Founder and artistic director, Darcia Parada has performed from Canada to Kazakhstan in leading operatic roles and on stages as diverse as Kyrgyz State Opera, Tashkent Bolshoi in Uzbekistan, Almaty Opera,The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Dartington Festival, Brooklyn Lyric Opera,Usedomer Germany. Recording credits include a compilation album with British disco king Jimmy Somerville and numerous film soundtracks on the Decca and London labels.
Parada’s entry into the realm of producer and director was inspired in 1994 by an invitation to perform Act 1 of La Boheme inside a loft in Tribeca, NYC, and an art event presented inside The Brooklyn Bridge’s cavernous anchorage. In NYC, she began dreaming of reinventing opera by mounting productions in unexpected places, and making it accessible to a wide audience.
Mercury Opera was first established in Manhattan New York in 1999, performed a sold out debut of Cavalleria Rusticana inside of Studio Ze in May 2000 for three performances and was documented and featured on ABC NEWS/Lifetime LIVE. Mercury Opera has been featured on CBC Television, ABC NEWS, OMNI Television, Brooklyn Television’s “Caught in the Act”,City TV’s Breakfast Television, CTV, CBC Radio in addition to favourable press and reviews in Canada’s Globe and Mail, L Magazine, The Brooklyn Paper,Crain’s, The New York Post,NY’s Daily News, The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, SEE magazine, VUE Weekly,AVENUE Magazine, Alberta Views Magazine, and more.
In May 2013,MO’s helmswoman, Parada, was named as one of Canada’s top ten catalysts in art and design by the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.
Other awards and honours include a residency at The Baryshnikov Arts Centre in NYC, numerous grants from the cities of Edmonton and Calgary, Canada Council’s Alberta Initiative, Great Neighbourhoods, Downtown Hospitality and the AWESOME Foundation, as well as being a three time nominee and the 2014 winner of Telus’ Courage to Innovate award.
The company is currently based in Edmonton, Canada, and still maintains a presence in New York City, while developing their international touring company.