FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2008
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Canadian Children’s Opera Company Celebrates its 41st season with a new name and a strong lineup
Toronto, September 12, 2008: The Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus has formally changed its name to Canadian Children’s Opera Company, to reflect the major emphasis in the company’s mandate to commission new operatic works written and produced for children to perform.
The Canadian Children’s Opera Company is the only such organization in Canada that commissions new operas written to be performed by children. Over the course of its 40 year history the CCOC has commissioned ten new operas. Three of those have been commissioned and performed in the last five years. Most recently the children have performed in The Hobbit (2004) A Dickens of a Christmas (2005, 2006), and Dragon in the Rocks (2008).
Changing the name to Canadian Children's Opera Company is a natural evolution in the growth of the CCOC. The new name more accurately reflects the breadth of work the company does in preparing young people from the ages of five to 21 to appreciate and perform opera, and to further the company’s mandate of commissioning new operatic and choral repertoire.
“With an increased emphasis on the dramatic portion of our program”, says Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay, “our new name represents an exciting step forward for the CCOC. Although we also present choral concerts, we are unique in that we feature children on stage as characters in full-scale productions.”
Underway for November 2008 is a remount of our hugely successful A Dickens of a Christmas, being staged at the Enwave Theatre at the Harbourfront Centre
November 28th at 7:30, and November 29th and 30th, each day at 2:00 and 7:30. In addition to these five performances for the public, the CCOC will also present three school shows of A Dickens of a Christmas.
Another exciting part of the 08-09 season is participating in The Children’s Crusade, an opera written by R. Murray Schafer and produced by Soundstreams Canada. It is based on actual events during the 13th century and presents children intent on changing the world through love. The production will premiere June 5, 2009 and will also be featured as part of the 2009 Luminato Festival in Toronto. Workshop rehearsals of The Children’s Crusade begin in September 2008.
Other highlights include Lights Across Canada, Dec. 1; Christmas Joy with Hannaford Street Silver Band, Dec.13; A Very Merry Christmas Pops, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Dec. 9 – 10; The Snowman, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Dec. 14; The Magic Flute, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Jan 22/24; La bohème, Canadian Opera Company, April 17 – May 24; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Canadian Opera Company, May 5-23; CCOC Open House, March 2009; Blue Jays Game (national anthem), May 2009.
About the Canadian Children’s Opera Company
The CCOC is comprised of 200 singers in five different choruses, all under the leadership of Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay. Our singers range in age from 5-21. Our primary mandate is to provide musical and dramatic education for children, focusing on opera. The CCOC is committed to fostering a life-long enjoyment of the arts in children by introducing them to the magic of opera, both as performers and as members of its audiences. In addition to the technical elements of the program, the choristers learn self-discipline, self-confidence, community and the joy of working as a team to accomplish high goals.
This season we are proud to launch a new educational program called OPERAtion KIDS, an after-school workshop teaching various elements of opera, including music, drama, design, dance, script writing and development, and stage management.
The CCOC regularly collaborates with other leading arts organizations and prominent individual performers, conductors and directors. Last season over 40 performances were undertaken by the company. We are the only Canadian organization to commission new opera works written specifically for children and we strive to make the CCOC open to all children, regardless of financial means.