Lauren with her parents, Richard and Valerie
January 29, 2020
Recently, Toronto opera singer Lauren Margison was announced to be one of the semi-finalists for the 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup, a new and prestigious competition. This is big news and I wanted to lob a few questions at her as soon as I read about it. I knew she’d be a great interview based on her social media presence, @laurenmargison.
Lauren, congratulations! This is huge! I love that it’s called the “opera cup” – it makes me think of a really huge international soccer event. What was your reaction when you first got the news?
I was incredibly excited! I woke up to the email with the news, and needless to say it was a pretty excellent way to start the day! Haha! I have admired the work Glyndebourne does for many years, and am a huge fan of the UK, so the thought of spending a bit of time in the beautiful English countryside and singing on that legendary stage is pretty wonderful and overwhelming.
The winner receives 15,000 pounds, a role in a leading international opera house, and all sorts of exposure. Apart from your fondness for makeup which I’ve personally witnessed, what else would that prize money go towards?
A large chunk of it would certainly go towards funding a European audition tour. Also, I would certainly love to invest in some performance gowns (maybe a bit of makeup as well, hehe!). I am also sure a “no holds barred” trip to the book store would be in order.
We both come from musical families. How did your parents (tenor Richard Margison, and violist/director and general director of Highlands Opera Studio Valerie Kuinka), influence your career? Were you encouraged to go into music, or did you have to plead your case?
I am sure that most people claim to have the best parents, but I must say I really do. Those two awesome people never pushed me in one direction or another. From an early age they taught me to follow my own path, whatever it may be. As that path lead first to jazz, and then slowly towards opera, the only thing that changed in my relationship with my parents was a deep respect for them both as not only parents, but as my musical mentors. There is also no one I would rather spend my downtime with, than those two. The three musketeers forever!
You’re an Ensemble Studio member with the Canadian Opera Company. Tell us about your experiences there and what you’ve learned.
My time in the Ensemble Studio have been some of the most important and formative years of my life. I have grown so much in my time here, both personally and as an artist. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities given to me through the program including covering lead roles I deeply love, singing on the mainstage with the orchestra, and working with some of the most fantastic mentors and colleagues, who have now become some of my closest friends. I hope to take what I’ve learned here and hold it close as I continue to forge ahead in this career.
So when do you compete in the semi- finals for the Glyndebourne Opera Cup? And what are you long-terms goals as a performer?
The semi-finals will take place on March 4th at the Glyndebourne opera house. As far as my long term goals are concerned, I am happiest when I’m performing, so if I had my wish, it would to be travelling and singing up a storm!
To learn more about Lauren, please visit here. Everyone at The New Classical FM wishes her the very best of luck!