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The CCOC Goes to The Secret World of Og

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The CCOC Goes to The Secret World of Og

In May, the Canadian Children's Opera Company is putting on an adaptation of Pierre Berton's beloved children's book, The Secret World of Og. Keep reading for details.

From our friends at the Canadian Children’s Opera Company:

A Canadian Children’s Opera company world premiere! The Secret World of Og, the beloved children’s story written by Canadian cultural icon Pierre Berton, is coming to Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre as a new opera. The Secret World of Og, with libretto and music by Dean Burry, is directed by Joel Ivany and conducted by Ann Cooper Gay. The set is designed by Glenn Davidson, with costumes by Jan Venus, and lighting design by Stephen Ross. The performances take place May 6 and 7 at 10 AM and 1 PM for school field trips– group sales only; and May 8 and 9 at 2 PM at 7:30 PM for the general public.

Ann Cooper Gay, the ebullient and irrepressible Executive Artistic Director of the CCOC, is excited to present this new production, featuring the musically and dramatically gifted choristers. “I want to ensure every member has the opportunity to develop a solid vocal technique, strong musical skills, and an in-depth understanding of text. Singers must be able to use their bodies to communicate confidently through dramatic study and performance. Children are natural performers, and it only takes two words to get them started: 'Let's pretend!' Something magical happens when the performer CHILD meets the ultimate art form, OPERA.”

This is the first opera adaptation of The Secret World of Og, which was previously mounted as a play by Vancouver’s Carousel Theatre in the spring of 2009, and was also a series on CBC Television. Before his death in 2004, Mr. Berton was made aware of the CCOC’s interest in this project, and was delighted.

A beloved Canadian children’s classic, The Secret World of Og, was written by Berton and illustrated by his daughter Patsy. It was published in 1961 and sold more then 200,000 copies, becoming a must-have in children’s bookshelves across the country. Of the 47 books Pierre Berton wrote, this was his favourite, as it was inspired by his own children. Every week, Berton received many fan letters from Canadian children. The story follows four children, Penny, Pamela, Peter, and Patsy as they search for their baby brother, Paul, aka “Pollywog”, who has disappeared from their playhouse. Accompanied by their brave pets, the children descend through a secret trap door into a mysterious underground world of mushrooms whose green inhabitants know only one word: “OG”.

Founded in 1968 by Ruby Mercer and Lloyd Bradshaw, the Canadian Children’s Opera Company is the only permanent children's opera company in Canada that commissions and produces operas for children on a regular basis. The CCOC is dedicated to fostering a lifelong enjoyment of the arts in children and youth through the magic of opera. For information on the CCOC season or how to audition or donate, please contact 416 366 0467 or visit

May 6 & 7, 2010 at 10AM & 1 PM (school trips; groups sales only)
May 8 & 9, 2010 at 2 PM & 7:30 PM (public performances)
School groups: $10 / Adults $35 / Students & Seniors, $15.
Ticket purchase: 416 973 4000 x 4856 or visit

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