Opera Kids Onstage

Bring the CCOC into your school! Opera Kids Onstage (OKO) is a 10-week program led by a teaching artist who engages students in the magic of opera, singing and storytelling. The program culminates in a final showcase, weaving the voices, staging and designs of the students into an original mini-opera.

The 2023-2024 season cohort of classes will focus on creating and building connections, as individuals and as a community.

Thanks to the generous support of the BMO Financial Group, this program is fully subsidized, and 6 classes are welcomed into the cohort this season. 


Through the OKO program, students will:
  • Be introduced to the essential elements of opera
  • Explore music’s role in conveying emotion and action through opera
  • Build connections with one another by working towards a common purpose
  • Foster an appreciation for opera as an art form
  • Develop their language arts, social and emotional, and arts learning through creative group work
  • Learn the power of what we can achieve when we work as a team
  • Try something new and take risks!
Over the course of 10 weeks, students will:
  • Create an original story.
  • Choose emotionally appropriate songs, from traditional operatic repertoire, to enhance their story.
  • Write lyrics to tell their story within the songs they have chosen.
  • Be introduced to vocal production, (understanding physically how the sound is produced and then how to produce it properly themselves).
  • Learn to sing as an ensemble and solos.
  • Create design elements (costumes, props, set pieces) that express ideas from their story and help tell the narrative.
  • Explore opera as an interdisciplinary art-form.

If school protocols permit, the final performance can be shared as an assembly for the school community!

Who is eligible?

OKO is focusing on students, grades 4 to 7 in classes, within the Greater Toronto Area. This program is offered to 2 classrooms (one after the other during the same 10 week period) in the same school.

Priority will be given to schools/classes:

  • who do not have any current music education program in place and/or 
  • are considered in a priority neighbourhood in the GTA and/or 
  • can demonstrate need in their community.
Where is it held?

The program takes place in-person during school hours.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the program is $10,000 per class but thanks to the BMO Financial Group and other funders, the program is fully subsidized! Preference will be offered to classes without current music education programs and/or are considered in a priority neighbourhood in the GTA.

The CCOC is grateful to the BMO Financial Group for their ongoing support of Opera Kids Onstage (formerly OPERAtion Kids) over the past 7 years. It is through the financial support of companies like BMO that the CCOC is able to offer this music experiential program free of charge to a limited number of classes in the Greater Toronto Area, every year. Once the available partnerships have been filled, remaining qualified classes will be placed on a wait list and contacted should a space become available.

When does it start? How to apply?

Applications open February 14, 2024 and close February 29, 2024 for the Spring 2024 session.

Teaching Artist and Program Coordinator

Since 2014, Adine Mintz has been a conductor and educator for the CCOC. She is the conductor of the Apprentice Chorus and the primary teaching artist & program co-ordinator for CCOC’s Opera Kids Onstage program, (formerly OPERAtion Kids), inspiring students all over Toronto by creating original operas with them.

With over 25 years of experience conducting operas and ensembles, her past credits include music director of the St. Clement Community Orchestra, Director of the music school at Cosmo Music, and Musical Director of Il barbiere di seviglia by Rossini at U of T. She holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Masters in Conducting from the University of Toronto.

Partnership Commitments

Participating Teachers and Schools

  • All classes are hosted by the classroom teacher in school during regular class time.
  • CCOC will not have any contact with students outside of their classroom.
  • Weekly sessions of 50-60 minutes occur during a regularly scheduled school day and time.
  • The designated time for the session will be determined by the classroom teacher and Teaching Artist (e.g., Tuesdays at 10:00, or Thursdays during 3rd period).
  • Teachers are required to participate in a one-hour planning meeting with the Teaching Artist before the program begins. The purpose of this meeting is to orient teachers to the program, discuss roles and responsibilities, learning objectives, and confirm session meeting schedules.
  • To help the CCOC understand students’ experiences in the program, and convey the impact of the program to our generous funders and supporters, teachers will support reflection on the students’ impact at the beginning, middle and end of the program, including written feedback.
  • Teachers are expected to approach sessions as an active, engaged participant and maintain classroom discipline of students.
  • Teachers are to distribute any necessary materials to the students and/or parents for the program as may be required.
  • Teachers assist students in completing any necessary activities between sessions (minimal time commitment).
  • Teachers communicate with the Teaching Artist consistently regarding lesson plans, student progress or challenges, and any changes to the determined schedule.

The CCOC is an approved partner with the TDSB.

Still have questions? Email Adine at adine@canadianchildrensopera.com

Thank you to the BMO financial group for being

the Lead Sponsor OF CCOC CONNEcTS, including

Opera Kids Onstage and the CCOC’s Bursary Program