children singing

SUMMER OPERA CAMPS

CREATE OPERA! PERFORM OPERA!

Sign your child up to make new friends, discover new interests, build confidence, and have lots of fun. Campers will playfully explore opera as both creators and performers. 

Please note: COC Summer Opera Camps have been cancelled for the 2019/2020 season. For more information about the COC's response to COVID-19, click here.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

  • Little Company (entering grades 1 to 3)

    TIME: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with drop-off beginning at 8:45 a.m. 
    FEE: $300

    Extended Care Available
    Tuesday to Thursday, 3:30 to 5 p.m. $40/week.
    Extended care must be registered for separately and can be accessed by clicking here.

    Junior Company (entering grades 4 to 6)

    TIME: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with drop-off beginning at 8:45 a.m. 
    FEE: $310

    Extended Care Available
    Tuesday to Thursday, 3:30 to 5 p.m. $40/week.
    Extended care must be registered for separately and can be accessed by clicking here.

  • Chris Thorborrow

    COMPOSER
    (Little, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Companies)

    Chris Thorborrow is a composer of concert music, film score and opera. His music has been described as "complex and clear, with subtle playfulness," and has received a number of awards including the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music, multiple SOCAN Awards for Young Audio Visual Composers, and the Toronto Emerging Composers Award Honourable Mention. He is the founder of the Toy Piano Composers collective, and he has been commissioned by Ensemble Paramirabo, Musica Reflecta, ArrayEnsemble, the Bicycle Opera Project, Thin Edge, and Tapestry Opera. The films he has scored have screened internationally, including at the Cannes Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Clermont-Ferrand.

    Chris has a knack for getting young people excited about music. Recent projects include a mini-concerto for a young musician and professional string quartet, as well as a city-wide student composition collaboration with Doug Friesen, Continuum Ensemble, and the Toronto District School Board. He is composing an opera for Tapestry Opera with librettist Julie Tepperman that tackles the world of bullying. Chris has a decade of experience working as a music director in summer camps, including founding the music program at International Summer Camp Montana in Switzerland and acting as composer at the COC’s 2015 and 2016 Summer Opera Camps.


    Sonja Rainey

    Designer
    (Little, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Companies)

    Sonja Rainey is a Dora Award-nominated set and costume designer as well as a community-based artist. She has designed for theatre, opera, film, and spectacle events, and has had work produced in Canada, the U.S., and as part of the Prague Quadrennial. Her workshop approach is tactile and experiential, responding to the ideas and themes at hand to explore many different forms and create objects, immersive environments, and art-making initiatives for participants to shape and to which they contribute. Her designs and workshops blend forms and materials, and move towards the questions and stories that lie below the surface.

    Past collaborations have included working with the Bicycle Opera Project, urbanvessel, and Jumblies Theatre, as well as Making Room Community Arts, MABELLEarts, and the Community Arts Guild. Her work with these companies has encompassed set and costume design; puppet, projection, and mask work; illustration and sculpture; and the creation of short narrative films.

    Sonja has an MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Texas at Austin, a BFA specialization in Design for the Theatre from Concordia University, and has most recently studied at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance.


    Christina Faye

    ACCOMPANIST
    (Senior Company)

    Christina Faye received her bachelor of music from Brandon University in 2007 and her master of music from the Eastman School of Music in 2009. She is an in-demand pianist and coach in Toronto, is currently the Music Director at Donway Covenant United Church, and accompanist for the Canadian Men's Chorus. Christina has an ongoing concert series with soprano Adria McCulloch, regularly performs with members of The Vocalway Studio, and recently launched a new two-woman opera comedy show Millan & Faye Presents: The Opera with coloratura soprano Kyra Millan.


    Kyra Millan

    Vocal Specialist
    (Intermediate and Senior Companies)

    Soprano Kyra Millan is happiest creating quirky shows that allow her to blend education and performance, as her unique career has been a balance of both. An opera comedienne, she embarks this year on her first Ontario tour of her original show Millan & Faye Present: The Opera, with her music partner Christina Faye. After three popular appearances in the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series, the duo kicked off their tour at the Four Seasons Centre in March 2016. Other recent performances include headlining Harbourfront’s Voice and Strings Festival in 2014, and a surprise appearance for the TSO’s Pianos in the City earlier this year. In winter 2013, Kyra created her first full-length show, Christmas with Hi and Lo, in collaboration with Canadian jazz icon John Alcorn, and performed to sold-out audiences. Kyra’s work in arts education began 18 years ago, facilitating opera workshops for the COC, as well as acting as musical director of their Summer Youth Intensive program, and many summer camps. Since then, she has worked in over 200 schools, teaching workshops as a guest artist educator on behalf of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Opera Atelier, and the COC. Other arts organizations for which Kyra has led workshops and training programs include: Workman Arts (CAMH), Abilities Arts, Soundstreams Canada, Kiwanis Music Festival, and TIFF. Kyra coaches aspiring singers and professionals in her private studio in Toronto, and she also brings her voice coaching to professional productions in Canada for companies such as Canadian Stage, Stage West, Young People’s Theatre, National Arts Centre, as well as for international touring productions. Creating with young people is particularly exciting for Kyra, and one of her favourite projects is GLEESICAL—which she created six years ago, and directs—a year-long program where young people create, write, compose, build, design and perform their own musical. Kyra lives in Toronto with her family.


    Catherine Hume

    Drama Specialist
    (Little, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Companies)

    Catherine Hume is an artist-educator specializing in drama education, dramaturgy, and direction. She has received two Toronto Arts Council grants, one for Music Creation and a second for Emerging Playwright, and is currently working on a screenplay and the book, lyrics, and music for a musical. Catherine recently completed a directing course at Tarragon Theatre with Richard Rose, attended a musical theatre creation workshop featuring composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), and in 2014 added Part 1 of the Drama Specialist designation to her Bachelor of Education. Career highlights include a season as rep company member at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook and directorial/tech contributions to writer/performer Alison Wearing’s award-winning solo show Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter. Catherine was the assistant director of Willy Wonka at a Toronto elementary school two years ago and in 2016 directed and choreographed Peter Pan Jr. involving two full casts totaling over 100 kids. Also in 2016 she joined the Gleesical program at the Classical Music Conservatory as dramaturg/director for the senior show.

  • AFTER SCHOOL OPERA PROGRAM
    AFTER SCHOOL OPERA PROGRAM
    Participants prepare for their final performance, putting into practice what they learned earlier in the term in an artist-educator-led workshop on theatrical makeup.
    Photo Credit: COC © 2010
    AFTER SCHOOL OPERA Program
    AFTER SCHOOL OPERA Program
    Ready to howl at the moon! Werewolves, zombies, vampires and ghosts get into costume and character as they get ready to perform in the world premiere of mini-opera The Otherwordly.
    Photo Credit: COC © 2010
  • What happens if I need to cancel my child’s registration? Is there a refund?

    We realize that plans may change, and therefore we believe we’ve developed a fair refund policy to provide you some flexibility. If you cancel your child’s registration on or before April 27, 2020, you are entitled to a full refund. Any registrations cancelled between April 28, 2020 and June 22, 2020 will be partially refunded (less a 25% administration fee). No refunds will be given after the program registration deadline date of June 22, 2019. Last minute withdrawals supported by a medical note must be made by the business day prior to the program start date for a refund less a 25% administrative fee. No refunds, partial or full, will be accorded to participants who decide to withdraw after the start of the program.

    Where does the camp take place?

    Camp takes place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, which is located at 145 Queen Street West. The program room entrance is east of the Box Office located on the South East corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue.

    For more information on how to get to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts visit the map and directions page on our website.

    When can I drop my child off and pick my child up?

    On Mondays (Tuesday for Little Company), campers can be dropped off beginning at 8:30 a.m. For the remainder of the week (Wednesday to Friday for Little Company, Tuesday to Friday for Junior and Intermediate Companies, Tuesday to Saturday for Senior Company), campers can be dropped off beginning at 8:45 a.m. The program begins at 9 a.m.

    Extended care allows Little and Junior Company campers to be picked up later (additional fee of $30/week for Little Company or $40/week for Junior Company). Extended care is supervised by staff and lightly programmed. Campers registered for extended care must be picked up by 5 p.m.

    There is no extended care for Intermediate and Senior Company campers.

    Is financial assistance available?

    The Canadian Opera Company is dedicated to providing professional, creative and accessible opera programs to all individuals regardless of their age, gender, and cultural and economic backgrounds. The COC seeks to minimize barriers, such as program fees, to participation in COC Education and Outreach programs.

    Each year, we award a number of bursaries for Summer Opera Camps on the basis of financial need. There is a limited amount of bursary funds available to individuals who demonstrate a strong desire and commitment to engage in COC programs but for whom cost prohibits their participation.

    Bursary applications for summer 2020 will become available on January 6th, 2020. The deadline for all bursary applications will be April 13, 2020, however bursaries will be awarded on an ongoing basis, so it is best to apply as early as possible.

    Is lunch included?

    No. Lunch is not provided. Please send your child to camp with a nut-free lunch, snacks, and a refillable water bottle. Though the COC cannot guarantee a nut-free environment, we request that participants refrain from bringing food items that contain nut ingredients (eg. peanut butter sandwiches, peanut oil, etc.) to the program.

    What should my child wear to camp?

    Clothing must be appropriate for active fun! Campers will be involved in drama and movement sessions which require them to have a wide range of movement. Campers will also participate in arts and craft activities. Spills are inevitable and may not wash out completely. Clothing should be chosen accordingly. Please refrain from sending your child to camp in sandals for safety reasons.

    Who teaches at camp?

    Camp is led by an artistic team including a composer, a drama and movement specialist, a designer, and one or more assistants and volunteers. The Intermediate and Senior Company staff also includes a vocal specialist and an accompanist. Stay tuned for biographies of the artistic team.

    What will my child do in camp?

    Your child will explore composing, singing, story creation, acting, movement, and the visual arts, while having fun meeting new friends with similar interests. Working with an existing story as a starting point, Little, Junior, and Intermediate Company participants will write and compose their own opera with help from professional artist-educators. Senior Company participants will create a story for their opera from scratch. Next they’ll choose a role and begin staging and rehearsing their opera, as well as designing and creating costumes, props, and/or a set for their opera. Campers will present a special rehearsal of their creation to family and friends on the last day of camp. Activities are always adjusted according to the abilities and interests of the age group.

  • Bursary Application Process

    The Canadian Opera Company (COC) is dedicated to providing professional, creative and accessible opera programs to all individuals regardless of their age, gender and cultural and economic backgrounds. The COC seeks to minimize barriers, such as program fees, to participation in COC education and outreach programs.

    A bursary is a monetary grant awarded on the need for financial assistance. There are a limited amount of bursary funds available to individuals who demonstrate a strong desire and commitment to engage in COC programs but for whom cost prohibits their participation.


    Application Criteria and Requirements

    • Applicants must demonstrate financial need and interest in participating in a COC Education and Outreach program
    • Applicants may apply for a bursary for more than one program per season
    • The amount awarded to individuals is based on the number of applications received and the financial need of the applicants
    • The COC cannot guarantee that full or partial bursaries will be awarded to all applicants



    Application

    Bursary applications for summer 2020 will become available on January 6th, 2020. The deadline for all bursary applications will be April 13, 2020, however bursaries will be awarded on an ongoing basis, so it is best to apply as early as possible.

    Questions? Contact [email protected]

  • WHAT PARENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT CAMPS

    “My son loves this camp – he asks to go every summer”
    -Summer Opera Camps Parent 2019

    “It was very well organized, and taught participants various skills and tips of acting, singing, and production. The instructors were fantastic!"
    -Summer Opera Camps Parent 2019

    “My daughter is in the Intermediate Company camp right now, and is bubbling with excitement every morning, despite having to wake up at 6:30 am. There is a myriad of creative things they do – it totally exceeded our expectations!”
    -Intermediate Company Parent 2018

    Staff are wonderful, creative, kind and patient. Kids were enthusiastic.
    - Little Company Parent 2017

    Kids get to learn about the entire creative process (costume, lyrics, etc.)
    - Little Company Parent 2017

    I can’t believe this all happened in one week!
    - Junior Company Parent 2017

    Three daughters- so many camps have been attended. This is the top of the list. Well done- Thank you for building confidence, nurturing love of opera. Thank you.
    - Senior Company Parent 2017

    I was blown away by how passionate the performers and staff were.
    - Senior Company Parent 2017


    WHAT KIDS ARE SAYING ABOUT CAMPS

    “I loved it all so much. The volunteers, artists and staff really made it joyful and engaging."
    -Summer Opera Camps Participant 2019

    I love acting and singing and it definitely helped my confidence”
    -Summer Opera Camps Participant 2019

    “I made friends and I looked forward to being in the environment of this whole camp. The people are lovely and the games we play in the morning really boost my mood.”

    -Summer Opera Camps Participant 2018

    “I love creating and being funny and the open staff. Best camp I’ve ever been in!”
    -Summer Opera Camps Participant 2018

    The best part of camp was everything.
    - Little Company Participant 2017

    Everyone working here is extremely talented in what they do. It was a great opportunity and a great experience. It was super duper fun to perform and learn lots, not just from the teachers here, but from each other. Thank you, Opera Camp!
    - Junior Company Participant 2017

    Everything we do in this camp I love, like the teachers - they are nice and help us a lot. When I leave camp I miss it and want it to start again.
    - Senior Company Participant 2017

    I loved the collaborative work of performing and composing/creating, as well as all of the fun exercises and games along the way. Really didn’t have a favorite part because everything was amazing.
    - Senior Company Participant 2017






Photo credits: Scotiabank Summer Opera Camps, July 2016; photos: COC Staff

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