Meet Our Opera For Young Audiences Children's Choir
By COC Staff
How early is too early to hear your first opera? It’s never too early! Every year, the Canadian Opera Company designs an opera especially for kids as part of our annual Opera for Young Audiences programming. The shows have shorter runtimes, are performed in English, and touch on real-life experiences and themes that are familiar to younger people.
This year, we’re inviting families and students to relive the magic of Hansel & Gretel, as told through a uniquely Toronto lens. Instead of a woodland forest, there’s a sprawling apartment building with tons of nooks and crannies to explore. Hansel even sports a fun raccoon patch on his overalls!
And, it wouldn’t be a totally Toronto opera without inviting some very special community members on stage. The COC is pleased to welcome five community choirs from all around the GTA as part of this year’s two OYA performances on February 13 and 15.
The Canadian Children’s Opera Company (CCOC) has existed for over 50 years. Made up of six choruses for ages 3-19, it is the only permanent children’s opera company in Canada to regularly commission and produce operas for young people. CCOC members regularly perform with the COC and other major professional arts organizations.
Common Thread Kids started in 2012 as part of a new partnership between West Neighbourhood House and Common Thread Community Chorus. With conductor Leanne Piller, students learn a wide variety of songs that build a sense of belonging, respect for diversity, and positive social change from a youth perspective.
The CultureLink Nai Children’s Choir has worked to develop a close-knit artistic community to provide free and accessible music education to refugee children from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and more. Since April 2016, they have been a place of well-being, of healing, and learning for over 400 refugee children.
Reaching Out Through Music (ROTM) provides free, high-quality music education for the children and youth of St. James Town, with the St. James Town Children's Choir forming the heart of the organization. Established in 2007, ROTM’s mission is to provide all the benefits that a musical education affords to children who may otherwise never experience these opportunities.
Yip’s Children’s Choir and Musical Theatre was created in 1990. The choir is dedicated to the promotion of formal music and fine arts education for children and the musical theatre is focused on developing creativity through dancing, singing, and acting. Both groups have participated in numerous concerts locally and internationally.
Join us for this year's Opera for Young Audiences production, Hansel & Gretel, on February 13 and 15, 2020 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.