River Guard is an operatic tenor, singer-songwriter, composer, actor, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. River completed his undergraduate degree in Voice Performance at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2017, studying with mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber. In the summer of 2017, River travelled to Edmonton, Alberta to sing the role of Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin under Maestro Gordon Gerrard at Opera NUOVA. River completed his Opera Diploma at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2018 and sang the role of Martin in Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land.
In the summer of 2018, River travelled to the Banff Centre to take part in their Opera in the 21st Century program, attended Highlands Opera Studio run by world renowned tenor, Richard Margison. River recently finished his studies at The University of Toronto for their Masters in Opera program in 2020, studying with Wendy Nielsen. In the first year of his masters, he performed the roles of Lippo Fiorentino in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene and Il Podesta in La Finta Giardiniera with UofT Opera and is in increasing demand for opera and oratorio work throughout the Toronto area.
In the summer of 2019, River travelled to the Aspen Music Festival and School to sing the leading role of Miles Zegner in the opera Proving Up by the American composer Missy Mazzoli. During the final year of his master’s at UofT Opera, he sang the roles of Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro and Henry Crawford in Jonathan Dove’s, Mansfield Park, directed by Tim Albery.
Last summer, River performed his first Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Brott Opera in an online medium and returned to the Highlands Opera Festival for another summer, enjoying coaching’s and singing lessons also in an online medium.
River is currently attending the Glen Gould School as one of the recipients of The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program and recently sang the role of Male Chorus in their production of The Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin Britten in March, 2021. River looks forward to another wonderful summer with Highlands Opera Studio where he will be singing Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.