After School Opera Program

singing! Movement! drama! art! play!

The After School Opera Program is for children ages seven to 12. A maximum of 25 students can participate per term at each of the program's five locations.

Children learn about many aspects of opera including singing, acting, directing and set and costume design through hands-on experiences and the expertise of special guests. The participants use what they have learned and apply it to a new work written either by composer and program leader Dean Burry, or by choreographer/director/conductor Markus Howard. Participants perform the world premiere of this new opera to family and friends during the final class. Take a look at past performances!

Each term of the After School Opera Program runs for approximately 10 weeks. Registration costs vary by location, starting as low as $10 to a maximum of $15 for the entire program. See locations below for details.

Download the 2013/2014 After School Opera Program Parent Handbook with information about the program, including what to bring and program policies. 

2013/2014 Themes for Etobicoke, North Toronto, West Central Toronto and East Central Toronto


Fall – Paleontology
Participants will travel back to prehistoric times and create an opera that draws on the fascinating lives and larger-than-life movements and sounds of dinosaurs!

Winter – Archeology
Digging below the surface of things to uncover mysteries and ancient artifacts, participants will embark on an exciting adventure reflected in movement, visual arts, and music.

Spring – Astronomy
Guided by shooting stars and comets, participants will explore the mythology of the constellations through music and drama. 

2013/2014 Themes for East Scarborough


Each term, the program leader will work with participants to generate an original theme for their opera.

Mondays, Etobicoke

All classes take place on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Ourland Community Centre located at 18 Ourland Ave. (at Islington).

  • Fall – 9 classes; September 30 to December 9, 2013; excluding Thanksgiving Monday
  • Winter – 8 classes; January 6 to March 3, 2014; excluding Family Day
  • Spring – 9 classes; March 31 to June 9, 2014; excluding Easter Monday and Victoria Day

The cost is $11 per student per term.

To Register: Registration for fall and winter opens September 7, 2013. Registration for spring opens March 1, 2014. To register, call 311 or 416-394-8673 or go online at toronto.ca/torontofun. The After School Opera Program is listed as "Opera For Children" under Performing Arts.

Tuesdays, North District Toronto

All classes take place on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 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).

  • Fall – 9 classes; October 1 to November 26, 2013
  • Winter – 9 classes; January 7 to March 4, 2014
  • Spring – 10 classes; April 1 to June 3, 2014

The cost is $11 per student per term.

To Register: Registration for fall and winter opens September 10, 2013. Registration for spring opens March 4, 2014. To register, call 311 or 416-395-6123 or go online at toronto.ca/torontofun. The After School Opera Program is listed as "Opera For Children" under Performing Arts.

Wednesdays, West Central Toronto

All classes take place on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Community Hall of St. Christopher House, 248 Ossington Ave. (at Dundas Street West).

  • Fall – 10 classes; September 25 to November 27, 2013
  • Winter – 9 classes; January 8 to March 5, 2014
  • Spring – 10 classes; March 26 to May 28, 2014

The cost is $15 per student per term.

To Register: The fall term is open to all students. Registration starts September 9, 2013. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the program there are limitations on enrolment for the winter and spring terms. To ensure that ALL children get a chance to participate, a student may register for one of the three sessions. The same child may be put on a waiting list for the other sessions. Children who have not previously participated in the program will get priority over those on the waiting list.

 After September 9, 2013, registration forms will be available through the Music School office or reception. You can also download a registration form (PDF) after September 16. To register, you must complete and sign a registration form (one per child) and pay the registration fee. You may leave the complete forms with the receptionist, who will return them to the Music School Co-ordinator.

Please contact Sherry Squires, Music School Co-ordinator at 416-532-4828 x. 127 or e-mail sherrysq@stchrishouse.org for more information.

Thursdays, East Central Toronto

All classes take place on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the dance studio at St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, 230 The Esplanade (Front and Parliament).

  • Fall – 10 classes; October 3 to December 5, 2013
  • Winter – 9 classes; January 9 to March 6, 2014
  • Spring – 10 classes; April 3 to June 5, 2014  

The cost is $11 per student per term.

To Register: Registration for fall and winter opens September 11, 2013. Registration for spring opens March 5, 2014. To register, call 311 or 416-392-1347 or go online at toronto.ca/torontofun. The After School Opera Program is listed as "Opera For Children" under Performing Arts.

Thursdays, North York District

All classes take place on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room located at Pleasantview Community Centre, 545 Van Horne Ave. (Finch Ave. and Victoria Park Ave.).

  • Spring – 11 classes; April 3 to June 12, 2014

The cost is $11 per student per term.

To Register: Registration for spring opens March 4, 2014. To register, call 311 or 416-338-4386 or go online at toronto.ca/torontofun. The After School Opera Program is listed as "Opera For Children" under Performing Arts.


Program Supporters:

The McLean Foundation
The Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation
State Street
Anonymous

Established program centres include: St. Christopher House Music School, Barbara Frum Recreation Centre, Ourland Community Centre, St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, Pleasantview Community Centre.

After School Opera Program participants at Ourland Community Centre, 2013. Photo Credit: COC

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