Summer Youth Intensive


Opportunity. Community. Artistry.

The Summer Youth Intensive provides youth an opportunity to develop their performing arts or visual design skills and gain a behind-the-scenes perspective of what it takes to be a singer, director or designer in opera. Youth work with professional artists in specialized masterclasses and on group scene studies. They present a showcase of their hard work for family and friends at the end of the week.

“Summer Youth Intensive draws such interesting and enjoyable people to work with, and rehearsals are always such fun. It is a very intense, busy week with lots of opportunity for artistic growth, but the atmosphere is relaxed and joyful. It is my favourite time of the year!”
– Kyra Millan, Music Director (2013) and Vocal Masterclass Instructor (2010 – 2012)

Week 1: Monday, July 7 to Saturday, July 12, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Week 2: Monday, July 14 to Saturday, July 19, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ages: Youth in grades 9 to 12 with previous experience and/or interest in the performing arts
Location: Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre
Cost: $350 for one week or $625 for two weeks ($75 discount!). Some financial assistance is available. See FAQ for details.
Registration Deadline: June 22, 2014

Download the 2013/2014 Summer Youth Intensive Handbook with information about the program, including what to bring and program policies. 

Registration

Online: Click here to register online now. The registration deadline is June 22, 2014. A $3 service charge applies to online registration.

In person: Download a registration form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) and then visit our Box Office:

  • Four Seasons Centre Box Office, 145 Queen St. W.

If you prefer to register in person, please note that Box Office hours change seasonally, so be sure to check online before you make the trek out. Please call Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 or 1-800-250-4653.

By fax: Download a registration form and fax with credit card* payment to: 416-363-5584

By e-mail: Download a registration form, scan and e-mail it with credit card* payment to: education@coc.ca

Registrations by fax and e-mail are processed as quickly as possible in the order that they are received. Due to the high volume of registrations, your registration will ONLY be confirmed by e-mail once it has been entered into the system. 

*Please note we can only accept credit card payment with faxed and e-mailed registration.

Please contact Blanche Israel, Interim Children and Youth Programs Co-ordinator at 416-306-2307 or e-mail education@coc.ca for more information. 

FAQ

Where does the program take place?

The program takes place at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, which is located at 227 Front Street East. The drop-off point is located through the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre doors. The Imperial Oil Opera Theatre doors are located on the north east side of the building, close to Berkeley Street. 

For more information on how to get to the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre visit the Map and Directions page on our website.

Please note: the program does not take place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

What time does the program start?

Doors to the building will be open at 9:15 a.m. The program begins at 9:30 a.m.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. You can fill out a bursary application form for SYI here.

Please note that applications are assessed based on financial need and interest in the program. 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. 
Please complete the form below by April 30, 2014 to be considered for a bursary.

My child is in grade 8, can I enroll him/her in the program for youth in grades 9 to 12?

No. Exceptions may be made for participants entering grade 9 in the fall. This is not guaranteed and depends on program capacity at the time of inquiry. Please call education at 416-306-2307.

Is lunch included?

No. Lunch is not provided. Participants should pack a nut-free lunch, snacks and a refillable water bottle. We request that participants refrain from bringing food items that contain nut ingredients (ex. peanut butter sandwiches, peanut oil, etc.) to the program.

Participants with permission to leave the program unaccompanied may leave the premises for lunch. They must sign out with program staff.

What should I wear?

We encourage you to wear comfortable clothing for the workshops.

Participants who sign up for the stage combat masterclass should wear comfortable clothing that gives them free range of movement and should not wear heavy, tall boots or high-heeled shoes. Sneakers are recommended for participants taking the stage combat masterclass.

I/my child has an allergy. Who should I inform?

A mandatory health and medical safety form will be available closer to the program date. Please submit the completed form via email (scan and send the form to education@coc.ca), by fax to 416-363-2895, or bring the form on the first day of the program.

What will participants do each day?

The program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the mornings, participants experience what it is like to be a member of an opera chorus through group music and staging rehearsals. In the afternoon, students pursue their individual interests, choosing between elective sessions. Example elective sessions include: vocal masterclass, production design, and stage combat. On Saturday, participants will share their work with friends and family during an afternoon performance.

New This Year!

This year the Summer Youth Intensive will run for two weeks! Participants can sign up for just one week or for both weeks for a longer, more intensive experience. The first week will focus on excerpts from the 2014/2015 COC season. The second week will focus on excerpts from an opera written for young voices. See below for more details about Week One and Week Two.

In addition to group scene study and specialized masterclasses, participants this summer will benefit from special sessions, talks, and Q&As on working with an accompanist, sight-reading, vocal fatigue and care, auditions, singing in a chorus or in the COC Ensemble Studio, and diversity in opera.  

Program Content

Collaboration and teamwork is essential in opera, which is why mornings begin with group scene studies and focus on excerpts. Participants convene with a director, music director, and accompanist to do vocal warm-ups and exercises and then focus on preparing for their Saturday afternoon performance.

In Week One, youth will learn the music and staging for selected chorus numbers from operas from the COC’s 2014/2015 season. Explore the drama and grandeur of beloved, well-known, European operas of various periods and styles!

In Week Two, youth will learn the music and staging for selected numbers from an opera written especially for young voices. Experience the fresh and moving musical innovations of a more contemporary composer! Participants who have previously attended Summer Youth Intensive (in Week One or in previous years) will be given the opportunity to rehearse an additional, focused small group or solo scene.

In the afternoons, youth drive their own learning and participate in two masterclasses (1.5 hours each) of their choice.

Week 1 Masterclasses:

    • VOCAL I: TECHNIQUE: Come prepared to perform an aria or art song in front of a supportive group of peers and receive some positive and constructive feedback on how to improve your vocal technique. This masterclass will also include discussions on how to make the most of your practice time and tips on how to prepare for auditions.
    • VOCAL II: DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION: Take your performance to the next level in this workshop which focuses on character development, motivation, movement and musical expression. Working under the guidance of a director, participants go beyond the technical aspects of their singing and discover the dramatic side of opera. Youth will receive feedback on individual performances as well as participate in group exercises to develop their acting skills.
    • PRODUCTION: Find out what it really takes to work in the COC's production department by learning from the experts! You'll spend time behind the scenes in the costume, wig, and props departments at the COC and complete hands-on projects each day.
    • STAGE COMBAT: While a fight scene looks like a fast and furious battle, it really involves an incredible amount of discipline and control from the actors. Get ready to learn the basic techniques and principals of safe stage combat and choreograph a fight scene with your peers.
Week 2 Masterclasses:

    • VOCAL I: TECHNIQUE: Come prepared to perform an aria or art song in front of a supportive group of peers and receive some positive and constructive feedback on how to improve your vocal technique. This masterclass will also include discussions on how to make the most of your practice time and tips on how to prepare for auditions.
    • SPECIAL SMALL GROUP SCENE AND SOLO WORK: Have you attended Summer Youth Intensive before, either in Week One or in previous years? If the answer is, “Yes,” you can sign up to rehearse an additional scene and/or solo that will be featured in the Saturday afternoon performance.
    • PRODUCTION DESIGN: What is involved in creating the look of an opera production? In this masterclass you’ll work with a professional designer to complete hands-on design projects and learn the process of production design from concept to creation.
    • DRAMA: Hone your acting chops to heighten the intensity and quality of your vocal performance. You’ll learn how to use body movement, gesture, and facial expression to communicate emotion and intent. This masterclass will help you refine your acting technique through a series of rigorous drama activities and exercises.
Testimonials

“I loved expanding my musical horizons and getting better and polishing the things I am already good at. I had never sung opera before this program and it was cool to learn how to change my sound." – Participant

“It was fun! I received a lot of advice and tricks for the voice. Even if you have no experience, you learn so much in this program.” Participant

“I do already take voice lessons, but preparing for a career in music means it is incredibly helpful to hear from other teachers.” Participant

“It’s an amazing opportunity to gain experience as a young artist or simply a lover of opera, and to make friendships to last a lifetime!”  Participant

“He really enjoyed the opportunity to sing with other kids. He loved the instruction and variety of activities.”  Parent

“My daughter was so happy and full of life during this week. It was wonderful to see her so excited and to listen to her talk about her experience. This is her second year, and she loved it!”  Parent

“It was an enriching experience that taught them skills which will be particularly useful in their career and social pursuits.”  Parent

“My child enjoyed the program a lot. This time she was focused on stage performance more than vocal (which is unusual for her), and I believe her confidence on stage improved.”  Parent

Who should attend the summer youth intensive program?

The Summer Youth Intensive is designed for participants at any level of experience and training in performing arts. This program provides all participants the opportunity to connect with peers who share their passion for opera, to learn from high calibre artist-educators who maintain both professional performance practices with specific connections to opera and extensive teaching practices, and to benefit from interacting with the people and spaces behind the scenes at the COC.


HOW DOES THE PROGRAM BENEFIT SINGERS WITH MORE EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING?

  • Individualized instruction in masterclasses focuses on more advanced technique for more advanced students
  • Participants meet professionals and peers in the opera field and gain inspiration by all they have to offer and share
  • Improves and polishes existing skills
  • Teaches new repertoire and new skills that will be useful in their career and social pursuits
  • A good preparation for post-secondary music, opera and performance programs
  • A comfortable space in which to discuss long-term career paths and goals with professionals and other aspiring performers

HOW DOES THE PROGRAM BENEFIT PARTICIPANTS WHO COME TO THE PROGRAM WITH LESS EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING?

  • Individualized instruction in masterclasses focuses on more introductory technique for students with less experience
  • Helps participants to discover their voices in a comfortable, welcoming and supportive environment
  • Exposure to and learning from listening to the talent of both instructors and peers
  • Teaches the broad scope of careers in opera and performing arts and expands their musical horizons
  • Builds confidence
  • A rich introduction to opera for people new to the art form
  • A chance to step out of their comfort zone and try something new

FAQ

Where does the program take place?

Summer Youth Intensive takes place at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, which is located at 227 Front Street East, Toronto. The drop-off point is located through the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre doors. The Imperial Oil Opera Theatre doors are located on the north east side of the building, close to Berkeley Street. 

For more information on how to get to the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre visit the Map and Directions page on our website.

Please note: the program does not take place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

What time does the program start?

Doors to the building will be open at 9:15 a.m. The program begins at 9:30 a.m.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. Contact education@coc.ca for more information.

My child is in grade 8. Can I enroll him/her in the program for youth in grades 9 to 12?

Exceptions may be made for participants entering grade 9 in the fall. This is not guaranteed and depends on program capacity at the time of inquiry. Please call education at 416-306-2307.

Is lunch included?

Lunch is not provided. Participants should pack a nut-free lunch, snacks and a refillable water bottle. We request that participants refrain from bringing food items that contain nut ingredients (ex. peanut butter sandwiches, peanut oil, etc.) to the program.

Participants with permission to leave the program unaccompanied may leave the premises for lunch. They must sign out with program staff.

What should participants wear?

We encourage participants to wear comfortable clothing for the workshops.

Participants who sign up for the stage combat masterclass should wear comfortable clothing that gives them free range of movement and should not wear heavy, tall boots or high-heeled shoes. Sneakers are recommended for participants taking the stage combat masterclass.

I/my child has an allergy. Who should I inform?

A mandatory health and medical safety form will be available closer to the program date. Please submit the completed form via e-mail (scan and send the form to education@coc.ca), by fax to 416-363-2895, or bring the form on the first day of the program.

What will participants do each day?

The program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the mornings, participants experience what it is like to be a member of an opera chorus through group music and staging rehearsals. In the afternoon, students pursue their individual interests, choosing between elective sessions. Example elective sessions include: vocal masterclass, production design, and stage combat. On Saturday, participants will share their work with friends and family during an afternoon performance.


Program Supporters:

J.P. Bickell Foundation
State Street

2013 Summer Youth Intensive participant. Photo Credit: COC © 2013

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Education and Oureach Policies

PDF document includes policy pertaining to educational programs for children, youth and school bookings.