail

Creative Team

David Eliakis

Artistic Associate & Opera Pub Host

Pianist, voice coach, host and lecturer David Eliakis has collaborated with some of Canada’s finest singers and has worked with world-renowned artists such as Isabel Bayrakdarian, Warren Jones, Julius Rudel, and Sir Martin Isepp. After graduating from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, David was awarded an Ontario Arts Council grant to study privately with Warren Jones in New York City. David’s performances have taken him to the stages of Brazil, Switzerland, England (where he was a finalist in the Wigmore Hall Song Competition), Germany, Bermuda, and the Maritime Provinces. He currently works as a collaborative pianist and voice coach at the University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory of Music. This year he will also be seen in the Friday Night Flights series at the University of Toronto as a guest lecturer and joins us a regular host of AtG’s Opera Pubs.

Joel Ivany

Joel Ivany

AtG Founder & Artistic Director


Joel Ivany is the Founder and Artistic Director of AtG, and is the program director of Banff Centre’s “Open Space: Opera in the 21st Century.” His directing credits include productions of Verdi’s Macbeth (Minnesota Opera), Carmen (Vancouver Opera), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Edmonton Opera), Gavin Bryars’ Marilyn Forever (Adelaide Festival) and Le nozze di Figaro (revival at Norwegian National Opera). He is the author of five (and counting) original librettos. He was a Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee for Outstanding Direction (AtG’s Figaro’s Wedding), Outstanding New Opera/Musical (AtG’s #UncleJohn) and the recipient of the same prize for Figaro’s Wedding. Recent mainstage directing credits include debuts at the Canadian Opera Company (Carmen) and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Mozart’s Requiem). His 2016/2017 engagements include AtG’s Ayre, a new production of Dead Man Walking (Vancouver Opera), a revival of AtG’s hit La Bohème, and a semi-staged presentation of The Seven Deadly Sins (Toronto Symphony Orchestra).

Christopher Mokrzewski

Topher Mokrzewski

AtG Music Director


Conductor, pianist and vocal coach, Topher “Verklemption” Mokrzewski is a steadily rising figure in the world of Canadian opera. He is serving his fourth season as Resident Conductor of Calgary Opera, and is Music Director of both AtG and the Open Space Opera Program at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, he is frequently sought as a soloist, collaborator and music director. He recently conducted Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges at Calgary Opera (where he also served as assistant conductor for Lakmé, Die tote Stadt and Die Zauberflöte) and Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Against the Grain Theatre at the Banff Centre and Toronto Summer Music Festival. In 2016/2017, Topher returns to his duties at Calgary Opera, Against the Grain Theatre and Banff Centre and will also return to the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company.

Amanda Hadi

Amanda Hadi

Editorial & Digital Media Manager


Toronto-based editor and copywriter Amanda Hadi is best known to AtG as the “GZA Genius” for her outrageously quick wit and damn good ideas. She has worked for the Canadian Opera Company, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program, several creative branding studios in Toronto, and, most recently, as the Social Media Officer for the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is currently a Digital Engagement Producer for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Jonathan Russell MacArthur

Jonathan MacArthur

General Manager


Jonathan MacArthur is known as both a producer and performer in the Toronto arts scene. He is a Masters graduate of the University of Toronto Opera program, and has studied abroad at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and the Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia. He is a passionate performer of the Baroque and New Music genres, and was an ensemble member of AtG’s Dora Award winning performance of AtG’s Messiah. Having worked closely with FAWN Chamber Creative, and Tapestry Opera, Jonathan adds another colourful feather to his Indie Opera TO hat as interim General Manager at AtG.


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