Learn to sing without breaking the bank with Highlands Opera Studio

Opera music
Lauren Margison, opera soprano / singer / songwriter, offers singing lessons on a “pay what you can” basis to residents of the Highlands. / Photo submitted

Learn to sing without breaking the bank with Highlands Opera Studio

By Mike Baker

Highlands Opera Studio is offering singing enthusiasts across Haliburton County the opportunity to learn from the best possible courtesy of a new “pay what you can” initiative.

Made possible by a new partnership with the Haliburton County Development Corporation, which will fund the initiative, those interested in taking vocal lessons with professionals at the Highlands Opera Studio can do so without considering whether or not they can afford it. .

From now until March 2022, Highlands Opera Studio will be giving private lessons virtually, via Zoom, with participants encouraged to pay only what they can afford. Lessons will last 30 minutes, with a maximum of 20 lessons allowed per student. The program is open to singers of all ages and musical styles in Haliburton County.

Valerie Kuinka, Managing Director and Co-Artistic Director of Highlands Opera Studio, said the initiative would give a much-needed boost to an arts community that has been deprived of in-person programming and events throughout the COVID pandemic -19.

“We are fortunate to be in a community where the performing arts thrive through deep appreciation and eager participation. From the shared experience of sitting in an audience, singing together in a group, on stage in a performance, in a choir or congregation, or playing an instrument in an orchestra, the ability to have fun together or alone by expressing yourself through the act making music is a celebration of the human spirit and can be essential for mental health, ”said Kuinka.

“The past year has been devastating for many, including those who have been denied the opportunity to express themselves through the common act of creating and performing live music,” she added. .

Kuinka calls on individuals and businesses that “prospered” financially during the pandemic to pay it forward and support this new initiative.

“Any additional income received through the prepayment and prepayment policy would be re-budgeted for these lessons,” said a recent press release from Highlands Opera Studio. “The total number of students [we can teach] would depend on this additional income received, as well as the number of lessons given to a person.

As COVID-19 restrictions are expected to ease on June 14 and the province will open up further in the weeks and months to come, provided the number of cases remains low, Kuinka said it was possible for lessons are delivered in person across the board.

Now that Highlands Opera Studio has become so well versed in offering virtual programming, Kuinka has said she expects things like online lessons to become a permanent fixture, even after this pandemic is behind. we.
“Even though there is light at the end of the tunnel for a return to in-person activities sometime in 2021, the ability to teach voice through Zoom has enabled us to offer singing lessons throughout. year round to residents of Haliburton County, instead of just in the summer through the Highlands Opera Community School, ”said Kuinka.

She added: “This can continue even when the pandemic is a thing of the past. Through the Highlands Opera Community School online, we look forward to providing this resource and opportunity to residents of Haliburton County.

For more information and to book classes, contact Lauren Margison at [email protected]


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