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Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

Davin Leivonen-Fok, Public Relations Assistant
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    By Public Relations
    Read the PDF version here.

    April Break programming for youth shines a light on career paths in the arts

    Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company invites students, ages 12-18, to see what a career in the performing arts could look like, through a new digital program slated to run during Ontario’s April Break for schools. Spring Break at the COC: Exploring New Opera offers five days of live webinars from April 12 – April 16, with daily sessions taking place from 2 – 3 p.m. ET.

    “Our team is incredibly passionate about opening wide the doors to a creative industry that has historically been seen as ‘high art’,” says COC Deputy General Director Christie Darville. “We want students to be able to envision a place within the art form for themselves, whether that’s as a creator or performer, a backstage technician, or simply as part of the audience. Programming like this helps young people of all backgrounds see all the attainable possibilities opera has to offer and we’re proud to support those explorations.”

    The interactive series, hosted by COC Teaching Artist Makenzie Morgan, explores the process of developing and producing new works, with a focus on Fantasma, an upcoming COC-commissioned Opera for Young Audiences. With a different artistic theme each day, participants will learn what it's like to work with a composer, design props and costumes for the stage, and much more.

    For full details, visit

    Program Schedule

    April 12 Music Making
    Fantasma composer and COC Composer-in-Residence Ian Cusson takes participants through the genesis of the opera’s story and how this translates into his music.

    April 13 From the Performer’s Perspective
    COC Ensemble Studio artists Matthew Cairns (tenor) and Alex Soloway (pianist) talk about what it’s like to work with a living composer, and workshopping a new role in an opera.

    April 14 The Real World of Props
    COC Props Supervisor Wulf Higgins shares a behind-the-scenes look at how the visual world of Fantasma is created and brought to life.

    April 15 Creating the Character
    Wig & Makeup Supervisor Sharon Ryman and Costume Supervisor Sandra Corazza give a sneak peek at two characters from Fantasma, Ms. Macaroni and Tino the Clown, as well as share some of their quick-change secrets.

    April 16 Staging the Show
    Stage director and dramaturg Julie McIsaac speaks with music therapist Dr. SarahRose Black about her considerations in staging Fantasma, as well as her thoughts on creating an engaging experience for young people from the moment audience members walk in the door.

    BMO Financial Group: Season Sponsor
    Perrier-Jouët: Official Champagne Partner of the Canadian Opera Company and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

    The COC Academy is underwritten by The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation.

    Major support from Anne & Tony Arrell, Marjorie & Roy Linden, RBC Foundation, The Slaight Family Foundation, Government of Canada, with additional support from Keith Ambachtsheer & Virginia Atkin, ARIAS: Canadian Opera Student Development Fund, Marcia Lewis Brown, Margaret Harriett Cameron and the late Gary Smith, Catherine Fauquier, Ethel Harris & the late Milton E. Harris, Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation, Joy Levine, Patricia & Frank Mills, Sue Mortimer, C. M., in memory of Clive Bennett Mortimer, The Stratton Trust, Janet Stubbs, Brian Wilks, Nora Wilson.

    Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. General Director Perryn Leech joined the company in 2021, forming a leadership team with Music Director Johannes Debus and Deputy General Director Christie Darville. The COC enjoys a loyal audience, including a dedicated base of subscribers, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. Its diverse repertoire includes new commissions and productions, local and international collaborations with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracts the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC Academy is an incubator for the future of the art form, nurturing Canada’s new wave of opera creators with customized training and support. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. For more information, visit

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    For more information or to request photographs, please contact:
    Avril Sequeira, Director of Public Relations, email: [email protected]
    Davin Leivonen-Fok, Public Relations Assistant, email: [email protected]

    Posted In Press Releases


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