Highlands Opera Studio


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"A summer program unlike any other in Canada and one that is on par with its international counterparts. The level and standard of professional consultants that HOS brings is humbling to say the least." – Robert Clark, tenor




Louise-Andree BarilBorn in Cornwall, Ontario, Louise-Andrée Baril obtained a master’s degree in piano at the University of Montreal in 1983. She then went on to study with Maria Curçio in London, England, and attended several chamber music workshops with Menahem Pressler. Winner of the Concours des matinées symphoniques de Montréal and the Canadian Music Competition, she was also awarded, in 1977, the first prize at the Young Pianists Competition in New York, which was followed by a recital at Carnegie Hall. Louise-Andrée Baril pursues a very active solo and chamber music career. She performs regularly in Canada, the United States, Mexico, South America and Europe. Since the beginning of her career, she has made over twenty recordings. She is a member of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) with whom she frequently plays in concert. For three years, she was the pianist of the popular television programme “Faites vos gammes” on Radio-Canada, hosted by the violinist Angèle Dubeau. She is also a member of La Pietà, a chamber orchestra that is as popular on disc as in concert. As well, she is a rehearsal pianist at the Opéra de Montréal, the Montreal Conservatory of Music and the University of Montreal. At this latter institution, she leads the opera workshop and teaches accompaniment. She is the musical director of the Orford Summer Festival opera workshop.

Louise-Andrée Baril has long since been recognized as one of Canada’s most accomplished musicians.



Joan DornemannMs. Dornemann, Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor, is one of the most highly respected opera coaches in the world today. She has worked with such singers as Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Sherrill Milnes, Kiri Te Kanawa, Montserrat Caballe, Deborah Voigt, Renée Fleming, Leo Nucci and others. She has been associated with the Gran Liceo in Barcelona, the Spoleto Festival, the New York City Opera, Opera National de Paris and the Kirov Opera. Ms. Dornemann has received an Emmy Award for her contribution to the highly acclaimed first Live From the Met first telecast of La Bohème. She is the author of "Complete Preparation: A Guide to Auditioning for the Opera".



Janelle FungJanelle Fung made her professional debut at the age of 14 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has appeared with the Orchestre de Lyon, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Eastman Philharmonic, and Rochester Chamber Orchestra. She has concertized extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and has made concert tours of France, Italy, South Korea, and Japan. Highlights of the past year include concerts at Merkin Hall in New York City and the National Art Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Fung has been a prize winner in numerous national and international competitions, including the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition, the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, the Concours OSM-Standard Life, and the Canadian Music Competition.  She has been featured on radio stations nationally and internationally including CBC, Radio-Canada, Classical 96.3 FM, NPR, and Radio France.

Ms. Fung, with her colleague and friend Philip Chiu, forms the Fung-Chiu Duo.  Winners of the 2014 Musician of the Year award from the British Columbia Touring Council, the Fung-Chiu has toured extensively across Canada. They are currently at work on their second CD, which will showcase their own transcriptions of ballets by Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

Ms. Fung has an avid interest in opera.  She has studied collaborative piano with Margo Garrett at The Juilliard School and Martin Katz at Music Academy of the West, and has collaborated with Nicole Cabell, Teresa Stratas, and William Warfield.  She has toured twice as “orchestra” and Touring Artistic Director for opera productions presented by Jeunesses Musicales Canada, and is the gala pianist for Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques in Montreal.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, Janelle Fung began her piano studies at the age of four. Her principal teachers have included Nelita True, Julian Martin, Seymour Lipkin and Jacques Rouvier. Ms. Fung received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. She recently received her doctorate from the Université de Montréal where she is the currently the teaching assistant to Marc Durand.



Julie Jordan GunnJulie Jordan Gunn is a pianist, music director, vocal coach, and song arranger. She has appeared on many prestigious recital series over the last several years, including the Carnegie Hall Pure Voice Series, Lincoln Center Great Performers, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Brussels’ Theatre de la Monnaie, San Francisco’s Herz Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, University of Chicago Presents, San Francisco Performances, Oberlin College, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Ravinia Festival, Manhattan’s legendary Café Carlyle, and the United States Supreme Court.  She has been heard in recital with William Burden, Elizabeth Futral, Richard Croft, Mandy Patinkin, Yvonne Gonzales Redman, Michelle De Young, the Pacifica Quartet, and Nathan Gunn. This season she looks forward to concerts with Mandy Patinkin and Nathan Gunn in Australia, with Isabel Leonard and Stefan Milenkovich at home at the Krannert Center, and recitals in Charleston, Detroit, and Indiana.

She has served on the music staff at the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, St. Louis Opera Theatre, Southern Methodist University, Opera North, Theaterworks, Chicago Opera Theater, Cincinnati Opera and Illinois Opera Theater, and given master classes at universities and young artists’ programs all over the United States, including the Ryan Young Artists’ Program, Houston Grand Opera Studio, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Santa Fe Opera, the Aspen Festival, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. She held tenure as artist-in-residence at the Glimmerglass Festival in the summer of 2013.

Dr. Gunn serves as the Assistant Director for Development and Public Engagement at the University of Illinois School of Music. She works as an advocate for state and local arts organizations in the development of projects ranging from constructing arts buildings to mentoring inner-city high-schoolers interested in the arts. She is the founder and director of the Illinois School of Music Academy, a program for talented pre-college chamber musicians and composers.

On a national level, she solicits and programs the work of emerging and established American songwriters on recitals, and is proud to have been the music director of her husband Nathan Gunn’s solo disc, Just before Sunrise, released by Sony/BMG records, which included arrangements of songs by Gene Scheer, Ben Moore, Joe Thalken, Billy Joel, Sting, and Charles Ives. Her arrangements of traditional American songs and standards have been heard at the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.



Nathan GunnNathan Gunn has made a reputation as one of the most exciting and in-demand baritones of the day.

He has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. His many roles include the title roles in Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet; Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucetia, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and The Lodger in The Aspern Papers.

A noted supporter of new works, Mr. Gunn most recently created the role of Inman in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at the Santa Fe Opera. He also created the roles of Sid Taylor in Jake Heggie’s Great Scott, James Dalton in Iain Bell’s The Harlot’s Progress at the Theater an der Wien, Yeshua in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene at the San Francisco Opera Paul in Daron Hagen’s Amelia at the Seattle Opera, Alec Harvey in André Previn’s Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera, Father Delura in Peter Eötvös’ Love and Other Demons at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera. Because of this dedication to new works, Mr. Gunn held the title of Director of the American Repertoire Council at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, a steering council that focused on advancing the company’s American Repertoire Program which was committed to produce a new American work in 10 consecutive seasons.  Mr. Gunn is working on a number of creative projects that will premier over the next three seasons, in which he is a collaborating artist with the creative teams. These include projects with producing companies such as the English National Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Beth Morrison Projects, and are created with some of today’s leading and cutting edge composers.

Also a distinguished concert performer, Mr. Gunn has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Rundfunkorchster, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The many conductors with whom he has worked with include, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Mark Wigglesworth.

A frequent recitalist, Mr. Gunn has been presented in recital at Alice Tully Hall and by Carnegie Hall in Zankel Hall. He has also been presented by Roy Thomson Hall, Cal Performances, the Schubert Club, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Vocal Arts Society in Washington, DC, the University of Chicago, the Krannert Center, the Wigmore Hall, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. As a student, he performed in series of recitals with his teacher and mentor John Wustman that celebrated the 200th anniversary of Franz Schubert’s birth.

Gunn has recently ventured outside the standard opera repertoire with appearances in performances of the the title role in Sweeney Todd with the Houston Grand Opera, Camelot and Carousel with the New York Philharmonic (both broadcasted on PBS) and Show Boat at Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also appeared in the New York Philharmonic’s 80th birthday gala celebration for Stephen Sondheim and appeared with the orchestra in an evening of Broadway classics with Kelli O’Hara. Other engagements have included appearances with Mandy Patinkin in Rochester, the Krannert Center the Ravinia Festival and on tour in Australia and New Zealand, a series of cabaret shows at the famed Café Carlyle in New York City and at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, special guest artist in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, and a performance of Sting and Trudie Styler’s work, Twin Spirits in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Mr. Gunn’s solo album, Just Before Sunrise, was released on Sony/BMG Masterworks. Other recordings include the title role in Billy Budd with Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra (Virgin Classics), which won the 2010 Grammy Award; the first complete recording of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Allegro (Sony’s Masterworks Broadway), Peter Grimes with Sir Colin Davis and London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live!) which was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (SONY Classics), Kullervo with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Telarc), and American Anthem (EMI). He also starred as Buzz Aldrin in Man on the Moon, an opera written specifically for television and broadcast on the BBC in the UK. The program was awarded the Golden Rose Award for Opera at the Montreux Festival in Lucerne.

This season, Mr. Gunn returns to the Theater an der Wien as the title role in Don Giovanni, makes his debut at the Netherlands Opera in the world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’ The New Prince based on Machiavelli’s The Prince, joins the New York Pops for the opening of their annual Carnegie Hall concert series, and appears in recital in Tulsa, Ft. Worth, George Washington University in St. Louis, and at the Krannert Center in Champaign, IL.

Mr. Gunn was the recipient of the first annual Beverly Sills Artist Award, and was awarded the Pittsburgh Opera Renaissance Award. He is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program and was a winner of the 1994 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. Mr. Gunn is also an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he is currently a professor of voice and the General Director of the Lyric Theater @ Illinois. Nathan is a partner in the Los Angeles City Club, RVCC, which is a forward thinking analog space for artists and entrepreneurs changing the downtown of Los Angeles.



Valerie KuinkaHaving worked within the realm of alternative multi-disciplinary theatre to grand opera for over 25 years, Canadian director Valerie Kuinka brings a wealth of experience and unique creativity to her work. The list of highly accomplished artists with whom she has collaborated is extensive: Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Richard Margison, Jose Cura, Nathan Gunn, Matthew Polenzani, Veronica Tennant, Rex Harrington, Quartetto Gelato, Alannah Myles, Frank Moore, and Shauna Rolston, to name but a few.

August 2017 marks the eleventh season of The Highlands Opera Studio, a summer ensemble and professional training program for highly accomplished emerging operatic artists, in which she acts as General Director along with her husband, Artistic Director and operatic tenor, Richard Margison.

A stage director at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for four seasons (2004–08), Valerie was on the stage directing team of Romeo et Juliette (2005–06) and its revival (2007–08) as well as the revivals of Samson et Dalilah (2004–05, 2005–06), Idomeneo (2006–07) and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci (2006–07).

In 1996, Valerie established her own Toronto-based multi-disciplinary theatre company, COLLABORATIONS, and during its nine-year existence wrote, produced, directed, and often performed in 14 productions. “Kuinka has established no small reputation for creating exciting seamless theatrical collage” – Geoff Chapman (Toronto Star, 2003); “It was Kuinka’s instinct for elision that held everything together.” – William Littler (Toronto Star, 2004)

Valerie has also directed productions for Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera, Opera de Quebec, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Hamilton, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Quartetto Gelato, International Vocal Arts Festival (Tel-Aviv), The Banff Centre, The Glenn Gould School (Toronto), Opera Mississauga, The Canadian Childrens’ Opera Chorus (Toronto), and has assisted at the New York City Opera and the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp.

“In so many ways, that it is hard to know where to begin or end, Kuinka laid bare, framed and illustrated the essence of this drama with exquisite skill and technical savvy... With video and her own consummate inventiveness Kuinka created a fresh, new and vibrantly alive Trovatore.” – Hugh Fraser (Hamilton Spectator, 2012)

Beginning her career as a classical violist, Valerie has been (and continues to be) active as a chamber, orchestral, studio, and performance artist for over thirty years. She was a member of the orchestras of the Canadian Opera Company (since 1986) and the National Ballet of Canada (since 1984), playing every position from section to principal before her retirement from the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra in June 2005.

In recent years, Valerie has been devoting most of her time to working with emerging operatic artists as a dramatic/musicianship coach and career consultant and to building and running Highlands Opera Studio. Often working in tandem with her husband, Richard Margison, she is a regular guest coach and masterclass teacher with L'Atelier Lyrique (L'Opera de Montreal), and other national and international vocal institutions.

In the autumn of 2017, Valerie will be working with American baritone, Nathan Gunn, his wife and pianist, Julie Gunn, and Richard Margison in the creation and direction of their new touring show, based on songs from their youth to the present day.


Atelier Lyrique, Montreal | Director


Chantal LambertReceiving First Prize for interpretation at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal, soprano Chantal Lambert completed her musical studies under the direction of tenor, Andre Turp, and vocal coach, Janine Lachance.  An award winner of the Prix Musical Français 1987 (Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20), she went on to become a member of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal for three seasons.  She continues to pursue a career as a singer while directing the Atelier lyrique program, a position she has held since 1990.


An accomplished and sought after performer of both opera and oratorio, Ms. Lambert has sung in just under 20 productions with Opéra de Montreal, as well as multiple performances with Orchestre Métropolitain, Orchestre Baroque de Montréal, and I Musici de Montréal. She was also the narrator for the creation of Tableaux fugitifs by composer Michelle Ekezian with I Musici de Montréal.


In more recent years, Ms. Lambert has enjoyed collaborating in recital with artists such as stage director Marie-Lou Dion, and pianists Roger Vignoles, Michael McMahon, Jean Marchand, Marc Bourdeau, Jeremie Pelletier and Martin Dubé.


An artist of eclectic tastes, Ms. Lambert has, for many years, presented a Tribute to Jacques Brel with guitarist André Messier and a Classical Cabaret with pianists Martin Dubé and Jeremie Pelletier She was a guest artist at the Gala de l’Excellence of La Presse on Radio-Canada television for five consecutive years. She was, also, a regular guest speaker at conferences, round tables, and lectures for CBC Radio and various musical organizations.  She is a presenter of most Atelier lyrique concerts.


A co-author of lexicons (French, English, Italian and German) for young opera singers, she often gives master classes on career development and interpretation at the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy (University of Western Ontario, 2008-2013) and Orford Center for the Arts, 2011 - 2012.  Chantal Lambert was the Chairman of the Conseil québécois de la musique from 2008 à 2011 and is a board member of the Centre lyrique d’expression française.  She is visiting the Highland Opera Studio for the first time.



Richard MargisonHailed for his ringing top notes and spine-tingling power, Canadian tenor, Richard Margison, is one of the most critically acclaimed opera singers Canada has ever produced. An Officer of the Order of Canada, the recipient of three honorary doctorates (McMaster University, University of Victoria, and University of British Columbia), two life-time achievement awards (Giulio Gari Foundation, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation), and the Royal Conservatory of Music's highest honour, the Honorary Fellowship, Richard has performed regularly as a principal artist over the past 2 1/2 decades in all of the worlds leading opera houses at home and abroad, including fifteen consecutive years at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Opera Australia (Sydney Opera House), the Liceu (Barcelona), La Monnaie (Brussels), Opera de Montreal, Opera de Quebec, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Manitoba Opera, Edmonton Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company, where he most recently performed the role of Herod in Salome.

In recent years Richard has been devoting more time to his passion for teaching, helping the next generation of artists within his industry, and giving back to the community at large. He is sought after across Canada and internationally as a master class and private professor of voice, and, although still performing professionally, continues to offer his services for a variety of charitable organizations.

Since 2013, Richard has been enjoying performing regularly across Canada with his daughter, Lauren Margison, also a singer, in their duo act, "Back to Back". Richard and Lauren turn their combined talents to classical arias, art song, Neapolitan love songs, jazz, pop, and a little Gordon Lightfoot. Richard is looking forward to more concerts and performances of “Back to Back” in 2016 and a return to his hometown of Victoria, B.C., for performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tania Miller.

This past season included performances of Electra (Aegisthus), with Michigan Opera Theatre. In October, 2015, Richard was featured as the title role of  'Abraham' in the world premiere of an important new, multi-cultural and multi-denominational oratorio written and conducted by Canadian composer and music theatre legend, David Warrack, and performed at Metropolitan United Church in Toronto.

In recent years Richard has been celebrating his Canadian roots with performances across the country including Herod in Salome (Canadian Opera Company), Turiddu and  Canio in Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci (Edmonton Opera), and his signature roles of Calaf, in Puccini's Turandot (Opera Lyra Ottawa),  Manrico in Verdi's Il Trovatore (L'Opera de Quebec), Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca (Manitoba Opera), and Bacchus in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos (Canadian Opera Company). Concert appearances included Mahler's, 'Das Lied von der Erde', with the Victoria Symphony, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, with the Toronto Symphony, and a 15-concert solo recital tour of British Columbia with acclaimed pianist, Kinza Tyrell. Richard was proud to have had his debut performance in the new Four Seasons' Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto with the National Ballet of Canada, performing Mahler's, 'Das Lied von der Erde' with the company.

Highlights from previous seasons include performances as Bacchus in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at the Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Spain, the reprise of his celebrated role as O'Brien in Lorin Maazel's 1984 in Valencia, Spain,  Radamès in Verdi's Aida at the Metropolitan Opera, as Pollione in Bellini's Norma with the Vancouver Opera, and in a series of concerts for Arizona Opera. A highlight of his 2009-2010 season was his trip to China for the opening of the new Guangzhou Opera House where Richard appeared in one of his most celebrated roles, Calaf, in Puccini's Turandot, conducted by Lorin Maazel: "As a rare, true lyrico spinto, a lyric tenor with the capacity to [sing] the heavier dramatic roles, Margison is the heir to Placido Domingo...Margison colors his voice with an ease and spontaneity that almost seems conversational, and he rides over the big Turandot orchestra, with its extra complement of exotic-sounding percussion, with ease and beauty." (Financial Times, May 2010)

Other highlights include Richard's debut as Aegisthus in Strauss's Elektra with the Seattle Opera and the New York Philharmonic, his debut at Milan's famed La Scala as O'Brien in Lorin Maazel's 1984, a role he originated at the ROH Covent Garden in 2005, recently released on DVD. Renowned for his interpretations of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and Beethoven, recent seasons have featured performances of Un Ballo in Maschera (l'Opéra de Montréal, Hamburg, the ROH Covent Garden), Turandot (New York, Barcelona, Toronto), Aida (New York, Cincinnati, l'Opéra de Montréal, Chicago, Orviedo), Ariadne auf Naxos (Madrid, London, Hamburg, New York), Fidelio (Seattle, Vancouver), Il Trovatore (New York, Toronto, Berlin, San Francisco), La Gioconda (Barcelona) and Don Carlo (New York).

A much sought after concert artist, Richard has garnered such praise as "…it is an important experience to hear Margison live, simply to come into contact with the physical presence of the voice. It has both brass and beauty, and its power is so forceful and concentrated that you have to remind yourself that its source is a human throat…" (Globe and Mail). He has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic in London, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and at the Ravinia Festival. He has also performed with Bryn Terfel at his opera gala at the Faenol Festival in Wales.

Richard's discography includes an all-Verdi recording on CBC Records and the highly acclaimed recording of Beethoven's Fidelio with Christine Brewer on Chandos. He has also recorded Lanza (Warner Music), made for the film on the life of Mario Lanza, in which he sings the title role. Other recordings include Verdi's Don Carlo with the Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Bernard Haitink (Philips) and Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neeme Järvi (Deutsche Grammophon). He made three recordings with the late Richard Bradshaw and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra: a solo album of French and Italian Arias (CBC Records), Rarities by Rossini and Verdi, with Gary Relyea (CBC Records) and Aria, une sélection de Radio-Canada with Anita Krause, Wendy Nielson and Gary Relyea (CBC Records). Richard is also a featured artist on the Millennium Opera Gala recording released by CBC Records.

Richard's DVD recordings include his highly acclaimed appearance as Bacchus in the Metropolitan Opera production of Ariadne auf Naxos with Deborah Voigt and Natalie Dessay (Virgin Classics), his roles as Cavaradossi in Tosca and as O'Brien in Lorin Maazel's 1984 (both on Decca), and as Enzo in Ponchielli's La Gioconda (TDK).

Richard's rise to the top of the opera world did not follow the traditional path – his career began in the coffee houses and clubs of Victoria, BC, where he performed with his own rock band for ten years. Since making his debut in 1980 with Pacific Opera Victoria, he has gone on to take the opera world by storm while not neglecting his roots, enthusiastically performing songs by Gordon Lightfoot or Stan Rogers whenever possible. In January 2010, Bravo! presented a documentary (Harbinger Films) on Richard called the 'Folk-Singing Opera Star'. Now available on DVD, the documentary features him in a musical collaboration with Bruce Cockburn, in major performances and in discussion about his life and career. www.thefolksingingoperastar.com

In the summer of 2007, Richard Margison and Opera Director, Valerie Kuinka, founded the Highlands Opera Studio, a very advanced professional training program for emerging operatic professionals, which provides training of the highest level for 20 to 25 talented singers and 1 collaborative pianist, between the ages of 19 and 35, chosen through competitive audition from across Canada with the main objective to provide these singers with the necessary skills to embark on a career in opera. Richard and Valerie feel that these extremely talented young people should no longer be expected to pay for a summer program, and, therefore, offer the 5 – 6 week program at no charge for those accepted. Looking forward to its 10th season in August 2016, the program includes vocal master classes, individual voice lessons, movement classes, professional development and networking opportunities, stagecraft coaching and staging rehearsals for 2-3 fully staged productions. The faculty includes renowned opera professionals from Canada and around the world.

Although Richard is in great demand on the great opera stages of the world, he gives generously of his time to support a number of causes. He has generously given of his talent at benefits in Chicago, for the Metropolitan Opera, Leukaemia Research (Ontario), LOFT Community housing (Toronto), the Children's Opera Chorus (Toronto), the Royal Conservatory of Music, and many others.

He has been particularly active in his former home province of British Columbia, where he has raised more than two million dollars through benefit concerts including Victoria Symphony, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Opera and the Rotary Club.

Richard Margison was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 not only in honour of his contribution to musical life in Canada but in recognition of his accomplishments on the international stage. In 2002 Richard received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. Richard received and Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as being inducted into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame. In October of 2007, Richard was awarded an Opera Canada Ruby Award.  In October 2009 he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the The Giulio Gari Foundation and The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to Canada. Richard  also holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Victoria (DMus), University of British Columbia (D.Litt) and McMaster University (D.Litt).

An Ontario resident for twenty-six years, Richard splits his time between his homes in Stouffville and Minden with his wife, opera director, Valerie Kuinka, and his daughter, Lauren Margison.



Philip MoreheadPhilip Morehead recently retired as Head of Music Staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Ryan Opera Center. a position he had held since 1991. His previous positions at Lyric have included Music Administrator, Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor. In recent years Mr. Morehead has been cover conductor at Lyric Opera for Die Meistersinger, Jenůfa, Der fliegende Holländer, Sweeney Todd, Billy Budd and many others. He conducted regular season performances of Die Fledermaus, Un ballo in maschera and The Mikado and the premiere production of Anthony Davis’s Amistad and student performances of La Traviata, The Cunning Little VixenCarmen, Die Zauberflöte and Pagliacci. In January 2015 he conducted the first edition of Lyric Unlimited’s The Magic Victrola, a program introducing young children to opera with excerpts sung by members of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition to repertoire coaching and work in preparation of Lyric Opera and Ryan Opera Center productions, he conducted performances of Rossini’s La Cenerentola for the Center. In the summer of 2008 he conducted Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival on Belle-Ile, France, and returned to the Festival the summer of 2011 to conduct L’elisir d’amore. During the 2010-11 season Mr. Morehead conducted performances of Un ballo in maschera (with Sondra Radvanovsky, Frank Lopardo, and Mark Delavan), The Mikado (with James Morris, Stephanie Blythe, Neal Davies, Andriana Chuchman, and Andrew Shore), and Carmen (with Katharine Goeldner and Richard Cox). He is a member of  the board of the Conductors’ Guild and a member of the selection panel for the Solti Foundation U.S. awards.

When not engaged in his Lyric Opera duties Mr. Morehead is a conductor, coach, pianist, and harpsichordist. His conducting work has included Boulez’ Improvisations sur Malarmé for the Contemporary Chamber Players at The University of Chicago and Gounod’s Faust at Illinois State University. He was a founding member of CUBE, a Chicago-based chamber ensemble specializing in the performance of new music. From 1987 to 2013 with the CUBE ensemble he performed as pianist in a wide variety of repertoire and conducted the ensemble in world premieres of William Ferris's An Eden Garden, Sebastian Huydts's Three Serious Songs, Russ Grazier's Leaving, Arriving, Ilya Levinson's The Tell-Tale Heart, and other works. Mr. Morehead has given vocal masterclasses in conjunction with Elgin Opera  and is a member of the faculty of the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy.

In addition to his musical activities, Mr. Morehead is the editor of revised versions of the New American Roget’s College Thesaurus, The New American Webster’s Handy College Dictionary and Hoyle’s Rules of Games. He is author of The New International Dictionary of Music and the Penguin Thesaurus.



Dietlinde MaazelDietlinde Turban’s first stage appearance at the age of 19 as Gretchen in Goethe’s Faust at the Residenztheater in Munich brought her national fame. In rapid succession she starred in Lessing’s Minna von Barnhelm (as Minna), Shakespeare’s Othello (as Desdemona) which earned her the Bad Hersfeld Festival Prize for Best Actress, and in works of Anouilh, Brecht, Giraudoux, Goethe, Pinter, Rattigan. She appeared as guest star at the State Theater in Bonn and the Josefstadt-Theater in Vienna.


Thanks to scores of films and plays filmed for television, Mrs. Turban won Germany’s coveted Bambi Award as Best Actress of the Year (1983). Among her film credits: the title role in Goethe’s Stella and Schiller’s Love and Intrigue (Luise), the role of Mozart’s sister-in-law Aloysia in the French film biography of the composer, a starring role in Sidney Sheldon’s American thriller Bloodline, and the part of Euridice in the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle/Harnoncourt film adaptation of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, the lead-roles in Die Kalte Heimat, Die Undankbare, Peter Schamoni’s The Castle in Königswald and the World War II story Mussolini and I, starring opposite Anthony Hopkins.


In 2004 Ms. Turban performed her first One Woman Play Constantly Risking Absurdity at the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York, at the George Mason University, VA, and for the American Austrian Foundation in Salzburg at the inauguration of Schloss Arenberg in 2005.


Ms. Turban appeared as soloist/narrator with the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra DC and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Munich. Ms. Turban has recorded a number of audio books (Naxos) as well as CDs in collaboration with young composers. She also performs dramatic readings of literary masterpieces both in the United States and in Europe and tours with recitals based on works by Andersen, Fontane, Heine, Kafka, Rilke, Schiller, Thomas Mann (“Das Teufelsgespräch” from Doktor Faustus), and a portrayal of Lou Andreas Salomé.


Ms. Turban studied violin, classical dance and voice in Munich (Musikhochschule), New York (Dorothee Delay) and Aspen. Her theatre studies include Master Classes with Peter Brook, Lee Strasberg and the T. Schreiber Studio, NY.


In 1996 she founded a private school for low-income families on her Virginia Estate and developed a pilot educational project designed to explore new ways of integrating vital artistic and aesthetic values into school curricula, inspired by Rudolf Steiner.


In 2009 Ms. Turban co-founded the Castleton Festival with her husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel. After his passing in 2014 she took over as Artistic Director and CEO. In addition to overseeing a year-round performance season at the Castleton Theatre (CiP) she works as a private performance coach in Manhattan and teaches every summer at the “Castleton Artists Training Seminar” (CATS), the Castleton Festival’s Young Artist Program.


In the summer 2013 she performed Jean Cocteau’s La Voix Humaine at the Castleton Festival. She made her directorial debut in 2015 with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. She is on faculty at Rutgers University where she created a new course “Acting for Singers” for the Mason Gross School of the Arts. She also gives seasonal masterclasses at the T. Schreiber Studio, NY.