EDMONTON -- A night at the opera might invoke images of ball gowns and tuxedos, intimidating formality and etiquette.

But the performers with Edmonton Opera insist that those are just stereotypes.

"Opera is not scary," said soprano Caitlin Wood. "Come in with your jeans and runners. We just want to entertain you."

People can learn more about each production before the performances at Opera 101.

The Jan. 15 event included performers and experts discussing the music, the history and the political climate when The Marriage of Figaro was written.

"Being here tonight gave me a really good understanding or a better understanding of what it meant to be around in Vienna in 1786," Yvon Loiselle told CTV News Edmonton.

The performers say the more you understand the opera, the more you'll enjoy it, which is the purpose of the free event.

"I think it's really essential we really need to find  a way to make opera accessible to communities and what better what better way than getting in the community," mezzo-soprano Stephanie Tritchew said.

Edmonton Opera's performances of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro are Feb. 1, 4 and 7 at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Graham Neil.