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July 17, 2018

2018-19 Season Announced

Our 51st season includes three collaborations, two of which are with the Canadian Opera Company, Pirates of Penzance by our Youth Chorus, a spring production by our Junior Divisions, and a beloved opera returning to our Main Stage in February:  The Snow Queen. 

CCOC 2018-19 Season


2016            2015           Archives (pre 2015)



May 9, 2016

2016-17 Season Announced

Highlights of the season include collaborations with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Canadian Opera Company, a world premiere opera by the junior divisions, and an international tour with Brundibar, a Czech opera most famous for uplifting performances in the Terezin concentration camp during the holocaust.

CCOC 2016-17 Season


Announcing the Toronto Festival of Children’s Opera
running from May 31 to June 12, 2016


The Canadian Children’s Opera Company, in partnership with VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto, Canadian Opera Company, Tapestry New Opera, the Canadian Music Centre, Schmopera, and is proud to present the Toronto Festival of Children’s Opera.
Opera for, by and about young people has exploded as an art form internationally, and some of the very best work is happening right here in Toronto. From May 29 - June 12, 2016, the young and young-at-heart will be amazed by the inspiration and creativity on display, from epic main-stage productions of The Hobbit and The Sword in the Schoolyard, to a lecture by award-winning Tolkien expert and children’s author David Day, to community performances by participants of the Canadian Opera Company’s After School Opera Program, to a special "Youth Night at the Opera" at Tapestry Opera’s The Rocking Horse Winner, and a day-long symposium on children’s opera for opera producers, artists and educators.
For Festival information go to:


January 22, 2016
Canadian Children’s Opera Company returns to mystical realm of Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

"One children's opera to rule them all."      
Robert Harris, The Globe and Mail

“This is a work children will not only wish to see, but long to be in.”                  
Christopher Hoile, Opera Canada

TORONTO – The Canadian Children’s Opera Company leads audiences of all ages through the wonders of Middle Earth this June with the return to a new staging of their highly acclaimed 2004 production of The Hobbit.   Join Bilbo Baggins and a host of dwarves as they face goblins, wolves and cunning elves in a quest to reclaim their lost gold from the clutches of the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent.

The Hobbit was commissioned by the CCOC in 2000 as one of the first acts of then- Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay, and premiered by the CCOC in 2004.  The work has since received international attention, having been produced twice at Sarasota Opera and with a new production opening at Tulsa Opera in mid-June 2016.

Of the opera, composer-librettist Dean Burry states “Tolkien’s novel is truly a perfect work for a children’s opera company: epic story, numerous and integral song lyrics, adventure, betrayal, battles and death.  It’s like he was imagining an opera when he wrote it. The depth of the story really allowed me to write a work not just for young people but for all ages. Tolkien fans have a lot to look forward to as well - I believe it is one of the few operas sung partly in Sindarin Elvish!”

The production features over one hundred members of the CCOC choruses joined by a professional chamber ensemble and popular Canadian baritone Giles Tomkins in the roles of Gandalf and Smaug.  Music Director Teri Dunn makes her main-stage conducting debut with the CCOC, while international stage director Allison Grant makes a long-awaited return to the company.  Costumes and sets are by Julia Tribe.

The opera will be presented as the culmination of the newly created Toronto Festival of Children's Opera, which will run May 29 - June 12, 2016.

Bilbo finds the ring.  From the 2004 CCOC Production.  Photo by Michael Cooper.


October 15, 2015
The Canadian Children’s Opera Company Releases LULLABIES – a new multicultural CD

The Canadian Children’s Opera Company (CCOC) is thrilled to announce the release of Lullabies, a 17-track CD of cradle songs in 12 different languages that will be gifted to new parents and their babies at Toronto hospitals and women’s shelters.  Lullabies is the sixth CD released by the CCOC, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, including the 2007 Juno-nominated A Midwinter Night’s Dream. The recording was conceived by parting Executive Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay as a gift to the children and parents of the city and country where she led the organization for fifteen years.

This multicultural recording features 17 beautiful songs revering sleep in 12 different languages, including Zulu, Lakota, Arabic, Mandarin and Greek, reflecting the enormous cultural diversity of Toronto.  The Principal and Youth Choruses perform, joined by chorister and alumni soloists Erin Cooper Gay, Jacoba Barber-Rozema, Iori Lewis, Georgia Perdikoulias, Charmaine Chang, and Julia Sebastien.  Internationally-renowned Egyptian-Canadian singer Maryem Tollar also performs her original song Walad ya Gamil with the children, singing and playing the traditional qanun.   Ann Cooper Gay conducts, with accompanists Gergely Szokolay and Errol Gay, Ken Hall, flute and Sonia Szokolay, violin.  Lullabies will be gifted to new parents and their babies at various Toronto locations including hospitals, women’s shelters and pediatrician’s offices.

July 30, 2015
CCOC Welcomes New Artistic and Music Directors

Dear Friends of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company!

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the CCOC, we are pleased to announce that an exciting team of very talented people will be leading the organization beginning with the 2015-2016 season.
Ken Hall has been named Managing Director, and after eleven years of exemplary service to the CCOC, we can be assured of his continuing and steady leadership.

Dean Burry has been named Artistic Director, and is no stranger to the organization. He is well-known in the opera community as a composer of children’s opera and as an opera educator-facilitator, having designed and implemented the after-school program for the COC since 1997. He will be a valuable asset to the CCOC, both in our outreach program OPERAtion KIDS and in all the divisions of the CCOC. This award-winning composer and librettist has twelve operas to his credit with two having been commissioned by the CCOC: The Hobbit and The Secret World of Og.

We are also pleased to welcome Teri Dunn to the CCOC as the Music Director, with conducting responsibilities for the Principal and Youth Choruses. Teri served in various capacities with the CCOC from 1992-2002, moved to the Toronto Children’s Chorus from 2002-2012 as Assistant Artistic Director, and has been at St. Michael’s Choir School since 2008. She is an outstanding singer and teacher and we are fortunate that she is able to include the CCOC in her busy schedule.

Please join me and the board of directors in welcoming these three musician-educator-performers for what promises to be a very exciting time for the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. I (Ann Cooper Gay) will still be involved as the appointed Artistic Advisor, and will act as a guest conductor for our two events on Sept. 11 and Nov. 11. It is never easy to say good-bye, but I am so very pleased that the CCOC will be in capable, new hands!

Additional good news is that our wonderful artistic team will be returning. For the Senior Division, Adi Braun will return for Youth Chorus’ Cabaret in the Spring, and Gergely Szokolay will add the Youth Chorus and the Intermediate Chorus to his growing list of accompanying and coaching responsibilities. Benoit Boutet returns as the Drama Coach for the Junior Division, Adine Mintz will serve as the head of the Junior Division and continue to lead the Apprentice Chorus, assisted by Myna Denov. Emily Bird returns as the Chorus Coordinator and will also lead both the Ruby and Butterfly Choruses. Finally, please join me in welcoming back Lynn Janes, who will be leading the Intermediate Chorus. Lynn was one of the CCOC conductors from 1989-2002 and has been the vocal/choral teacher at Havergal College since 2007. What a line-up of dedicated, excellent teachers!

It is also my pleasure to announce the formation of a satellite choir to be named CCOC North. Adine Mintz will be supervising this project and we look forward to our expanded presence in the greater Toronto area.
With gratitude and affection,

Ann Cooper Gay
Artistic & Executive Director

Anna Forgione
President - Board of Directors

May 7 – 10, 2015

Alice in Wonderland

School Previews:        Thursday & Friday at 10:00am or Thursday at 1:00pm
Public Shows:             Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm or Saturday & Sunday at 2:00pm

The Canadian Children’s Opera Company celebrates 150 years of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale with a new 60-minute children’s opera by Errol Gay and Michael Patrick Albano, the creative team behind the Dora-nominated Laura’s Cow: The Legend of Laura Secord (2012) and A Dickens of Christmas (2005).  Each performance, over 100 children and youth will chase down the rabbit hole after the White Rabbit, played by acclaimed Canadian tenor Benoit Boutet.  They will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra led by the CCOC’s Artistic Director, Ann Cooper Gay.

Revisit the magical world of the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts.  Suitable for all ages. Contact Us today for tickets!

Stage direction Michael Patrick Albano
Music direction   Ann Cooper Gay
Composer   Errol Gay
Librettist Michael Patrick Albano
Set design  Jim Wilson 
Costume design     Lisa Magill
Lighting design  Gavin McDonald

April 23, 2015 - Gala Evening

Ann Cooper Gay and the Canadian Children’s Opera Company are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting a Gala Evening on the glamorous 68th floor of First Canadian Place, with the generous support of BMO Financial Group.  Proceeds will be used for our upcoming production of our new opera: Alice in Wonderland by Errol Gay and Michael Patrick Albano.  Acclaimed Canadian tenor, John McDermott, will serenade our audience, joined on stage by the children and youth of the CCOC.

January 2015
Ann Cooper Gay Announces Her Retirement

Ann officially announced her retirement from the Canadian Children’s Opera Company as Artistic & Executive Director at the end of the 2014-2015 season. Each week, for the next fifteen weeks, we will celebrate the past fifteen years of the CCOC and the amazing work done under Ann’s leadership.



The CCOC Announces the Commission of Alice in Wonderland

We are excited to announce that in the 2014-15 season, the CCOC will be performing Alice in Wonderland.  A production written by Errol Gay and Michael Patrick Albano based on the book by Lewis Carroll. This classic story of what lies down the rabbit hole will be told by the creative team of A Dickens of a Christmas and Laura's Cow.

The CCOC Announces a CD Recording Entitied, Lullabies

Lullabies, a new CD compilation of CCOC recordings will be released in the Spring of 2015.

May 30 - June 1, 2014
Premiere of East o' the Sun and West 'o the Moon

The CCOC will premiere a new children’s opera based on Norwegian folk tale.  From award-winning composer Dr. Norbert Palej and novelist K.T. Bryski comes a new telling of the classic Norwegian folk tale East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon.  A young farm girl saves her starving family by befriending a mysterious bear and soon finds herself matching wits with the evil Queen of the Trolls.  Will she save a prince from a fate worse than death?  All roles are performed by the 150 members of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, ages 3-19, accompanied by an eight-piece professional chamber orchestra conducted by CCOC Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay. Stage direction is by the young Canadian star director Joel Ivany, Artistic Director of Against the Grain Theatre.  Four performances will take place at the Enwave Theatre – Harbourfront Centre. 

Music Director: Ann Cooper Gay
Stage Director: Joel Ivany
Set and Costume Designer: Laura Gardner
Lighting Designer: Jason Hand
Composer: Norbert Palej
Librettist: K.T. Bryski

The CCOC Announces the Commission of East o' the Sun and West 'o the Moon

We are excited to announce that the CCOC will produce a new children’s opera based on Norwegian folk tale.  From award-winning composer Dr. Norbert Palej and novelist K.T. Bryski comes a new telling of the classic Norwegian folk tale East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon.

2010 Wine Cellar Lottery Winners

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all of you who participated!

Oct 3, 2013
CCOC's 2013 production of La boheme

We are proud to announce that choristers from the CCOC will be participating in the Canadian Opera Company's 2013 production of Puccini's La boheme. The production will run from October 3 to 30, 2013 at the Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St.  W., Toronto.  This is a new COC co-production with the Houston Grand Opera and the San Francisco Opera.

May 26, 2013
The Aldeburgh Connection's Britten Festival

The opening of the last song of Winter Words provides the title of the last concert of the Aldeburgh Connection's final season. It presents a vocal tapestry of the music of Benjamin Britten, acknowledging the tremendous debt we owe him and his partner, interpreter and muse, Peter Pears, the Founding Patron of the Aldeburgh Connection.  Sunday May 6, 2013 at 2:30pm Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building University of Toronto, 80 Queen's Park. 

Oct 14, 2012
Toronto Argonauts - Anthem

Once again, the CCOC will perform ‘O Canada’ at the beginning of a Toronto Argonauts game, this year on Sunday, October 14 versus the Montreal Alouettes.  This is a fund-raiser for the CCOC.  We have purchased a block of 300 tickets for the game at a discount – last year we sold out and made over $4000 for the organization – let’s do it again!  The event itself is a lot of fun – seeing your child on the field (and the jumbotron) is almost worth the price of admission.  In addition, this year the Argos are actually fighting for first place with the team they will be facing, meaning the game may will have real playoff implications for both teams.  If you are unable to attend the game, but would still like to support our fundraiser, consider donating your tickets to “Kids Up Front”, a Toronto organization that provides access to arts, sports, and other events for children who might not otherwise be able to attend.  Please indicate on your order form that you would like to donate your tickets to this worthwhile organization.

July 5, 2011
Summa Cum Laude Award

The Canadian Children’s Opera Company placed second in the treble choir category of the prestigious Summa Cum Laude youth music festival in Vienna Coverage of the July 5th performance at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein.

Spring 2011 
The CCOC Announces Two Upcoming Commissions

Ogopogo - A short piece for children’s choir, piano, flute and cello, about the legendary Lake Okanagan monster.  Original words and music by Norbert Palej.  Premiere scheduled for Spring 2011.

Laura’s Cow: The Legend of Laura Secord - One-act opera for children’s company commemorating the War of 1812.  Composer: Errol Gay; Librettist: Michael Patrick Albano.  Premiere for Spring 2012 more info

New Programs

Started in September 2010, the Butterfly Chorus extends the age range of CCOC programs into early childhood ages 3 & 4.  OPERAtion KIDS extends CCOC outreach with a new East-end program starting January 29, 2011.  The program will meet once weekly on Saturdays through thirteen sessions.

Click here to download Volume 1, Issue 1 of our Newsletter for April 2011.
Click here to download Volume 2, Issue 1 of our Newsletter for March 2012.