Stage Door News

Toronto: Two performances of COC’s “Hansel & Gretel” will be for young audiences

Monday, November 18, 2019

Kids are in for a sweet treat this winter when the Canadian Opera Company’s annual Opera for Young Audiences production moves to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for two special performances on February 13 and 15, 2020. The Engelbert Humperdinck classic, Hansel & Gretel, has been adapted with young audiences in mind, featuring a shortened 90-minute runtime and English performance. Rising young stars of the COC Ensemble Studiosing the main roles, accompanied by the acclaimed COC Orchestra led by COC Music Director Johannes Debus.

“Opera for Young Audiences is one of the most important ways we introduce young people to the art form and help them become lifelong opera fans. And this year, we’re able to open our doors to more young audience members than ever before,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “Hansel & Gretel is an all-time family favourite with universal themes, which makes it perfect for our youth-oriented programming.” 

In this production of Hansel & Gretel, from director Joel Ivany, the classic fairytale gets a modern twist when two curious siblings set off to explore their urban surroundings – and encounter some quirky neighbours along the way. With no limits to their imaginations, the ordinary becomes extraordinary in this timeless story of family, teamwork, and everyday magic. Throughout the familiar story, the production weaves contemporary issues, such as climate change, food sustainability, and personal wellness, giving it particular resonance for today’s youth. On the day of the performance, young audience members can also head to the opera house early to participate in free, hands-on activities that add meaning and context for the Hansel & Gretel show they’re about to watch. 

Another special feature of this year’s Opera for Young Audiences: Hansel & Gretel performances is the inclusion of a mass children’s chorus, made up of five different community choirs from across the GTA: the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Common Thread Kids!, Nai Children’s Choir, Reaching out Through Music/St. James Town Children’s Choir, and YIP’s Children’s Choir (Canada). Many of these young choristers will be performing in their first opera, or professional production of any kind, and will be singing the children’s chorus part in Hansel & Gretel

Opera for Young Audiences: Hansel & Gretel is ideal for young people in grades 4 to 12. It is sung in English, with English SurtitlesTM.


Tickets for the general public go on sale November 21, 2019. Regular price tickets range from $30–100, children ages 15 and under are eligible for half-price tickets ranging from $15–50. To book tickets, visit, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or visit the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

Tickets for school groups are $15 per student, which includes one free teacher/chaperone ticket for every 10 student tickets purchased. They can be purchased by contacting or calling 416-363-8231.