Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Haliburton Highlands in Central Ontario, Canada, Highlands Opera Studio provides advanced operatic experience to a select group of talented emerging professionals with the main objective to provide these singers with the necessary skills to embark on a career in opera.
WHAT IS HIGHLANDS OPERA STUDIO?
Operating out of Haliburton, Ontario, since its creation in 2007, Highlands Opera Studio (produced by Highlands Opera Theatre, a not-for-profit nationally registered charity) is a professional performing arts organization for emerging operatic artists. An advanced summer professional training program and professional development resource to assist singers/pianists make the transition into the professional world, the focus is not only on performance and production excellence, but on top level coaching and professional development/networking with the goal of expanding employment opportunities both nationally and internationally. Established opera professionals (international artist agents, vocal coaches, general directors of professional opera companies, etc.) are invited to interact with and advise our participants during the intensive 5 week August season, resulting in new connections, many leading to employment and/or artist representation (national and international).
In a non-pandemic year, core activities also include 17-19 live public events/ performances: multiple performances of 2-3 fully staged operas, 3-4 public masterclasses, 5-6 concerts (including operatic, musical theatre, and Art Song repertoire), free community events, and the Highlands Opera Community School, where local amateur singers can receive lessons and interact with the young visiting professionals of the main program.
HOW ARE THE PARTICIPANTS CHOSEN?
The Opera Studio singers/pianists are chosen from across Canada and internationally through a rigorous competitive audition process that takes place annually in January and February [NB: 2021 online submissions only deadline April 16th]. The 20-25 participants, once chosen out of the pool of 160+ annual applicants, attend the program free of charge (Canadians citizens, and landed immigrants).
The successful candidates are divided into three divisions within the program: Apprentice (19-25 years of age), Professional (no age limit), and Independent Study (no age limit). Members of the Apprentice division are cast as covers and chorus. The Professional Division are cast in lead roles. The Independent Study Division is available for a very select number of highly qualified applicants who submit a proposal to use our professional resources to follow a personal project (eg. Operatic role study, Art Song recital preparation, competition or audition tour preparation, etc.). All participants in every division participate in all training and professional development activities and opportunities.
Highlands Opera Studio is the collaborative partner of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal.
In Valerie's Words
"We have been embraced by the community of the Haliburton Highlands. Although our theatre is small (225 seats) and we present with piano only, we have witnessed audience members moved to tears by the sheer beauty and power of the human voice and the intimacy of the vocal and dramatic experience. Being situated where we are, we are bringing the art form, vocal excellence and awareness, and the young artists themselves, to a rural region well outside the GTA, providing a level of enrichment to the local residents that was previously unknown. However, with our reputation growing rapidly outside the region for providing not only the highest level of professional development for our participants, but also an unparalleled audience experience of intimate interactive opera at the highest level, we feel we are offering something truly unique, and exciting."
In Richard's Words
"Our long range goals include bringing more people to our performances, and to the beautiful region of Haliburton County. Although one of the primary vacation and summer leisure destinations in Ontario, many people are surprised to learn that Haliburton County is the most economically depressed county in Ontario. We want to help by building on our growing reputation as a place to experience the best young voices Canada has to offer in an intimate, interactive performance environment unlike anywhere else, and feature and promote the beauty and resources that the region has to offer."
Audition registration for the 2024 Professional Program will be announced in November. Auditions will take place in early 2024. If you're interested in being notified when future registrations open, please fill in your contact info below.