Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, River Guard graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo studying with Mezzo-Soprano, Kimberly Barber.
Throughout his musical career, River has transitioned from singing in a rock band, to musical theatre, and now works towards a full-fledged career in opera performance. High school roles include Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, and Enjolras in Les Misérables. University roles include Arithmetic and Tree Frog in L’enfant et les sortileges, Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Nathanaël, Spalanzani, and Franz in Les contes d’Hoffmann.
In the summer of 2016 he partook in Opera NUOVA’s 6-week program, and sang the role of Rinuccio in Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Gianni Schicchi. In the summer of 2017, River returned to Opera NUOVA to sing the role of Lensky in Eugene Onegin under Maestro Gordon Gerrard. River has completed his Opera Diploma at Wilfrid Laurier University, and sang the role of Martin in Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land. This past summer, River travelled to the Banff Centre to take part in their Opera in the 21st Century program, attended Highlands Opera Studio run by tenor, Richard Margison, and is continuing his studies at The University of Toronto for their Masters in Opera, studying with Wendy Nielsen. River has performed the roles of Lippo Fiorentino in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene and Il Podesta in La Finta Giardiniera with UofT Opera, and is in increasing demand for opera and oratorio work throughout the Toronto area.
In his spare time, River performs as a singer-songwriter, playing his own music working towards refining his craft in theatre and music. This summer, River will be traveling to the Aspen Music Festival and School to sing the leading role of Miles Zegner in Missy Mazzoli’s opera, Proving Up.