Maria Miller, Development Coordinator for Classic Lyric Arts, Inc. sits down with John Hunter, Chairman of the Board, to discuss his CLA experience.
MM: How did you become involved with CLA?
JH: A few years back, Glenn Morton, the artistic director for CLA, asked me to attend a planning session in the home of one of our board members. I agreed based on the wonderful experience my daughter had at CLA. I thought it would be a good thing to lend my support and experience in strategic planning for the private sector.
MM: What has been most gratifying about being involved with this program?
JH: Indeed the most gratifying thing has been to watch CLA grow as an organization and influence the artists who attend our programs. When I see artists developing careers in opera who are able to discuss how their time in France or Italy changed the trajectory of their work, it’s really exciting. I think the focus on language and culture is an important differentiator for CLA. The native instructors who specialize in the understanding of certain composers and what their intent was for each word that is expressed is truly unique. More importantly, for the artist who has not been brought up in the countries where opera began, the opportunity to understand the culture and language at a deeper level is unique and invaluable.
MM: Any favorite moments?
JH: I’m always excited to hear the artists perform during the November CLA gala. Last year's gala, in particular, was very exciting because of the diversity of the group and the way in which the voices combined to present a deeply moving performance.
MM: Ten years have flown by. What’s ahead?
JH: I think we’ll provide CLA with a platform to increase its visibility in the USA with opera lovers and young artists. Increasing performance opportunities in the states and exposing others to CLA through master classes given by our wonderful instructors will be a couple of ways we’ll achieve this. We will put a strong emphasis on increasing our funding for deserving artists to attend the programs in Italy and France.