Richard Margison

Margison made his COC debut as Vitek in the Canadian premiere of Janáček's The Makropulos Case in 1989, returned to sing the Italian tenor in Rosenkavalier in 1990, and took the title role in its 1991 production of La Clemenza di Tito at the Elgin Theatre.


Margison, Richard

 Richard (Charles) Margison. Tenor, b Victoria, BC, 15 Jul 1953; AVCM (voice, piano) 1980. He first studied piano with his mother, a music teacher. He began to study voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Selena James in 1976 and that same year he won the regional Metropolitan Opera auditions. He also coached with Frances James. He gained acting and stage experience with Victoria's Bastion Theatre Company, sang in local Gilbert & Sullivan productions, and toured with Canada Opera Piccola in 1979 and for three subsequent seasons, during which time he worked with Léopold Simoneau. He made his debut with Pacific Opera Victoria in 1980, as Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, and continued to appear with the company 1981-3. Margison made his Vancouver Opera debut in the role of Lenski in Eugene Onegin in 1985, appeared in the company's Canadian premiere of Janáček's From the House of the Dead in 1986, was Edgardo in its 1987 production of Lucia di Lammermoor (a role he sang that same year with the Pacific Opera), sang Peter Quint in Britten's The Turn of the Screw in 1988, and returned in 1990 to take the title role in Werther. Of the many roles he has sung with the Calgary and Edmonton operas, his performance of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni in their joint 1987 production earned praise for its clarity and strength. He also sang Don Ottavio with the Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown, NY, in 1988.

Margison made his COC debut as Vitek in the Canadian premiere of Janáček's The Makropulos Case in 1989, returned to sing the Italian tenor in Rosenkavalier in 1990, and took the title role in its 1991 production of La Clemenza di Tito at the Elgin Theatre. In addition he has sung with the Manitoba Opera, Opera in Concert, Opera Lyra, was Ferrando in the NAC 1990 summer production of Così fan tutte, and sang with Opéra de Montréal in Gianni Schicci in 1991. His European debut as Gustavus in Verdi's Masked Ball with the English National Opera in 1990 prompted the reviewer for Opera, to draw comparisons with Jon Vickers' debut in the same role 32 years earlier. Other international appearances have included a performance in the title role of Faust with the Houston Grand Opera in 1990, and in The Pearl Fishers in Santiago, Chile, in 1991.

In addition Margison has performed in concert and in oratorio with the major orchestras in Canada: eg, Messiah with the Calgary Philharmonic, the MSO, the TS, and Symphony Nova Scotia; Das Lied von der Erde with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra; the premiere of Franco Mannino's Mass, and the Creation with the NACO; and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Orchestre métropolitain, Hamilton Philharmonic, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He also was a soloist in the Beethoven at the 1991 London concert to celebrate Sir Yehudi Menuhin's birthday. Margison is married to the violist Valerie Kuinka.


Further Reading

  • Mercer, Ruby. 'Spotlight,' OpCan, vol 29, Spring 1988

    Loppert, Max. 'A Masked Ball,' Opera, vol 41, Jan 1990

    Lacey, Liam. 'Tenor's "investment" pays off with "flood of invitations to sing",' Toronto Globe and Mail, 5 Mar 1990

    Agrignon Sirois, Maryse. 'Richard Margison,' Aria, vol 13, Summer 1990

    Allison, John. 'Richard Margison,' Opera, vol 52, Oct 2001