Opera Legend Ben Heppner Enthralls in Fundraiser for Collingwood Music Festival

Above:  Canadian opera legend Ben Heppner and celebrated pianist Daniel Vnukowski performing together in Collingwood Music Festival’s Fundraiser Concert on Sunday afternoon June 5th at Windrush Estate Winery’s chateau. Photo Credit: Tjalling Photography

On Sunday afternoon June 5th Windrush Estate Winery in Palgrave, Ontario hosted a full-house fundraising concert for the annual Collingwood Music Festival featuring world-renowned Canadian tenor Ben Heppner and celebrated pianist Daniel Vnukowski delivering a stirring, standing ovation performance of Richard Strauss’ Enoch Arden, based on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s heart-wrenching poem. Heppner then engaged the audience, taking questions relating to his incredibly long career of performances at major opera houses throughout the world.

Oil painting by John Wallace Burton

A silent auction followed in which this stunning, donated oil landscape painting of Georgian Bay by local Collingwood-based painter John Wallace Burton fetched an additional $3500 on top of the $20,000 already raised by the concert itself.

A silent auction followed in which a stunning, donated oil landscape painting of Georgian Bay by local Collingwood-based painter John Wallace Burton fetched an additional $3500 on top of the $20,000 already raised by the concert itself.

Vnukowski, also the artistic director of Collingwood Music Festival, exclaimed: “It was a glorious, historic day in the making and I would like to give another round of thanks to Ben Heppner for sharing his remarkable artistry with us, to our dear hosts J.C. Pennie and Marilyn Field at Windrush Estate Winery for opening up their chateau for this event, and to everyone who worked so hard to make it a success: the board of Directors, Treasurer, Staff, Members, Friends of the Festival, Sponsors, Donors and dozens of volunteers. We were also thrilled to welcome fans of Ben’s and festival supporters from both nearby and as far away as Calgary and Ottawa!”

This summer’s festival, running from July 8th to 15th, will again bring exceptional, memorable music experiences to the South Georgian Bay area, presenting award-winning artists in the fields of classical, world, jazz and Indigenous genres including the brilliant, symphonic power of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, swingin’ a cappella groups from SING!, and so much more. A full day of FREE youth programs will take place at nearby Duntroon Highlands Golf Club. Vnukowski is excited to announce that The New Classical FM is offering the opportunity to win a VIP Festival Package. The prize includes an overnight stay at the 11 Rooms Boutique Hotel in Downtown Collingwood, an Italian dinner-for-two at Brunello and a patio breakfast-for-two at Petit Espresso Post as well as 2 Gold Passes to the Collingwood Music Festival. 

To enter the draw and order tickets for the festival or individual concerts, please visit https://collingwoodfestival.com or call (705) 416-1317.
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