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The Monkiest King

Join the mythical Monkey King, Sun WuKong, as he matures through his adventures as a young super-powered monkey.  This clever retelling of the Song Dynasty character is by the award-winning team of Alice Ping Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan, and brought to life by the talented children and youth of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company.

Featuring the children and youth of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, accompanied by a professional chamber orchestra of Western and Chinese instruments.

The Monkiest King

by Alice Ping Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan

Stage Direction: Nina Lee Aquino
Music Direction: Teri Dunn
Set & Costume Design: Camellia Koo
Choreography: Emily Cheung
Lighting Design: Michelle Ramsay

With Xi Yi, dancer - courtesy of Little Pear Garden Dance Company.

Toronto Centre for the Arts - Lyric Theatre
5040 Yonge Street

School Previews

Friday, May 25
10:00 am & 1:00 pm

Group Sales: (416)-250-3708

Public Shows

Saturday, May 26
7:30 pm

Sunday, May 27
2:00 pm

Ticketmaster: 1-855-985-2787  TICKETS ONLINE
$35 Adult; $25 Senior; $20 Student

Educational Pamphlet Funded by the Government of Ontario


The main opera production for the season is the world premiere of The Monkiest King, a new CCOC commission by award-winning composer Alice Ping Yee Ho and librettist Marjorie Chan. The duo won the 2013 Dora Award for Outstanding New Opera for their Toronto Masque Theatre commission of The Lessons of Da Ji.

The story is adapted from the Song Dynasty mythological figure of Sun Wukong - the Monkey King. The character, which grew to include Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu influences, spread outside of China throughout East and Southeast Asia. He has appeared in many forms and adaptations, prominently including the Classic 16th-century novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en, and remains prevalent in the modern day with appearances in Hong Kong action movies and video games. A proud trickster character reminiscent of Raven or Loki, Sun Wukong rebels against heaven, but ultimately learns humility.

While we in Canada are most familiar with the European tradition of opera, storytelling through the combination of art forms transcends cultural boundaries. The CCOC, with this commission, has proclaimed their dedication to exploring the cultural diversity of Toronto and Canada while celebrating the stories of our whole community. The premiere production will feature a number of Chinese-Canadian artists in addition to the composer and librettist, including orchestral musicians and choreographer Emily Cheung, Artistic Director of the Little Pear Garden Dance Company.

I am absolutely thrilled to write a new opera "The Monkiest King" for the incredible Canadian Children's Opera Company. This is also my second collaboration with award-winning librettist Marjorie Chan in our exploration of new story from an old Chinese tale. The legendary Chinese character "The Monkey King" is probably the most famous modern day Chinese "Marvel" hero - it is a dream project for me to bring this mischievous good-natured character to life in a contemporary children’s opera setting. The "Monkiest King" will certainly inspire and educate children performers the magic of music/drama in a different cultural premise, the production is a promise of both fun and challenges to all!

-Alice Ho, composer


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