Lucky Penny Opera Logo
about us
Lucky Penny Opera Logo

Lucky Penny is...

A creative home for artists, by artists
We have a keen interest in the ways that breaking from tradition can create new, unexpected ideas. We challenge traditional hierarchies and we remain open to changing the way we work in order to include those who may have been excluded from opera in the past.
Organising community and sharing tools to make bold ideas stronger
Lucky Penny provides education and skill-sharing opportunities for independent producers and artists. We’re committed to helping our community become more collaborative, financially literate, and curious.
Opera Sandbox – all kinds of artists come here to play. Let’s dig up something new.
For us, opera is a playground. We invite artists from all disciplines to work with us as we explore and break down our assumptions about what opera ‘should’ be.
"The (48 Hour Opera) world premieres are also a chance to see what opera can be beyond tradition. It's opera without limitations — almost. "Our rules are 'Don't say no, say yes' and 'Trust your instincts'."
Stir Magazine
Lucky penny opera

Our team

Caitlin Fysh
Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Co-Everything Lucky Penny
Lucky Penny Decorative Divider
Why did you want to start this company? 

I wanted to create work with others. I wanted it to be a process of collaboration and communication and play. I wanted to crack open some of my assumptions about what opera is and isn’t and see what’s inside.

What does opera mean to you? 

Opera is a place to explore big emotions and ideas. We often think of this in terms of scale and spectacle, but I am just as curious about discovering what that can mean on a more intimate level. And I want to learn how other people answer this question as well, both practicing opera artists, and those wholly unfamiliar with the art form.

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I am very interested in the alchemy of collaboration, both in art and in community. I love words, and stories, and people coming together for a common cause. And when you can add some play and joy in the mix, that’s the dream.

I have a background in theatre, and have completed formal training in both set and costume design, and performance, as well as a lot of “on-the-production” training in all the little things that make a show come together. Lately I’ve become more interested in big-picture aspects of creation and performance, and have been working in producing and administrative roles as well.

When I’m not thinking/doing/loving the art stuff you can find me hanging out with my dog Hank, cooking or eating with my partner, or reading. I love reading.

Sarah Pelzer
Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Co-Everything Lucky Penny
Lucky Penny Decorative Divider
Why did you want to start this company? 

When you’re a director, people are always asking you what kind of work you make and though I’m very professionally satisfied with my career, I wasn’t creatively satisfied with my answer to the question. I wanted there to be a space in my creative life that was focused around my love of collaboration - the thing that got me in this mess in the first place. I wanted to be able to stretch the idea of collaboration as far as it would go!

What does opera mean to you? 

Problem-solving. Past the beautiful music I see an interesting, infuriating set of problems. For a person attracted to complicated ideas, opera is heaven. I mean… the stories are crazy, the treatment of women is ridiculous, the racism is undeniable, the points of reference are hundreds of years old… but I love it, and thousands of others do, too. It’s the million-dollar question tackled by every marketing company in every opera house in the world - what exactly makes this thing relevant? For me there’s no way forward except trying to be a part of answering that.

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I direct opera and write supertitles for a living, and sometimes I’m an extra in TV and movies. 

I travel for work all the time and worked with Vancouver, Edmonton, and Manitoba Opera, Opera on the Avalon, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Kelowna, Wolf Trap, the Victoria Conservatory and the Glenn Gould School. 

I have a background as a performer and I was best known as co-founder of Snafu Dance theatre and as a regular performer with sketch comedy group Atomic Vaudeville where I created the role of Jane Doe in the international award-winning musical Ride The Cyclone. 

I sew, crochet, knit and paint, and I love languages and my plants.

get in touch
Board of Directors
Lucky Penny Opera Decorative Divider

Autumn Coppaway



Michael Mann



William Murgatroyd



Cathleen Gingrich


Lucky Penny Opera lives and works on the traditional and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are grateful to be able to benefit from this beautiful and bountiful land, stewarded by the Coast Salish peoples since time immemorial.

see how we’re connected