About Us

Welcome to the Buchanan Park Opera Club (BPOC)! Each year since 1995, the students and staff of the Buchanan Park Opera Club have assembled together to create a masterpiece, and this year is no different...

Mrs. Martens: Artistic Director

Dawn Martens teaches music at Buchanan Park Elementary School in Hamilton, Ontario, where she has been the artistic director of the Buchanan Park Opera Club for twenty years.  She has a BA Hons from McMaster University, an MA from the University of Western Ontario, and a BEd from the University of Toronto.  She has appeared on CBC’s “Morningside” with Peter Gzowski, and on CBC’s “Midday” as well as on local TV and radio stations.  She is n recipient of an HWDSB Outstanding Achievement Award and a Profiling Excellence Award.  She is a member of the McMaster Alumni Gallery, has a Music Education Excellence Award from the Kodaly Society of Canada, and has been nominated for a Disney Teaching Award as well as Woman of the Year in the Arts for Hamilton Wentworth.  Dawn received a Ruby Award from Opera Canada in recognition of her support of arts education in Canada (other recipients include Richard Margison, CBC, etc.) . She is a much sought after pre-opera speaker who relates opera to popular culture.  In the fall of 2013, Dawn received her third Music Teacher of the Year Award (elementary school) by People’s Choice at The Hamilton Music Awards.  Her book  A is for Aria continues to be utilized by opera educators across North America.  Dawn is a worship leader in the Presbyterian Church, as well as a wife, a mother of two, and a rescuer of animals.  And, yes, she does have a whippet named “Figaro”.  When she gets older, Dawn wants to direct Placido Domingo at the Met and tour with Gary Sinese and the Lt. Dan Band.

Did you Know....?

The BPOC has mentored students in two other schools producing operas: Hakadote Junior High school in Japan who produced their own Carmen in October, 1999 and Hillcrest Elementary School in Surrey, BC who produced The Magic Flute in May, 2005

Every single child from grade one to six is involved in our opera... that's almost 250 participants!

Each year, Opening Night performances are "sold out" within days of placing tickets on sale.

Every child in all of our productions is costumed at no expense to their parents.

Every child involved in our opera has a job to do in some aspect of the production: the children literally "run the show" by being in the chorus, a lead, a dancer, or in the technical crew.

1,000 printed opera programs are produced each year for audience members.

All teaching staff and over 100 parents volunteer in some capacity for the opera.

The BPOC is the only public school opera club of its nature in Canada and, in fact, in North America.

Buchanan Park the only primary school in Canada to have hosted the world renowned CBC Opera Quiz.

Frederika von Stade and Placido Domingo - along with dozens of other opera singers and hundreds of opera fans - own one of Buchanan Park School's "Opera Oinker" pigs.

All of our net proceeds for each opera go to McMaster University's Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Research Fund at the Children's Hospital of Hamilton (Ontario) Health Sciences. Since 1997, we have donated C$55,228 dollars to this cause.

Copyright © 2014 Buchanan Park Opera Club. All Rights Reserved.