3 questions for Abe Hunter, musician and impresario
Q: You have accomplished so much for someone so young (27). What do you do to stay focused?
A: "I like to learn by doing. I am interested in arts management as well as the art of collaborative piano. The best way to gain experience in both of them is to work for an arts organization so I started my own, The Loon Opera Company. You learn from mistakes; what works what doesn't, breaking the rules when you need to, being unconventional is o.k."
Q: This is a big project you are planning for this summer's Loon Opera Company. Why did you choose "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart?
A: "'Figaro' is so accessible to a general audience because of its humor. It's very challenging and it needs experienced singers and actors. It will be sung in English so that everyone will understand the story and the lyrics. For this production we will have some familiar faces like Matt Goinz, Linda Wagner and Mark Christensen. Relative new comers to Bemidji Julia and Michael Lamon who are both Concordia alumni will be singing. Two singers I met while playing with La Musica Lirica in Italy, Lettie Andrade De La Torre will be singing the lead and Barry Sharock, will be singing two different parts (characters). Matt Goinz is the assistant music director and we will have the same quartet that played at the Lake Bemidji Opera Fest in June except that Matt Seeberg will be the pianist. Matt is a student of Dr. Stephen Carlson at BSU and is a performance major."
Q: Where do you see yourself in the future?
A: "Bemidji will always be my home but I would like to be with a major opera company sometime in the future. It's a matter of connections and I have made many connections through my work and also from the experience in Italy. I have kept in contact with many of the artists I met there; we email and call each other. I am so honored that two of them will be coming to Bemidji for three weeks to be in this opera. Lettie is coming from Florida and Barry from South Carolina."