Youth Programming

Opera Atelier works with over 1000 young people annually through our various workshops and guest instructing opportunities. Our goal is for participants in our programs to leave with a greater understanding of our particular art form, a deeper investment in the arts generally and our company specifically, and the feeling of empowerment that comes from learning in, through, and about the arts.

By offering the majority of these programs free of charge, Opera Atelier aims to be as inclusive as possible, providing students from all backgrounds a real participatory opportunity that might not otherwise be possible. Please email Opera Atelier for more information.

Making of an Opera

Since 1996, Opera Atelier’s Making of an Opera (MOAO) program has annually given more than 1,000 young people a one-day, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about, participate in, and experience the magic of opera, completely free of charge.

Through a series of hands-on, interactive workshops, school groups of students aged 12-18 have the opportunity to work with the professional team behind our productions to explore every aspect of opera. These workshops take place in the rehearsal studios at the historic Elgin Theatre

The week of one-day workshops takes place once each spring and once each fall, and is focused on the corresponding Opera Atelier production.

Following the workshops, students attend a complete performance and witness how all of these different components of the opera come together in a live show.

These sessions may include:

The social and historical context of opera, as interpreted in Opera Atelier’s productions.

Key elements of musical style, with performances by an Opera Atelier singer.

Set design, looking at how materials, set painting, construction methods and lighting techniques are used to set the visual tone of a production.

Stage fighting, with expert fight trainers guiding students through the basic techniques, complete with real stage swords and culminating in a performance by students.

The fundamentals of Baroque dancing, taught by choreographers and dancers from Artists of Atelier Ballet.


Who should attend MOAO?

The workshop is recommended for high school students, but may also be suitable for some grade 7 and 8 classes. School groups from all disciplines are welcome: Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Arts, History, Social Studies and Career Planning.

What’s a day like at MOAO?

Students and teachers arrive at the Elgin Theatre rehearsal space at 9:00 am in the morning, and participate in a fun-filled day of workshops and discussions about Baroque opera, ballet and performance.

Sample Schedule

The History of Opera Atelier

Set Design and Production


17th and 18th Century Music and Performance


Baroque Court Dance


Stage Fighting

Please note that programming may change each session based on the production's focus and artist availability, and we cannot guarantee participation in a particular session. Our program is offered to participating schools completely free of charge; transportation remains the school's responsibility. Teachers interested in bringing their students should contact us — we welcome new schools from the Toronto area and beyond.

first-comeRegistration for the program is limited due to capacity. Forms are sent out to our mailing list in June and December to reserve a spot for the upcoming session. Schools are accepted on a first come, first-served basis.  


Looking to bring the magic of opera to your school? We have a variety of offerings such as Q&As, Career Discussions, Vocal Workshops and Masterclass opportunities that can be hosted at your school or virtually. Please get in touch to design a unique experience for your students!

Please contact us if your school is interested in exploring a partnership with Opera Atelier through our Making of an Opera program.