Toronto-based Composer and Educator Dean Burry joins the Canadian Children’s Opera Company as Artistic Director following two decades of dedication to children’s opera in Canada. He has been a key player in the Education and Outreach Department of the Canadian Opera Company since designing the celebrated After-School Opera Program in 1997. Working as Program Leader, Music and Stage Director he has created over fifty operas with young people in various Toronto communities. He has developed and/or implemented many highly successful outreach programs for such organizations as the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Canadian Opera Company, Soundstreams, Ontario Arts Council, Live Bait Theatre, The Royal Conservatory of Music, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Toronto District School Board. He is also a professor of new and Canadian music at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory.
As an award-winning composer and librettist, Burry has written twelve nationally and internationally-performed theatrical works for young people, including The Hobbit, The Secret World of Og, The Scorpions’ Sting, The Bremen Town Musicians, Le nez de la sorcière, The Vinland Traveler, Angela and Her Sisters, Pandora’s Locker and The Sword in the Schoolyard. His opera The Brothers Grimm, commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company’s in 1999, has been presented over 600 times and is considered “the most performed Canadian opera in history” (Bill Richardson, CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera). Over 175,000 people in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Nashville, Chicago and Cardiff, Wales have seen the work and there will be a Brazilian production (in Portuguese) in October 2015. In 2011, Burry was honoured with the Ontario Arts Foundation’s Louis Applebaum Composer Award in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of music for young people.