Media Release

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TORONTO, March 10, 2004 – The Music with Bite concert series invites families to journey to Middle Earth for an hour of epic storytelling and song. The Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus (CCOC) under the direction of Ann Cooper Gay, performs selections from their new operatic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit by composer/librettist Dean Burry. It is a wonderful tale about Gandalf the Wizard leading Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf companions on a frightening–but magical–musical journey from which they might never return.

Audiences will be offered a sneak peek at a brand new score and an inside look at how a new opera is created by Dean Burry who will also be part of the performance as a storyteller in the role of Gandalf and Smaug. Conducted by Ann Cooper Gay, Artistic Director, and accompanied by Errol Gay, piano, The Hobbit, takes place on Sunday, March 28, at 1 p.m., at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Tickets are $8 each or $25 for four tickets. For tickets and information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfront.on.ca.

Newfoundland-born composer Dean Burry has been an active composer and performer in Toronto and throughout the Atlantic provinces. Burry’s opera The Brothers Grimm, commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company (COC) and Music Canada 2000 was seen by over 30,000 Ontario school children and will be touring again in May, 2004. He is currently working on another children’s opera for the COC entitled Isis and the Seven Scorpions.

Founded in 1968 by Ruby Mercer and Lloyd Bradshaw, the CCOC is unique in Canada as the only permanent children’s opera chorus which develops and produces new operas for children. Under Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay, the CCOC participates as the children’s chorus in all Canadian Opera Company’s productions requiring children’s voices.

The CCOC performance of The Hobbit is the 6th in this popular series of Sunday presentations. Music with Bite is an intimate, refreshing experience; children can sit up close to the artists and can ask them questions after the concert, while enjoying complimentary milk and cookies. Music with Bite, a co-production with Jeunesses Musicales of Ontario, is designed to bring families to Harbourfront Centre and give them the opportunities to sample music of all styles in a friendly, accessible format. All of the artists selected to perform at the concerts bring an element of interactivity, education and entertainment to their programmes. Jeunesses Musicales of Canada has, since 1949, dedicated its work to musical excellence and the promotion of music for young people. Jeunesses Musicales of Canada is a member of Jeunesses Musicales International.

Music with Bite is co-produced with Jeunesses Musicales of Ontario with the support of the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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Media Contact: Linda Liontis, 416-973-4381, linda@harbourfront.on.ca
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