Opera in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands

The Highlands Opera Studio is quite an amazing undertaking, and it all happens between July 31st and August 28th.

For anyone not from the Haliburton Highlands the notion of world class opera in the midst of lakes and forests may seem a little odd. We find it quite appropriate for our very creative region.

It all began seven years ago when Valerie Kuinka and Richard Margison decided to start a program for very advanced emerging operatic artists. They wanted to concentrate not only on the goals of performance excellence, but also on networking and potential employment opportunities for young singers. All the young Canadian artists attending the month-long intensive program are on full scholarship. Participants are chosen through a rigorous cross-Canada (and NYC) audition tour. They end up listening to close to 200 applicants. On average, 15 highly qualified participants are chosen. These lucky participants bunk in with local families and get to enjoy some of the delights of our region.

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The community of the Haliburton Highlands and surrounding areas have enthusiastically welcomed the program. The calendar provides lots of community interaction and audience education through opera pre-performance chats, concerts in local churches, and short concerts in local venues(Random Acts of Opera.) Three years ago the Highlands Opera Community School was established offering voice lessons, masterclasses, the opportunity to observe the Opera Studio participants, and potential involvement in the staged productions.

Tickets for the concerts are $30.00 and for the operas $35.00. Unheard of prices for this level of excellence. If you’re thinking that a little culture with your summer getaway might be a delicious combination … come and stay a while. Tickets will be going fast so don’t delay.

The morning shows are gonna be fun this week!

After a dreary, blowy, snowy weekend we can look forward to improving weather and temperatures as the week goes along. The morning program on Canoe FM has some great guests and co-hosts this week.
Shawn Chamberlain is our guest this morning and we always have fun with Shawn.

Lorraine McNeil co-hosts Tuesday and our telephone guest will be celebrity gardener Carson Arthur … don’t miss it. Some good tips for you garden.CarsonArthur_BlogPicture

Wednesday on the Reeve’s Report Dave Burton from Highlands East will be our guest.

Thursday, Lorraine and I will be talking with the one and only, Dave Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist … he’ll be speaking in Haliburton that evening. Dave Phillips

Friday, Shawn and I will chat with Harrison Kennedy … he’ll be at the Dominion Hotel on Saturday night.

Good stuff all week on 100.9 Canoe FM. http://www.canoefm.com. Join us, we’re live at 7am each day.

Dogs-a-dashin’ on New Years Morning

A quiet morning in the Haliburton Highlands, and a perfect time for a walk with the dogs.  Sophie, Blue and Beau had a playful hour and a half walking the back roads and lanes of Eagle Lake, up above Sir Sam’s Ski area.  It was perfectly still and quiet. A lovely way to welcome the new year.

The year past had its highs and lows, and we are reminded, as the old saying goes, “life is not a dress rehearsal.”  Time marches on irrespective of our attempt to try and wring every moment out of each day.    Family and friends added greatly to our “plus” column. We don’t see them as often as we would like, but when we do spend time together we are left with wonderful movies in our mind.  We are able to revisit them time and again in quiet moments.   I would be remiss if I didn’t say that living in this lovely county, amidst so many interesting, creative and energetic people also contributed greatly to our 2011.  Haliburton County is a fine place to live and be alive.

We will miss Dorothy, Jane’s mom.  Her passing was a sad moment in our year.  It reminded us too how much we miss our departed family members and dear friends who have passed on to, what we trust will be, a better place.

It’s definitely a time for introspection, a time to consider how we can do better in the coming year.