Sing! Move! Act! Compose! Play!
The After School Opera Program is offered to children ages 7 to 12 at five locations across the city.
Under the guidance of the lead artist, a program assistant, and special guests, children explore opera through singing, composing, and drama. This fun and unique program develops children’s performance and music skills while nurturing their self-confidence. Friends and family are invited to attend a celebratory performance on the final day.
Each term of the After School Opera Program runs for approximately 10 weeks. Registration costs vary by location, starting as low as $11 to a maximum of $15 for the entire program. See locations below for details.
Please note: All After School Opera Programs have been cancelled for the rest of the 2019/2020 season. For more information about the COC's response to COVID-19, click here.
All classes take place on Mondays from 4–6 p.m. in the community room at Montgomery's Inn located at 4709 Dundas St. W. (at Islington).
Registration opens March 7, 2020.
Register through the City of Toronto Fun Guide using bar code 3311815.
Spring Term: March 30 – June 8
The spring session has been delayed until April 6 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
For more information about ASOP in Etobicoke, contact Montgomery's Inn at 416-394-8113.
Tuesdays, North Toronto
All classes take place on Tuesdays from 4–6 p.m. in the Barbara Frum Recreation Centre, located on the lower level of the Barbara Frum Library, 20 Covington Rd. (Bathurst and Lawrence).
Registration opens March 10, 2020.
Register through the City of Toronto Fun Guide using bar code 3279283.
Spring Term: March 31st - June 2
The spring session has been delayed until April 7 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
For more information about ASOP in North Toronto, contact Barbara Frum at 416-395-6123.
Wednesdays, Downtown West
All classes take place on Wednesdays from 4–6 p.m. in the Community Hall of West Neighbourhood House (formerly St. Christopher House), 248 Ossington Ave. (at Dundas Street West).
Registration open now!
Sign up at West Neighbourhood House or call 416-532-4828 x127.
Spring Term: April 1 – June 3
The spring session has been delayed until April 8 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
For more information about ASOP in Downtown West, contact West Neighbourhood House!
Wednesdays, North York
All classes take place on Wednesdays from 4–6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room located at Parkway Forest Community Centre, 55 Forest Manor Rd. (Don Mills Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E).
Registration opens March 10, 2020.
Register through the City of Toronto Fun Guide using bar code 3274207.
Spring term: April 8 – June 10 For more information about ASOP in North York, contact Parkway Forest at 416-392-6383.
Thursdays, Downtown East
All classes take place on Thursdays from 4–6 p.m. in the dance studio at St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, 230 The Esplanade (Front and Sherbourne).
Registration opens March 11, 2020.
Register through the City of Toronto Fun Guide using bar code 3274980.
Spring Term: April 9 – June 11
For more information about ASOP in Downtown East, contact St. Lawrence CRC at 416-392-1347.
enjoys a diverse career as a musician, composer, sound designer, music director and artist educator. She began her musical training as a classical pianist and her love of creative collaboration led to work in dance, theatre and film. Over the past 30 years she has created scores for over 90 productions for regional and independent theatre companies across Canada: her work has been heard on international stages with Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes, Manitoba Theatre For Young People and DynamO Théâtre. Cathy was assistant conductor/keyboardist for the Toronto company of Jersey Boys. Recent projects include The Intergenerational iPad Vocal Group, the score for the documentary film The Motherload for CBC’s Doc Zone, Valley Song for Gateway Theatre and Fornes X 2 for Theatre Asylum. In addition to her work with the After School Opera Program, Cathy is an enthusiastic artist educator for the Royal Conservatory of Music, Tapestry Opera, the Classical Music Conservatory, Jumblies Theatre, and Community Arts Guild.
Cathy is the lead artist at the North York location of the After School Opera Program.
Max Cameron Fearon
Max Cameron Fearon (they/them) is a theatre artist, facilitator, and administrator with a BA Honours in Drama from the University of Toronto. They've performed and directed with the Toronto Fringe, InspiraTO festival, Aluna's CAMINOS Festival, Seven Siblings' Future Festival, Gailey Road Productions, and UofT; apprenticed with Driftwood, Mixed Company, and Hart House Theatres; and completed further training with the Fringe TENT, Nightwood's Young Innovators, and Gargantua's Emerging Artists Roundtable. Max has facilitated theatre and arts development programs with children, youth, and community groups throughout their career. This includes work with City View Alternative Senior School, Driftwood, and Mixed Company in Toronto, and the Marion E. Bolden Centre (ArtsPower Collaboration), McCarter Theater Center, and the West Windsor Arts Centre in New Jersey. Max is extremely excited to jump into opera with ASOP, and to help foster students' skills in storytelling and performance.
Catherine Daniel of Edmonton studied voice with Coluratura soprano Tracy Dahl at the University of Manitoba. She was a member of the Atelier Lyqrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, and later became a member of the Opera Studio Nederlands.
Career highlights include debuting Klytemnestra in Edmonton Opera’s production of Elektra, singing Elisabetta in Knoxville Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and debuting at Carnegie Hall as a soloist in Haydyn’s Mass in Time of war.
Last season Ms. Daniel sang Emelda Griffiths in the Canadian premiere of Terrence Blanchard’s Champion with Opéra de Montréal. She returned to Knoxville to sing Santuzza in their production of Cavalleria Rusticana.
Catherine is thrilled to sing in two recital engagements in the fall and make her Opera Tampa debut in Carmen singing the title role.
Catherine is equally thrilled to join the COC outreach team for a third season. Working with children in opera has become a passion of hers.
Oboist Joseph Salvalaggio has held positions with the Thunder Bay and Windsor Symphonies, and most recently as Principal Oboe with the Memphis Symphony from 2000-1019. He has appeared with the orchestras of the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet, the National Arts Centre, and Montreal's Nouvel Ensemble Moderne for the Banff Opera tour of Berg's Wozzeck. Heard regularly in recital for CBC Radio and at the conventions of the International Double Reed Society, Mr. Salvalaggio's solo playing has inspired new works for the oboe by composers Beverly Lewis, Lothar Klein, Erik Ross, Elizabeth Raum and Prix Italia winner, Christos Hatzis.
In 2013, Joey launched Babu Press, a design firm that creates and performs literacy-focused classical music programming for young audiences. Commissions include works for the Memphis, Nashville and Tuscaloosa Symphonies, the Hot Springs Music Festival (Arkansas), as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and Northern Ireland's Walled City Music Festival.
Named to CBC Music’s “30 under 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians” list in 2017, Dr. Roydon Tse is an award-winning composer and educator who is passionate about communicating to all audiences through music. He brings a wealth of education and mentorship experience from working for organizations such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Regent Park School of Music, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto and the University of Toronto. As a composer, he has written music for orchestra, film, opera, chamber ensembles and choirs which have been performed in over 15 countries. He was awarded the 2018 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Prize for excellence in the arts and completed his Doctorate at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Norbert Palej.
Annie Castillo is a pianist who began her musical studies at a young age, with her artistic flair encouraged by her mother and early teachers. As such, Annie recognizes the deep influence an interested and motivated teacher can have on young students, and wishes to instil the same values in her own practice. Annie has been teaching music for nearly ten years, in creative and non-conventional ways. She encourages her students to dance, sing, play, and compose their own music throughout their learning journey. Annie graduated early from the University of Toronto in 2014 earning a Bachelor of Music Degree with a specialization in Music History and Theory. Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology at York University with a full scholarship. Her research focuses on queer musicology, and its intersections between music, identity, and political movements.
Christine Sutcliffe is currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, with a focus in music. Christine has experience as a pianist and vocalist, with advanced level certificates from the Royal Conservatory of Music and first prize awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing and other music festivals. Since 2017, Christine has worked with the Canadian Opera Company’s Education Department on programming including Summer Opera Camps and the After School Opera Program. Additionally, Christine has experience as a music teacher (piano, music theory, and music history) and recently received the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship from the University of Toronto to pursue independent, international research on the effects of opera digitalization on young audience engagement. She is thrilled to be returning to the Canadian Opera Company’s After School Opera Program again this year!
Praised for her stage presence, Soprano Karine White is passionate about the performing arts. An active and versatile artist, she enjoys both performing and teaching voice, dance and drama. Karine had the privilege of travelling to Italy to perform the roles of Musetta in La Bohème, Despina in Così fan tutte and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. In May 2017, she toured with Opera Atelier to the Royal Opera of Versailles, France with the production of Charpentier’s Medée. When not on stage or in rehearsal, she can be found teaching zumba, ballet and dance conditioning with the University of Toronto Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is also a vocal instructor for the Bachelor of Arts Music program at Tyndale University College and Seminary. Karine is a distinguished graduate of Western University with a Masters of Music in Performance and Literature and holds a Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto where she is presently on faculty as a movement instructor.
Saman Shahi is an award-winning and published composer, pianist, conductor and educator based in Toronto. Saman's compositions, including some of his short film scores have been performed in around the globe by renowned performers and ensembles. As a pianist and conductor, Saman has been an advocate of new music in Toronto where he regularly performs with a variety of Ensembles and musicians.
Saman is an affiliate Member of the Canadian League of Composers, Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre as well as a SOCAN member. He is also a co-founder and the executive director at the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto, ICOT. In 2019, Saman was appointed as the new Music Director at the Peterborough Concert band and also had the privilege of serving as a judge at the Juno Awards 2019.
Saman is also a member of the Circle music band, a rock fusion group in Toronto.
“I feel very fortunate to have had my child participate in this enriching experience. She’s gained confidence and had opportunities to express her creativity.” – Parent
The Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation
The McLean Foundation
Established program centres include: West Neighbourhood House Music School, Barbara Frum Recreation Centre, Montgomery's Inn, St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, Parkway Forest Community Centre.
Photo Credit: COC