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COC Summer Opera Camps
Virtual Summer Programming for Youth & Teens
July 6 – 23, 2021


This year, COC Summer Opera Camps are going online! With options for both younger students and for teens, campers of different ages have the opportunity to build confidence, discover new interests, and explore opera as both creators and performers, culminating in a digital final performance for family and friends.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

COC Summer Opera Camp

July 6 – 8 & July 13 – 15, 2021


COC Summer Opera Camp invites young creatives entering grades 5-8 to learn about composition, drama, and design. This 6-day program culminates in a final virtual showcase on the last day for family and friends. Campers will learn about composition, drama, and set design, through the making of an original opera. With the assistance of COC Teaching Artists, participants will play an active role throughout, from creating the storyline and music to prop production, culminating in a final virtual performance for family and friends. No previous experience with music or opera required.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER

COC Summer Opera Camp

PROGRAM DATES:
These online sessions run daily from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Tuesday, July 6 – Thursday, July 8, 2021
Tuesday, July 13 – Thursday, July 15, 2021

FEE: $215.00 CAD
Bursaries available

NOTE: Registration is now closed for the COC Summer Opera Camp. Please contact [email protected] to have your name added to the waitlist

MEET THE TEACHING ARTISTS


Annemarie Cabri – Movement & Dance Specialist


Best known for her passion and ability to amplify dance for the non-dance-trained individual, Annemarie Cabri is a Teaching Artist for the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company. Annemarie trained in classical ballet and graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School; performing many years with the Dutch National Ballet led her to a modern dance repertoire and, later, a return to performing in Canada.


Tiffany Folmeg – Design Specialist

Tiffany Folmeg is a visual artist and secondary school educator, hailing from both York Region and Simcoe County. Her art practice focuses on 3D elements, sculpture, and all modes of building. She also has a knack for photography, teaching and practicing the importance of a specific eye and focal point. Both media merge into a symphony of style, propping up one another for display purposes and to further the discussion on her most prized topic, mental health. One of Tiffany's most successful pieces to date was a 250lb brain limestone carving for "The Brain Project" by Baycrest in Toronto. She was part of the inaugural show, in which art pieces were displayed across the city, and then later auctioned off for charity. Currently, Tiffany is an Art Department Head working with students from grades 9 to 12, teaching them critical thought development and building artistic theory. In the summer she hopes to revisit her stone carving discipline to venture into new and traditional practices.



Saman Shahi – Composition Specialist

Saman Shahi is an award-winning and published composer, pianist, conductor, and educator based in Toronto. His compositions have been performed around the globe and include four orchestral works, three operas, two ballets, and many works for choral, vocal, and chamber forces.

Saman holds a master's degree in composition from the University of Toronto, 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 a co-founder and the Executive Director at ICOT, Music Director at the Peterborough Concert Band, and a composer and teaching artist with the Canadian Opera Company.

In 2020 Saman's critically acclaimed debut composition album Breathing in the Shadows was recorded and released by Leaf Music. Two of the song cycles in this album have already earned awards in both Canada and the United States.



Karine White – Voice Specialist

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 The Marriage of Figaro. In May 2017, she toured with Opera Atelier to the Royal Opera of Versailles, France, for their production of Charpentier’s Medée. She 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.


COC Opera Teens Summer Intensive

July 19 – 23, 2021


The COC Opera Teens Summer Intensive invites students in high school or entering first-year post-secondary to participate in a one-week program designed to provide a framework for young artists interested in exploring a career in professional singing.

Participants will be in virtual programming from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily, with private coaching sessions scheduled in the afternoons. Each singer will receive one private voice coaching and one private dramatic coaching.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER
COC Opera Teens Summer Intensive

Classes will focus on lyric diction, acting, breath & body training for singers, and audition & performance techniques. This program also includes one-on-one sessions with professional opera coaches. Past experience with music and/or singing is strongly recommended.

The final performance will be a showcase recital of the music participants have worked on with their coaches over the course of the week, performed live from the participants’ home on the last day of the program. 

There are no formal auditions for this program, but it is recommended that you have some experience with music and singing in order to participate. Participants will be expected to come to the first day of camp with two songs they would like to work on throughout the week (one Italian art song or aria, and one art song in English), as well as a piano accompaniment track that they can use in lessons and performance. 

Not to worry if you don’t have an accompaniment track for your music! We would be happy to connect you with a pianist who can create an accompaniment track just for you (additional fee required). 

PROGRAM DATES:
Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
July 19th - 23rd, 2021

Please note: Private lessons and coachings will be scheduled in the afternoons between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Students will receive confirmation of their lesson times prior to the start of the program. 

FEE: $325.00 CAD
Bursaries available

NOTE: Registration is now closed for the COC Opera Teens Summer Intensive. Please contact [email protected] to have your name added to the waitlist.”



MEET THE TEACHING ARTISTS

Steven Leigh – Corrective Phonetics for Opera Singers Specialist (C-PhOS) and Lyric Diction Coach


Steven Leigh works with the COC Ensemble Studio to achieve standard stage-language pronunciation in Italian, German, French and English repertoire. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s (UofT) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), where his research integrates pronunciation pedagogy theory with his background as a professional opera singer and linguist. Presentations of his research-in-progress have included a public demonstration-lecture with the COC's Spotlight Series, as well as workshops for the COC Orchestra Academy and Ensemble Studio.

Steven has given masterclasses in opera lyric diction at UofT’s Faculty of Music and the Irish National Opera Studio, and has been a lyric diction instructor at the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal and at Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In addition to his work at the COC, Steven teaches a series of lyric diction classes he developed for the Royal Conservatory of Music's Taylor Academy and has previously taught at the RCM's Glenn Gould School. Highlights as a singer include the world premiere performance of Srul Irving Glick’s A Life's Journey (Songs for Isaac) in Toronto, Don José in Carmen with the Illinois Opera Theater, the Duke in Rigoletto at Fairfield Halls, England, and appearances in Montreal with the Cantabile Chorale and Orchestra.



Elizabeth McDonald – Voice Singer, teacher, and arts leader

Elizabeth McDonald considers herself a multi-hyphenate creative working to move the singing industry forward. During the pandemic, she co-founded em2CONNECT to create a system for mentoring artists into taking actionable steps towards clarifying their goals. She also co-hosts From the Voice of, a free online community and platform to bring collaboration, equity and action, and connection to the arts.

Elizabeth is a co-founder of the trio, Women on the Verge (WOV), where she has worked to bring awareness to the works of Canadian female composers. WOV have performed in the UK, Iceland, and France and has toured Western Canada and the U.S. WOV created the podcast Getting the Song Out in 2020 and will premiere a new commission by Canadian composer Cecilia Livingston and Toronto Poet Laureate Anne Michaels in 2021.

As a faculty member with the University of Toronto, Elizabeth's students have won major awards, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition, and the E-Gré National Music Competition. Elizabeth serves as a member of the Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Standing Committee and is a member of the Faculty of Music Safe Space. Elizabeth holds a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto; she was a young artist with Santa Fe Opera and the Canadian Opera Company and has conducted masterclasses all over the world.

Elizabeth is a proud Prince Edward County native where she lives with her husband and two teenage children.



Jennifer Swan – Breath and Body Training

As Performance Kinetics Consultant with the COC Ensemble Studio, Jennifer Swan works in private and group sessions with Canada’s top emerging singers. Her methodology creates, sustains, and strengthens a singer's breath support, a technique that evolved from her extensive dance and Pilates background. Her voice method has also been an integral part of the program at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) since 2008. She joined the teaching team at St Andrews by-the-Sea in 2016, has been a regular guest lecturer at the University of Toronto’s voice studies program since 2010, and has led annual workshops at Choirs Ontario since 2012. As resident choreographer for the Toronto Children’s Chorus since 2011, she choreographed the world premiere of Nikmaq by Donald Patriquin as well as debuts of Tsimshian Welcome Chant by Patriquin in 2015 and Arctic Lights by Lori-Anne Dolloff in 2016. Jennifer has also worked extensively with various international Olympic athletes, including figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. She choreographed their award-winning Carmen routine in 2013 and their programs for the 2014 Olympics. Jennifer is the artistic director of Performance Architects/Swan Studio Dance and Children’s Dance Project in London, Ontario. She obtained her bachelor of arts degree (honours) in dance from the University of Waterloo.



Anna Theodosakis – Acting

Anna Theodosakis is a stage director, choreographer, and educator based in Toronto. She is a sessional lecturer for the University of British Columbia and is a guest lecturer this season with Dalhousie University, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Toronto, University of Lethbridge, the Glenn Gould School, and the University of Manitoba. Anna is a dramatic coach for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio and directed the Ensemble in their 2019 mainstage performance of La Bohème. She also directed the COC’s Opera for Young Audiences WOW Factor: A Cinderella Story. Recent directing credits include Die Fledermaus (Dalhousie University), Don Giovanni (Brott Opera), and dawn always begins in the bones (University of Toronto/Manitoba, COC Ensemble, 21C Festival). This summer she will direct Brott Opera’s Così fan tutte.




OTHER RESOURCES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 with some flexibility. If you cancel your child’s registration on or before May 3, 2021, you are entitled to a full refund. Any registrations cancelled between May 3, 2021, and June 28, 2021, will be partially refunded (less a 25% administration fee). 

No refunds will be given after the program registration deadline date of June 28, 2021. 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 CAMP TAKE PLACE?

This season, COC Summer Opera Camps will take place completely online! Participants will meet in a zoom room, and camp activities will take place digitally. 


WHAT TYPE OF TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE?

All students will need a computer, laptop, or tablet with a working webcam in order to participate. 

Over the course of the week, students in the COC Summer Opera Camp program will compose and learn music that they will need to record from home after the first three days of programming. Participants and caregivers will be given detailed instructions on how to create and submit this video which will then be used in the final performance. 

Participants in the COC Opera Teens Summer Intensive program will perform live from their homes, using accompaniment tracks. For this program, participants will also need a second device, from which they can play their accompaniment track - for example, a boombox and CD, Bluetooth speaker, phone, tablet, etc. 

If you have any questions about any of the technical aspects or requirements of this program, please do not hesitate to get in touch at [email protected]  


DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE LOCATED IN TORONTO TO PARTICIPATE?

This year’s summer opera camps will take place 100% online - which means participants can tune in from anywhere in the world! Please note that all participant fees will be collected in Canadian dollars. 


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.

If you would like to apply for a bursary, please click here to download the bursary application. The deadline for all bursary applications will be May 17, 2021, however, bursaries will be awarded on an ongoing basis, so it is best to apply as early as possible. If you have any questions about the application process, please reach out to [email protected]  


WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD WEAR TO CAMP?

Even though this year’s camp is digital, clothing should still be appropriate for active fun! Campers will be involved in drama and dance sessions which will require them to have a wide range of movement. Clothing should be chosen accordingly. 


WHO TEACHES AT CAMP?

The COC Summer Opera Camp program will be led by an artistic team including a composition and voice specialist. Students will also have visits from guest artists throughout the week, including, a drama and movement specialist, and a designer.

The Opera Teens Intensive will be led by coaches of the COC Academy program, and opera professionals from the Greater Toronto Area. 

Stay tuned for biographies of the artistic team!


WHAT WILL MY CHILD DO IN CAMP?

COC Summer Opera Camp 

During the COC Summer Opera Camp session, your child will explore composing, singing, story creation, acting, movement, and the visual arts, while having fun AND meeting new friends with similar interests. Working with an existing story as a starting point, participants will write and compose their own opera with help from professional teaching artists. Participants will present a digital recital on the final day of programming to family and friends. Since the performance will be over zoom, family and friends will be able to tune in from anywhere in the world! 

COC Opera Teens Summer Intensive

During the Opera Teens program, participants will come to camp with 2-3 songs they would like to work on throughout the week. Participants will receive one-on-one time with a voice teacher who can offer technical and artistic suggestions in performing their chosen repertoire. They will also receive one-on-one time with a drama coach. Teens will also participate in group sessions on lyric diction (speaking and singing in languages such as Italian, German, and French), performance and audition tips & tricks, as well as acting and movement classes designed especially for singers. Participants will present a digital recital on the final day of programming to family and friends on the last day of the program. Since the performance will be over zoom, family and friends will be able to tune in from anywhere in the world! 

Curious to know what a digital performance can look like? Check out the opening number from the world premiere of the digital opera: Change of Heart presented by participants in our Opera Makers partnership with Sistema Toronto. 
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 Community 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

The application period for bursaries is now open. The deadline for all bursary applications will be May 17, 2021, however, bursaries will be awarded on an ongoing basis, so it is best to apply as early as possible. Please click here to download the bursary application

Questions? Contact [email protected].
SUMMER CAMPS TESTIMONIALS
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


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."

"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 favourite part because everything was amazing."

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