HOS staff collaborative pianist and vocal coach Stéphane Mayer. /Submitted photo

Highlands Opera Studio bringing music to Head Lake Park

By Jenn Watt

Update (Sunday, Sept. 20): Due to new restrictions on size of outdoor gatherings, this event has been cancelled. We will provide details about any future plans as they are available.

The hills of Haliburton will once again be alive with the sound of music next weekend as opera singers Lauren Margison and River Guard and pianist Stéphane Mayer perform from the band shell of Head Lake Park.
Up to 100 people can attend the outdoor concert to comply with coronavirus precautionary guidelines, which is being offered for free by the Highlands Opera Studio on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m., with assistance from the Rotary Club of Haliburton and the Haliburton County Folk Society.

“This event is meant to be a gift to Haliburton County and not a fundraiser for Highlands Opera Studio,” general and co-artistic director Valerie Kuinka said in an email. “Although all the Highlands Opera Studio internal professional training and development took place online [this summer], an integral part of the program for these young professionals is spending time in Haliburton County and performing for our amazing audiences. This was deeply missed.”

River Guard, tenor/singer/songwriter, will be performing at the band shell in Haliburton on Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. /Photo submitted

Typically, those who are admitted into the program each year will come to Haliburton Village for professional training. This year, 15 singers and two pianists completed the program through the Zoom online conferencing app, receiving private coaching and participating in group sessions with opera professionals.

“We wanted to offer this concert to let the community know how much we missed them, and to share music from opera, musical theatre, and folk/pop performed by these three professional performers who are from the GTA who would’ve been in Haliburton this past summer,” Kuinka said.

Lauren Margison, operatic soprano/singer/songwriter, will perform at Head Lake Park on Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. as part of a free concert put on by Highlands Opera Studio. /Photo submitted

She thanked Ted Brandon of Haliburton Rotary Club and Thom Lambert of the Haliburton County Folk Society for helping to make the concert happen.

To reserve tickets go to: