Island opera singer performs

Richard Margison went from leading a rock band to an international opera star.

Richard Margison went from leading a rock band to an international opera star.

A critically acclaimed opera singer hailed for his ringing top notes performs at the Port Theatre Sunday (March 20).

Opera virtuoso Richard Margison, accompanied by award-winning pianist Kinza Tyrell, is a sought-after performer renowned for his interpretations of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and Beethoven. His career has taken him all over the globe from Spain to New York and China.

Margison’s rise to the top of the opera world didn’t follow the traditional path.

He began his music career in the coffee houses and nightclubs of Victoria, performing with his rock band for a decade. He made his debut with Pacific Opera Victoria in 1980 and his star began rising soon after.

In 2001, he was inducted into the Order of Canada as an officer and received numerous lifetime achievement awards. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Victoria, UBC and McMaster University.

In the summer of 2007, Margison and director Valerie Kuinka founded the Highlands Opera Studio in central Ontario, which provides advanced operatic training to a select group of talented young professionals with the goal to provide the singers with the necessary skills to embark on a career in opera.

The program includes vocal master classes, individual voice lessons, movement classes, stagecraft coaching and staging rehearsals for a fully staged production.

Tyrell began piano lessons at age four and went on to study in Austria by age 18. She holds a doctorate in piano performance and vocal coaching from McGill University.

She is also in great demand as a vocal and language coach, and recitalist.

Margison and Tyrell perform at 2 p.m. at the theatre. Tickets $52; $48/members; $25/students. Please call 250-754-8550 or visit