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Benefits & Testimonials


Children and youth receive professional musical and dramatic education and gain operatic and choral performance experience.  Working with seasoned professionals, they experience the power of music and drama and build life-enhancing experiences which nurture their love for music and performance.  Their self-esteem and self-confidence grow as they develop vocal and drama skills.

The CCOC choruses sing operatic selections, but that is only a part of the overall musical repertoire which includes contemporary and classical selections, folk, and operetta.  Works by Canadian composers feature prominently.

Since the CCOC is the only permanent children’s opera company in Canada that commissions and produces operas for children on a regular basis, the choristers are given a unique opportunity to apply their musical and dramatic education.  Additionally, they have opportunities to appear with leading professional musical groups and ensembles such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, U of T Faculty of Music, Hannaford Street Silver Band, Soundstreams Canada, the Canadian Tenors, and many more.


Richard Margison, OC
Opera Singer and CCOC Alumna Parent

“The CCOC is a real national musical treasure...  this company gives young people an opportunity to be a part of a wonderful musical tradition.  I am very proud of what a bright musical light they are in the current fabric of this great country.  Keep making music!!!”


Karina Gauvin
Opera Singer and CCOC Alumna

“I absolutely loved my time as a chorister in the CCOC! I have many fond memories of concerts and productions I sang in Doctor Canon's Cure, The Saint Mathew Passion, Tosca, Wozzeck to name but a few.  Rare experiences for a child so young.  Little did I know that those experiences would pave the way for a life in music! Thank you CCOC!”   In February 2013 Karina's new album "Alessandro" won the Prix Caecilia of the Belgian Press Union.  Listen to Haendel, Alessandro, "No, più soffrir non voglio".  Congratulations Karina!


Alexander Neef
General Director - Canadian Opera Company

"The Canadian Children’s Opera Company is a wonderful ensemble of young singers that have delighted audiences from the Canadian Opera Company mainstage time and time again. The professionalism and commitment to their craft, as well as their exceptional talent, belies their young years. Beyond the CCOC’s role as a children’s chorus, the organization itself plays an essential role when it comes to arts education. For many of the young people involved in the CCOC, the chorus is how they make their first connection to opera, musical theatre and the performing arts in general. It is a vital contribution to fostering the arts in our community."

photo: Bo Huang

“At the CCOC my child has definitely encountered a great range of music, got to know and work with a variety of Canadian and international musicians, learned better singing skills and techniques, acquired a professional attitude, and found good friends.”  Elena Lemeneva-Wollesen (Principal Chorus Parent)


“My daughter just loves to sing, a testament to the learning from CCOC.  She once asked me, hypothetically, if I would rather she drop her “Spirit of Math” classes or CCOC.  My response was the former, her music lessons are very important to me, thank you all so much.”  R. Somji (Intermediate Chorus Parent)


“The CCOC has opened the world of opera to my children when impressions count most, when they are young. Our family's love of opera is alive and well in our youngest members now, which is a joy to see. It is more than a strong musical education for them because it is fun. We look forward to many more years of being part of the CCOC.”  Carla Tonelli (Intermediate Chorus Parent)


“CCOC has helped our daughter shape her musical appreciation in addition to giving her confidence by the inclusion of the drama component.”  Sogut Gulec (Apprentice Chorus Parent)


“My child has gained confidence on stage. She has been able to put her voice to use and has found it to be a rewarding and exciting journey with the choir.”  Mila Yudina (Apprentice Chorus Parent)


“The CCOC chorus has given our daughter confidence in her own voice.  She now sings whenever she is happy and has become a leader in her music class at school.  Thank you!” Anne Dibben and Robert Emerson  (Apprentice Chorus Parents)


“Participation in the CCOC has not only increased our sons’ musical knowledge and abilities, but also increased their self-confidence.”  Howie Gough (Apprentice and Youth Chorus Parents)


“My daughter has had incredible performance opportunities as part of CCOC that we never could have imagined before joining.  I'm still in awe when I think about how well equipped CCOC made her to perform in the highest quality professional productions and the range and quality of the repertoire she learned.  I can't imagine a better experience for any child interested in music and acting.”  Steven Bernstein (Principal Chorus Parent)